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State Assessments

Currently, the State of Tennessee contracts with Pearson, a national leader in large-scale assessment, to develop and administer state assessments in grades 2-12. The purpose of state assessments is multi-faceted. Assessments provide feedback about students’ academic progress and how that progress aligns with grade-level expectations, builds confidence and transparency about student readiness for college and the workforce, and helps educators strengthen instruction and reflect on practice.

The TCAP assessment is a fully aligned assessment that captures the depth and breadth of what students are learning--and have been learning--in the classroom every day. The information from this year’s assessment will provide educators, parents, and students with a perspective on how students are progressing academically compared to their peers across Tennessee, and better information about a student’s strengths, needs, and areas for growth.

TCAP has been Tennessee’s testing program since 1988 which includes assessments in math, English language arts, social studies, and science. It also includes alternative assessments like MSAA and TCAP-Alt for students with special needs. With high expectations for academic progress, our tests have become better aligned to what educators are teaching. The assessments include rigorous questions that measure students' writing, critical thinking, and problem solving skills, not just memorization skills. This assessment process provides schools, teachers, and parents with valuable information about college and career readiness and is an important factor in determining what our students know and what we can do to help them succeed in the future. 

Additional information about state assessments can be found on the Tennessee Department of Education's testing page



  • All state-mandated assessments will be administered toward the end of the academic year (or at the end of the semester for high school students on block schedule).

    Fall Block Testing Window 
    November 27, 2023 - December 14, 2023 (tentative)

    Spring Block Testing Window
    High School: April 15, 2024 - May 3, 2024 Computer-Based (tentative)
    Grades 6-8: April 15, 2024- May 3, 2024 Computer-Based (tentative)
    Grades 3-5: April 15, 2024- May 3, 2024 Paper/Pencil Format (tentative)

    Assessments that require extended written responses, like the writing portion of ELA tests and the writing portion of the U.S. history test, will be completed at the beginning of the testing window to allow the vendor time to expedite the scoring process.

    *Dates are subject to change*

  • While all subjects will be administered in one testing window toward the end of the school year in grades 2-8 and toward the end of each semester in grades 9-12, each subject will be delivered in multiple sub-parts or sessions. The structure will allow for greater scheduling flexibility within the testing window.

    Subject area tests will have the following number of sub-parts:

    • ELA: 4 Subparts
    • Math: 3 Subparts (Grade 2: 2 Subparts)
    • Science: Grades 3-8, 1 Subpart *subject to change*
    • Biology: 1 Subpart
    • U.S. History: 2 Subparts
    • Social Studies: Grades 3-8, 2 Subparts *subject to change*
  • TCAP Assessments for students in grades 3-8 include:

    • Math
    • English/language arts (ELA)
    • Science and Social Studies.

    Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities will take the MSAA for ELA and math and the TCAP-Alt for social studies and science.

    TCAP Alt. Grades 3-11
    MSAA & Science/Social Studies

  • Students will take TCAP state assessments for courses with End of Course exams (EOCs) which include the following:

    • English I/II
    • Algebra I/Geometry/Algebra II
    • U.S. History
    • Biology

    Students in grade 10 with the most significant cognitive disabilities will take the TCAP-Alt assessment for science. Similarly, students in grade 11 with the most significant cognitive disabilities will take the MSAA for ELA and math.

    MSAA: Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grade 11 will take the MSAA for ELA and math and the TCAP-Alt for students in grade 10 for biology. The MSAA is administered online by the teacher.

    TCAP Alt. Grades 3-11
    MSAA & Science/Social Studies

    Per state law (T.C.A. § 49-6-408) graduating seniors are required to complete a United States civics test. The test must be composed of 25 to 50 questions taken from the civics test administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    ACT/SAT is a graduation requirement beginning with the 2017-2018 graduating class.