State Mandated Assessments


Students in grades 3-8 take the CMAS English Language Arts and Mathematics exams each Spring. Grades 5, 8, & 11 take the Colorado Measure of Academic Success (CMAS) science exam each Spring. Grades 4, 7, & 11 students are administered the social studies exam on a sampling basis to one-third of schools. CMAS is Colorado’s standards-based assessment designed to measure the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS). The purpose of the CMAS assessments is to provide one measure of the degree to which students have mastered these standards at the end of the tested grade level. In addition to the student-level information provided, schools and districts may use the data across their school and districts to make adjustments to instructional programming for the following year.

If you have any questions, please contact Julie Adamek, Testing Coordinator at julie.adamek@

PSAT 8/9

Seventh and eighth-grade students will take the PSAT 8/9 in October. This is also the state-mandated Spring exam for ninth-graders. The PSAT 8/9 is the “practice” SAT test which helps students and teachers predict performance on the SAT exam, and tailor instruction to the individual needs of students. (Click here for more information)


We are giving 7th and 8th graders the option to take the PSAT in October for Practice. You may opt your child out of this test. Tenth-grade students will take the PSAT 10 in April. This is the state-mandated Spring exam for Sophomores. Scores from this exam also predict performance on the SAT, and are used by parents, students, and teachers to inform preparation for the SAT. (Click here for more information.)


The SAT is a college admission assessment. Colorado uses the SAT for state-mandated testing for Juniors in the Spring. Students wishing to take the exam again can do so via national testing sites. (Click here for more information)

READ Act Interims: iReady

Achieving reading competency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone for every student and predicts ongoing educational success. If a student enters fourth grade without achieving reading competency, he or she is significantly more likely to fall behind in all subject areas beginning in fourth grade and later graders. Early literacy development is not only a critical milestone in a child’s path to success, but it is also one of Colorado’s top education priorities. The Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (the READ Act), passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2012, focuses on early literacy development for all students and especially for students at risk for not achieving third grade reading proficiency. The READ Act focuses on kindergarten through third grade (K-3) literacy development, literacy assessment and individual READ plans for students identified with a Significant Reading Deficiency.

Federally Mandated Assessments


K-12 Identified English Learners (NEP, LEP) take this exam each January. This assessment will allow educators, students, and families to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing and will be aligned with the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards.

Formative Assessments


All students in grades 3-8 will take the Science MAP exam. Teachers will notify their classes of their specific testing dates. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments are unique in that they are adaptive tests your child will take on a computer. This means that the test becomes more difficult the more questions your child answers correctly. If your child incorrectly answers a question, the test becomes easier. Therefore, your child will be taking a test specifically created for his or her learning level. Data collected from these assessments will be used to measure individual student growth. Class placement decisions will be made based on this data so it is vital that students do their best in order to be assigned to the correct classes. For more information please click here for more information about the MAP test.


All students in grades 1-12 will take the iReady Math exam. K-1 students will take iReady Early Literacy for reading, and 2-12 with take iReady Reading. Elementary students complete these formative assessments in the fall, winter, and spring, while secondary students take the exams in the fall and spring. Teachers will notify their classes of specific testing dates. All iReady assessments are computer adaptive exams, meaning that the test becomes more difficult the more questions your child answers correctly, and becomes easier when students answer incorrectly. This allows students, teachers, and parents to pinpoint areas for growth in reading and mathematics. Class placement decisions will be made based on this data so it is vital that students do their best in order to be assigned to the correct classes. For more information please click here for more information about the iReady test.

Universal Screener


The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) appraises the cognitive development of students and measures students’ learned reasoning abilities. It is used as a universal screen in grade 5, and via referral testing in grades K, 1, 2, & 4 to help determine a need for early intervention and programming needs. This assessment is one piece of a body of evidence in the identification process for Gifted and Talented programming.

College Preparation Exams


The American College Testing exam (ACT) is an exam taken by students for college admission, typically during the junior year of high school. The ACT has four subtests: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. The Writing test is optional, but most colleges want to see a Writing score so you are well advised to take a test with Writing at least once. Visit to prepare for the test. This exam will not be offered at STEM, but you can sign up for one of the national testing dates. (Click here for more information about the ACT)

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

STEM offers several AP courses to high school students. Those who take these courses are required to take the AP test in the specific content area to receive potential college credit.  AP Exam dates are determined by College Board and are held in May each year. (Click here for more information about AP Exams)


All STEM 11th grade students will take the PSAT/NMSQT (not the PSAT 10) in October. Students will be taking it on October 13 and students will receive materials from their Language Arts teachers The PSAT is the “practice” SAT test which is also used by the College Board during a student’s junior year as a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Program. STEM 10th graders will also take the PSAT10 in April as mandated by the State. (Click here for more information about the PSAT)

PSAT score reports All juniors who take this test in October are notified in January that they can access their scores online through their College Board accounts.  In late January/early February, students are invited to attend optional PSAT information sessions (PPT attached below) where paper score reports and test booklets are distributed and reviewed. Paper score reports and test booklets are distributed during class registration meetings to students who do not attend the information sessions.

SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests are only required at certain colleges, generally those of more selectivity. These one hour tests are available in a variety of subjects and consist of primarily multiple-choice questions. (Click here for more information about SAT Subject tests)