Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science
The 5th, 8th, and 11th grade Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science
(WCAS) will be administered for the first time in spring 2018. These tests
fulfill the federal (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 were adopted in October 2013.
|Grade 5||Grade 8||Grade 11|
|3-5 band||Middle school band||High school
- WCAS Score Release Information NEW
The scores from the spring 2018 WCAS are scheduled to be released in late-summer 2018:
- August 31: District Test Coordinators able to download
files from applications in EDS
- September 5: Scores available in the Online Reporting System (ORS) on the
- September 10: Statewide test scores publically released on
- October 9 and 10: Paper WCAS Individual Score Reports
(ISRs) due to arrive in districts
To support the first release of these scores, the Assessment Development office hosted a webinar on Thursday, September 20, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The
Understanding WCAS Score Reports webinar was recorded and posted below
for future reference. The presentation slides and a Q&A document are also posted below.
Draft slides for the webinar (PPT)
Webinar Recording (YouTube Video)
Webinar Q&A (PDF)
The webinar introduced the WCAS test score reports, and explained how to access and understand student test score data. OSPI staff also shared resources for school and district staff to communicate test scores to families. The intended audience was: teachers, principals, district test coordinators, district administrators, and family-school partnership staff.
- 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 validly measure the science standards in a reliable manner every year.
The documents include a small sample of specifications for each grade. The sample will continue to expand through the 2017–18 and 2018–19 school years 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)
January 24 webinar presentation slides (final draft) about the Test Design & Item Specifications Release, answers to questions asked during the webinar, and the recording of the webinar.
- Online WCAS Training Tests
The Training Tests for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) for grades 5, 8, and high school are now 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, and an answer key and other information for each question.
January 10 webinar presentation slides
(final draft) about how to work with the WCAS Training Test,
answers to questions asked during the webinar,
and the recording of the webinar.
- High School Testing Requirements
With the signing into law of House Bill 2224 the high school science assessment graduation requirement is postponed until the Class of 2021. This means that students in the Classes of 2017 through 2020 do not need to pass a science exam in order to graduate. The table below details the federal accountability (ESSA) and assessment graduation requirements (HB 2224) for the classes of 2018-2021.
Spring 2019 and beyond
WCAS for federal accountability
WCAS for federal accountability in 11th grade (2019)
WCAS for graduation and federal accountability in 11th grade (2020)