Science Assessment Updates

OSPI Science Assessment

Science Assessment Updates

Read further for information about:

  • WCAS Training Tests and Training Test Lesson Plans
  • 2018-2019 Lessons Learned document
  • WERA Presentation
  • Upcoming Science Assessment events
  • Science Assessment webpages

Updated WCAS Training Tests

We are happy to announce that the WCAS training tests have been expanded. The training tests are available through the WCAP Portal.

  • The Grade 5 and Grade 8 training tests each have two new standalone items.
  • The Grade 11 training test has three new standalone items and one new item cluster.

Students who take online assessments need opportunities to explore the features of the test and practice using the tools available to them. All items types are available at each grade level except:

  • Table Input item: available in Grade 11 (Item 1)
  • Hot text Item: available in Grade 5 (Item 3) and Grade 8 (Item 1)
  • Scored simulation: not yet available on the training tests

All standalone items and item clusters on the training tests were developed by Washington educators and successfully field tested with Washington students. The standalone items and item clusters were carefully chosen for the training tests to represent a variety of online question types and features. All students can access all three training tests, if desired.

Updated WCAS Training Test Lesson Plans

Training Test Lesson Plans for each grade-level training test (formerly known as the Online Training Test Support) are available on the WCAS Educator Resources webpage. The documents include descriptions of ways to practice using the tools for each item type, an answer key, and information about the standards alignment for each question.

A separate Quick Start Guide (PDF) includes information about accessing the training tests as a guest user or through the secure browser.

Lessons Learned

The 2018-2019: Lessons Learned from Scoring Student Work document has been posted to the WCAS Educator Resources webpage. In the document, the science assessment team shares observations about student responses to WCAS field test items. The document lists general observations across the grade levels and actions at each grade level that students and educators can use in their preparation for the WCAS.

WERA Presentation

The science assessment team presented at the Washington Educational Research Association (WERA) conference in December 2019 in SeaTac. The title of the presentation is State Summative Science Test - Year 2. The slides and handout materials are posted on the WCAS Educator Resources webpage.

Upcoming Science Assessment Events

Four events are scheduled for the upcoming science assessment development cycle. They include:

  • Item Cluster Writing – March 2020
  • Content Review – August 2020
  • Field Test Rangefinding – July 2020
  • Content Review with Data – September 2020

Invitations to apply for Item Cluster Writing will be sent to the science assessment listserv mid-January 2020. If you wish to receive email invitations and other updates, sign up for the listserv.

For more information, visit the Science Assessment Professional Development Opportunities webpage.

Science Assessment Webpages

The science assessment webpages have been updated. The WCAS Main Page now links to:

  • WCAS Educator Resources with information about the training tests, test design and item specifications, test scores, lessons learned, presentations, ALDs, and more.
  • Science Assessment Professional Development Opportunities with descriptions of upcoming events, development cycle information, work group dates, and an FAQ to answer state assessment development questions.
  • WCAS FAQ with answers to a list of frequently asked questions about the state science assessment.

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