Testing Students in Washington State
Washington uses the grades 3-8 Measurements of Student Progress (MSP), the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) and End-of-Course (EOC) exams to test its students. The HSPE and EOCs are used as the state’s high school exit exams.
For English language learners (ELL), the state translates the math and science exams into six languages (Spanish, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Somali). Students can listen to the test questions on a CD, but must answer in English. This covers about 80 percent of the ELL population in our state.
The MSP is the state’s exam for students in grades 3-8. Testing is one subject per day, with the writing test occurring on two days. Students are tested in reading (grades 3-8), math (grades 3-8), writing (grades 4 & 7) and science (grades 5 & 8).
HSPEs are comprehensive exams that measure the basic proficiency of high school students in reading and writing, and serve as the state’s exit exams in those subjects.
Students must pass one HSPE in reading and one in writing to satisfy a portion of the graduation assessment requirements.
EOCs measure the knowledge of students in algebra 1/integrated math 1, geometry/integrated math 2 and biology when they complete each course. They serve as the state’s exit exams for math and science.
Students in the classes of 2013 and 2014 must pass one math EOC in algebra 1/integrated math 1 or geometry/integrated math 2 to satisfy a portion of the graduation assessment requirements.
Students in the class of 2015 and beyond must pass math EOCs in algebra 1/integrated math 1 and geometry/integrated math 2, and the biology EOC to satisfy a portion of the graduation assessment requirements.
About one percent of students participate in the WAAS, a challenging program for
some students in special education.
The WELPA annually assesses growth in English language development by the state’s English language learners. This assessment tests reading, writing, listening and speaking knowledge and skills.
Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) was given as the state assessment from spring 1997 to summer 2009. It was replaced by the MSP and HSPE.
View a state testing history timeline to see the years each subject was phased in at each grade level.