Standardized Testing


The Massachusetts Education Reform Law of 1993 requires that all students who are seeking to earn a high school diploma earn a passing grade on the three high school level subject area MCAS exams:

  • MCAS Science & Technology (9th Grade)
  • MCAS English Language Arts (10th Grade)
  • MCAS Mathematics (10th Grade)

A passing grade is defined as a scaled score of at least 240 or a scaled score of 220 contingent upon the completion of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP).

Students are encouraged to prepare for the High School MCAS exams. If a student does not earn a passing grade, he or she may retake the test the following year.

Students with an IEP or 504 Plan may also be eligible to access accommodations on the MCAS exams.  For more information about MCAS Exams, see the MA Department of Education website.

MCAS Alternate Assessment 

Students with the most significant disabilities who are unable to take the standard MCAS tests even with accommodations participate in the MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt). 

MCAS-Alt consists of a portfolio of specific materials collected annually by the teacher and student. Evidence for the portfolio may include work samples, instructional data, videotapes, and other supporting information.

Students who complete an MCAS Alernate Assessment may earn a certificate of completion if they meet all other graduation requirements. These students are not eligible to earn a high school diploma.


The SAT and ACT are standardized tests required for admission at many US colleges and universities. Some colleges, including most community colleges, do not require applicants to take these tests. Students typically take the SAT or ACT during their 11th and 12th grade years in high school.  

The PSAT is a test designed to prepare students to take the SAT.  PSAT results are not sent to colleges; however, these scores may qualify a student for the National Merit Scholarship (NMSQT).  Students typically take the PSAT during the fall of their 11th grade year.  

Students with an IEP or 504 Plan may be eligible for accommodations on PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Students and their guardians must complete the accommodation form provided by their special education liaison or 504 Plan administrator. The form should be completed well in advance of the test so that there is adequate time for it to be processed.


Students may consider whether the SAT or ACT will provide a more accurate reflection of their knowledge and abilities.  There are distinct differences between each test that students should be aware of.

Students should discuss this choice with their guidance counselor. Click here for more information about the differences between the ACT and SAT.

See below for information about test prep or to register for the PSAT, SAT, or ACT:


Accuplacer is a suite of tests that determines a student's knowledge in math, reading and writing as he or she prepare to enroll in college-level courses.

Students who have been accepted to college or technical school may be required to take the Accuplacer test in order to determine which college courses they may enroll in.

Click here to learn about Accuplacer test prep resources.