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With the MCAS season underway and teachers trying to help students, we received a few requests to get insight into how the questions are distributed across the learning standards. Or, how many questions are allocated to each standard area in a given year or grade level? Or, Do you have the frequency analysis of questions that has ever been given in the past few years of the MCAS exam?

As we started working on one off requests, we decided to put the entire material in a simple to use spreadsheet so it can benefit as many teachers and tutors as possible. To use the spreadsheet and see this for yourself click on the MCAS Question and Content Analysis-v2.xls in your browser. In order for this to work, you will need Microsoft Excel (part of MS Office suite).

Save the spreadsheet on your local drive, open the spreadsheet and click on the “MCAS-TestAnalysis” Tab.

On this tab make the selection for various choices in the drop down boxes on the upper left:

  • Grade level  (Row 3 )
  • Year published (Row 4)
  • Test Name (Row 5)

You can further refine the data on Row 8 by filtering

  • Subject name
  • Topics name
  • Standard name

By default the report shows data for grade 6 but you can change that in Row 3 by making other selection.

The question distribution report will show as you make selection changes. I hope you will find this useful. Few teachers are using this data to create a series of formative assessments that focus on the highest frequency questions for each strand.

If you have any feedback or comments please let us know. Also, feel free to pass this along to any other teachers who you think will find it useful.

In the future we will try to hook this report into Socrato as a feature so you will have access without Excel. For more interesting content and learning data analysis checkout or contact us to setup a demo.

Best Regards,

UPDATE – uploaded the new version of excel file – this has the full description of each standard.