State Assessment FAQs

This page is designed to help families understand details related to Maine's state assessments.

(This page is adapted from the MCAS site.)

General Assessment

Q: Should my child take the tests?
A: Assessing student learning is an essential aspect of education, as it provides data that can lead to improved instruction and outcomes. Assessments take many forms, and each type of assessment has distinct value and purpose in a comprehensive assessment system. For more information on why participation matters see:

The Maine DOE is required by Maine Statutes 20-A, Section 6209, and by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Section 111l(b)(3) to assess all students in grades 3-8 and at one point in high school in the content areas of mathematics and English language arts (ELA)/literacy.

For more information about federal guidelines for testing, please see:

Q: What are the names of all the new tests and the content/grade level each covers?

A: ELA and Math will be assessed using the NWEA assessment. Science will be assessed using the New Meridian Science Assessment.

B: The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MECAS) offers equivalent alternate assessment (for students with documented significant disabilities).

General Education Alternate Grades

MEA Math & ELA/Literacy

MEA Alternate MSAA 3-8 & 3rd year high school
MEA Science MEA Alternate Science PAAP 5, 8, 3rd year high school
ACCESS for ELLs (English Language Learners)

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

(English Language Learners)



Q: Is the assessment aligned to the Maine Learning Results?

A: The Maine Learning Results are the State standards for eight content areas and are periodically reviewed to ensure they are aligned to better prepare our students for success in college and career readiness.

Q: Can you clarify state law and federal law regarding opt-out? Can you clarify a process/procedure for families wishing to opt-out?

A:F ederal statute requires that parents receive notification indicating their right to request the districts policies and procedures regarding student participation in state and local assessments. When this information is requested, the district will provide all applicable information to families. The district should be prepared to provide families with their assessment related policies and procedures, this would include an non-participation (opt-out) procedure if the district and school has such a procedure in place.

MSAD 75 utilizes all assessment data to help inform our practices at the district, school, classroom and individual levels for our students. Although we encourage students and parents to participate fully in our assessment program, it is important to note that parents/guardians may opt their child out of state testing. If you are interested in doing so, please also reach out to your child's principal to make this request in writing.

Grade 3-8 and 11th grade

Q: What is the testing time required for the online testing in Math and English Language Arts for grades 3-8 and 11th?

A: This chart shows the testing time for each testing component. 

Test Section Number of Sessions Time per Session (min)
Mathematics 1 approx. 45 
Reading 1 approx. 45
Science 3 approx. 75


Q: Will the assessment be paper-based or online? 

A: The assessment will be online.

Q: What is the spring testing window?

A: The spring testing window for grades 3-8 and 11th grade Is May 4 - June 15.  Your child's school will schedule testing within that window, and inform you of those plans.


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