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CMAS - Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies Assessments

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Sara Loerzel
Assessment Unit

Get Involved!

Educator input is critical to Colorado's state assessment development and validation process. Educators may participate in committees related to the following state assessments:

  • Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS): Science, Social Studies, Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA)
  • Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA)
  • Colorado Alternate Assessment (CoAlt): Science and Social Studies

Join the Colorado Educator Pool for assessment development committee selection.

Spring 2017 CMAS Results - All Content Areas

Data and Results

Spring 2018 Administration Information

View Spring 2018 training information on the CDE Trainings webpage

Mathematics Assessment for 2017-2018

  • Students in grades 3-6 will take the grade level assessment for their enrolled grade.
  • Students in grade 7 have the option of taking the Grade 7 Mathematics, Algebra I, or the Integrated Mathematics I assessment.
  • Students in grade 8 have the option of taking the Grade 8 Mathematics, Algebra I, Geometry, or the Integrated Mathematics I or II assessment.
  • Calculator use policy for 2017
  • Directions for clearing graphing calculator memory

High School Assessments

  • Students in grade 11 will take the High School Science and Social Studies assessments.
  • Colorado State Statute § 22-7-1006.3 (1)(a)(III) …The department shall select the specific grades in which to administer the state social studies assessment, ensuring that students take the state social studies assessment once in elementary school, once in middle school, and once in high school; except that the department shall not administer the state social studies assessment to students enrolled in twelfth grade. The department shall administer the social studies assessment in a representative sample of public schools each school year, ensuring that it administers the social studies assessment in each public school at least once every three years.
    • 2017-18 is the third year of the first three year cycle.
    • High school social studies assessments were not administered in Years 1 and 2. All high schools are currently scheduled to participate in spring 2018 (Year 3).

Performance Level Descriptors

Science and Social Studies Performance Levels and Policy Claims including Cut Scores

Each Performance Level of the CMAS Science and Social Studies assessments (PDF) 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 Met and Exceeded Expectations 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 elementary and middle school cut scores were then adopted by the State Board of Education in August 2014; the high school cut scores were approved in April 2016.

Test Design



English Language Arts

Social Studies

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 assessible content in high school civics and economics.

Unique Accommodations Request

In Colorado, there is required guidance on several accommodations for math and ELA. Unique Accommodation Requests (UAR) must be securely submitted to CDE by the DAC via Syncplicity no later than December 15 for approval. Data from the current school year supporting the UAR must be included. (Updated guidance for 2018 coming soon)

  • Guidance and UAR form to determine if a student qualifies for reading access accommodations for the ELA/L assessment (e.g.,text-to-speech, signer, oral script, auditory presentation)
  • Guidance and UAR form to determine if a student qualifies for a calculator on the non-calculator portions of the assessment
  • Guidance and UAR form to determine if a student qualifies for a human scribe on the ELA/L assessment
  • Guidance and form for district approval of math charts and counters
  • Instructions for other accommodations (completed for accommodations not listed in the CMAS and CoAlt Procedures Manual)

Additional Resources

Student Resources

  • Student practice resources provide students with an opportunity to become familiar with the format and functionality of questions that appear on the CMAS assessments. The resources include technology-enhanced items (TEls) which allow students to indicate their responses to assessment questions in a format other than multiple-choice. The resources are not intended to cover all content or TEl types included on operational assessments. Sample items also provide students the opportunity to use the tools available in TestNav 8, the online testing software used in Colorado.

Educator Resources

Data Privacy & Security Policy

The Department of Education has established a website with a variety of information related to data privacy and security.

Archive Page

View math and ELA (PARCC) archived materials from previous administrations. Any materials on the archive page are not to be used during testing or training.

View science and social studies archived materials from previous administrations. Any materials on the archive page are not to be used during testing or training.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
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Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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