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 of NGSS||Middle school band of NGSS||High school band of NGSS|
- 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)
- 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. 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.
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)
- 2017 Presentations
WERA Science Assessment Updates
WSTA Science Assessment Updates
Information about the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) was
shared, including: science assessment development opportunities, test design and
features, item specifications, training tests, and resources available on the
science assessment webpage.
- Professional Development Opportunities
Science educators throughout Washington are encouraged to sign up for science
assessment updates as well as apply to participate in assessment development
- Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) Frequently Asked Questions
This document provides answers to a list of frequently asked questions about the current and future state science assessments.
- NGSS Description and Timeline
Describes the transition and implementation of the standards and assessments.
- Lessons Learned from Scoring Student Work
The Science Assessment Team shares observations about student responses for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science field test. Coming
- Past Assessments Measurements of Student Progress (MSP), Biology End-of-Course (EOC)
Please contact the science assessment team to request resource materials related assessment written to the 2009 Washington K-12 Science Learning Standards.