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​​​​​Frequently Asked Questions about State Assessments
January 2017

What state tests are required this year?

  •  Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) include tests in Science and Social Studies and tests in Mathematics and English Language Arts developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).  PSAT and SAT are required as well.  For more information about state testing, visit


What are these tests intended to measure?

  • ​CMAS-PARCC Mathematics and English Language Arts assessments are intended to assess ability to communicate effectively, apply math to real-world situations, critically analyze literature and informational texts, and demonstrate problem-solving techniques.
  • CMAS Science tests are intended to assess mastery of skills and concepts in physical science, life science, earth systems science, and scientific investigations & the nature of science.
  • CMAS Social Studies tests are intended to assess mastery of skills and concepts in history, geography, economics, and civics.
  • SAT measures academic preparation for success in college.  
  • PSAT measures achievement of state academic standards and preparation for the 11th grade college entrance exam selected by the state (the SAT)


When are Boulder Valley School District Students taking the test?

  • Click here to view the district’s state assessment windows.  Schools set their own specific administration schedules within these windows.


How will results be used?

  • CMAS and PARCC assessments are designed to be point-in-time snapshots of what students know and can do in core content areas.  New assessments form a baseline for benchmarking student learning against state expectations.
  • Results are used by schools/districts to inform program, school and district improvement.
  •  The results are also used in the state’s accountability system to rate schools and districts.  Performance on tests will count towards school and district unified improvement plan type assignments.
  • Beginning with the class of 2018, Boulder Valley School District will place SAT college entrance examination test scores on student final transcripts, in accordance with state law.  BVSD will, if requested, issue a senior year mid-year transcript (used in most college admissions) without SAT scores. For the final transcript, BVSD will substitute scores from a later SAT administration upon receiving written evidence of higher scores attained at a later administration and a written request to substitute scores.  

How do we prepare students for testing?


What if I want to opt my student out of testing? 

As provided for in state law and district policy, parents may excuse their students from taking CMAS, PARCC and state college preparatory and college admissions examinations.  Click here to learn how to excuse your student from specific state tests.

Why computer-based test administration?

      Computer-based tests hold the potential for relatively swift delivery of student results, when compared to paper and pencil tests.  We didn’t experience this potential advantage in the first year, but may later. 

Where can I find information about data privacy and security?


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