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Science

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.


Standards Assessed
Grade 5Grade 8Grade 11
3-5 band of WSSLSMiddle school band of WSSLSHigh school band of WSSLS

  • 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. NEW


  • 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. NEW

  • 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.


Grade in
2017-18

Class of...

Science Assessment
Spring 2018

Science Assessment
Spring 2019 and beyond

12

2018

None

None

11

2019

WCAS for federal accountability

None

10

2020

None

WCAS for federal accountability in 11th grade (2019)

9

2021

None

WCAS for graduation and federal accountability in 11th grade (2020)

Washington State Science and Learning Standards

Highlights

Training for Contrasting Groups Study - available March 1-April 14 - NEW

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   Updated 4/4/2018

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