Science - Assessments
LanguagesA-Z IndexPrinter Friendly Image
Search
 



For more information:

  Science Assessment
  360-725-6298
  Science@k12.wa.us

 

Science

Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science

The 5th, 8th, and 11th grade Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) was administered for the first time in spring 2018. These tests fulfill the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirement that students be tested in science once at each level: elementary, middle, and high school.

The WCAS measures the level of proficiency that Washington students have achieved based on the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards, which are the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The standards were adopted in October 2013.


Standards Assessed
Grade 5Grade 8Grade 11
3-5 bandMiddle school bandHigh school band

High School Testing Requirements
House Bill 2224 postponed the high school science assessment graduation requirement until the Class of 2021. This means that students in the Classes of 2019 and 2020 do not need to pass the science exam in order to graduate. The table below summarizes the federal accountability (ESSA) and assessment graduation requirements (HB 2224) for the classes of 2018-2021.


Grade in
2018-19

Class of...

Science Assessment
Spring 2019

Science Assessment
Spring 2020 and beyond

12

2019

None

None

11

2020

WCAS for federal accountability

None

10

2021

None

WCAS for graduation and federal/state accountability in 11th grade

9

2022

None

WCAS for graduation and federal/state accountability in 11th grade



+ Test Design and Item Specifications

The Test Design and Item Specifications documents describe how the clusters (stimulus and item sets) and standalone items for the WCAS are developed. They include a technical description of the assessment that assures the assessment will measure the science standards in a reliable manner every year.

The documents currently include a small sample of specifications for each grade. The sample will continue to expand through the 2018–19 school year until full Performance Expectation coverage is achieved.

Grade 5 Test Design and Item Specifications (December 2017)
Grade 8 Test Design and Item Specifications (December 2017)
High School Test Design and Item Specifications (December 2017)

Science Test Design & Item Specifications Release Webinar
January 24 webinar presentation slides (final draft), answers to questions asked during the webinar, and the recording of the webinar.


+ Online Training Tests

Training Tests for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) for grades 5, 8, and high school are available on the WCAP Portal. To experience the greatest variety of question types and test functionalities, students in 5th, 8th, and 11th grade should interact with the training tests at all three grade levels.

This Online Training Test Support document includes information about accessing the training tests, descriptions of ways to practice using the tools for each item type, an answer key, and other information for each question.

How to Work with the WCAS Training Tests Webinar
January 10 webinar presentation slides (final draft), answers to questions asked during the webinar, and the recording of the webinar.


+ Test Scores

The scores from the spring 2018 WCAS are available:

  • Statewide test scores publically released on Report Card
  • For educators: Scores available in the Online Reporting System (ORS) on the WCAP Portal
  • For families: Paper WCAS Individual Score Reports (ISRs) arrived in districts in early October.

Understanding WCAS Score Reports Webinar
September 20, 2018 presentation slides (draft), answers to questions asked during the webinar, and the recording of the webinar.

Sample Score Reports

Scale Score Ranges


Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)
The ALDs describe the knowledge, skills, and processes that students demonstrate on state tests at pre-determined levels of achievement for each tested grade level.

Professional Development Opportunities
Science educators throughout Washington are encouraged to sign up for science assessment updates as well as apply to participate in assessment development events.

Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) Frequently Asked Questions
This document provides answers to a list of frequently asked questions about the current and future state science assessments.

2018 WERA Presentation Coming early December

Washington State Science and Learning Standards

 

   Updated 12/5/2018

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA    98504-7200    360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
Contact Us    |    Site Info    |    Staff Only    |    Privacy Policy