Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
2017 MCAS Sample Student Work and Scoring Guides
Below you will find scoring guides and samples of student work for released items from the spring 2017 MCAS tests. Scoring guides and student work samples are provided for the following item types: open-response items, constructed-response items, essay questions, and writing prompts (grade 10 ELA Composition only).
Annotations are included at all score points with the student work samples for the grades 3-8 ELA essay items and the grade 10 Composition and Reading Comprehension items.
Two different samples of student work have been included at the highest score point for all grades and subjects with a few exceptions: only one top-scoring sample has been released for Standard English Conventions for the ELA grades 3-8 essay items and the grade 10 ELA Composition; also, only one top-scoring sample has been released for Idea Development for the ELA grades 6 and 7 essay items, although it is anticipated that two top-scoring Idea Development samples will be included for these grades in future years.
The document Release of Spring 2017 MCAS Test Items contains all released items from the spring 2017 MCAS tests, as well as information about unreleased items. The document provides the following information about each released and unreleased operational item: reporting category, standard(s) covered, item type, and item description (where available). The document also lists any reference materials and tools that students were allowed to use during test sessions.
For more information see: Using This Online Tool
Question Directory for Student Work
Main Question Directory for Student Work
Last Updated: October 13, 2017
Standards in this strand:
Text Types and Purposes:
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
Provide reasons that support the opinion.
Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, forexample) to connect opinion and reasons.
Provide a concluding statement or section.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.
Provide a concluding statement or section.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
Provide a sense of closure.
Production and Distribution of Writing:
With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 3 here.)
With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
(W.3.9 begins in grade 4)
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.