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CMAS - Science and Social Studies Assessments


Sara Loerzel
Assessment Unit

Relevant Websites


News and Announcements

Final Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) Available for the High School CMAS Science and Social Studies Assessments


Spring 2015 Assessments

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS): Science and Social Studies assessments will be administered in elementary and middle schools this spring. 4th and 7th grade students will take the social studies assessments; 5th and 8th grade students will take the science assessments. The administration window is April 13 - May 1, 2015. 

Fall 2014 Assessments

The High School CMAS: Science and Social Studies assessments will be administered to 12th graders this fall. The administration window is November 3 - November 21, 2014.

Spring 2014 Assessments

Practice Environment

Practice testing environments, also referred to as ePATs (electronic Practice Assessment Tools), help to familiarize students with the testing environment. Districts are strongly encouraged to give students time to practice the tests before actual testing. The practice environment will help students navigate through the testing environment and learn to use the embedded supports.

Performance Levels and Policy Claims including Cut Scores

Each Performance Level of the CMAS Science and Social Studies assessments has a high level policy claim associated with it. This policy claim gives a general idea of what is expected of a student at each level regardless of their grade level. The Strong and Distinguished Command levels are on track for College and Career Readiness. 

Students taking the CMAS: Science and Social Studies assessments are given an overall scale score that ranges from 300-900. Colorado educators set cut scores for each performance level based on the specific content that students should be able to engage with at each Performance Level. The cut scores were then adopted by the State Board of Education in August 2014.

Grade Level Specific Performance Level Descriptors


The frameworks list the percent representation and number of score points for each of the reporting categories/standard areas that will appear on the summative assessments. They also specify the Evidence Outcomes that are eligible for inclusion on the state assessments. Topics explicitly identified in the Social Studies standards are legitimate content for the assessment in addition to the standards' concept and skills.

CDE has incorporated feedback on the draft versions of the frameworks from content experts and educators in the field to create the final versions. Small shifts in distribution of points were made across Social Studies standards in grade 4 and Science standards in grades 5 and 8. In addition to a shift in the distribution of points in high school Social Studies, changes were made to the assessable content in high school civics and economics.

Spring 2014 CMAS: Standards, PGCs, and GLEs

PearsonAccess Trainings

Unique Accommodations Request

If a student with a disability or an English learner requires an accommodation that is not listed in the CMAS: Science and Social Studies Accommodations Supplement, and does not change the construct being measured by the test, the District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) may request approval for use of an accommodation using the Unique Accommodations Request form. If approved, the accommodation must be listed in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan for a student with a disability or, if appropriate, for an English learner in their English Learner (EL) plan.  Unique Accommodations must be requested and approved for each testing year.

The Unique Accommodation form must be completed by the DAC and submitted to the Assessment Unit of the Colorado Department of Education prior to testing. A copy of this form must be kept in the student’s file and, if appropriate, retained at the district office.

Invitation to be included in the Educator Pool

If you are interested in participating in assessment development committees, please access the Educator Database questionnaire.

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