Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program
Washington State’s Transition from WASL to WCAP Online Testing
Starting in the 2009-2010 school year, Washington State is transitioning from the WASL assessment program to the new Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program (WCAP), which features shorter, computer-based tests, and provides more diagnostic information for teachers and families. The new WCAP tests include the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) tests for third grade to eighth grade, and the new the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE). As the replacement for WASL, Washington’s WCAP, will also provide better reporting on each school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
Time4Learning and Time4Writing—two online services that teach many of the Washington MSP test skills—offer this page to support your research on the best ways to help your kids with WA WCAP test practice and preparation.
Washington WCAP at a Glance
Washington public school students take the following WCAP tests:
Washington MSP Tests: 3rd Grade – 8th Grade
As the WASL replacement for grades 3-8, the Washington Measurements of Student Progress tests are aligned to Washington’s Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs). These Washington State Learning Standards define what students should learn in every grade. The Washington MSP testing will be administered as follows:
WA MSP Test – Reading: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
WA MSP Test – Math: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
WA MSP Test – Writing: Fourth and seventh grades
WA MSP Test – Science: Fifth and eighth grades
Currently administered one time per school year, the Washington MSP tests will be given twice a year, beginning in the fall of 2010. More frequent testing will provide further information on students’ progress to better support individualized instruction.
Reading Fluency and Accuracy: 2nd Grade
All second-graders in Washington are required to have their oral reading skills tested. Schools may also test reading comprehension in second grade.
Washington High School Proficiency Exams
As the WASL replacement for high school, the Washington HSPE tests are given in reading, math, writing and science. Students in 10th grade take WA HSPE tests in all subjects.
The Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program begins online testing administration in select grades in the spring of 2010, with the goal of WCAP online testing statewide by 2012.
How WCAP Tests Are Scored
Washington MSP and HSPE test scores show how well students have mastered grade-level expectations as specified by the EALRs or Washington State Learning Standards. Student achievement in each subject is reported by one of four performance levels:
Level 1: Below Basic
Level 2: Basic
Level 3: Proficient
Level 4: Advanced
Students with proficient or advanced scores have passed or “met the standard.” High school students must pass HSPE tests in reading and writing as a requirement for graduation. Students are given multiple chances, if necessary, to pass the tests. Beginning with the class of 2013, students will be required to meet state standards in reading, writing, math, and science in order to graduate. If your child is struggling with WCAP testing, contact your school and find out what you can do to support learning at home.
Other Washington Standardized Tests
The Washington Alternate Assessment System (WAAS) provides alternate assessments that promote learning for all students, including those with severe cognitive disabilities. Students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) take the Washington Language Proficiency Test II (WLPT-II), which measure progress in English language acquisition.
NAEP in Washington State
Washington also participates annually in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card, where a sampling of students (from grades 4, 8, and/or 12) are tested in several content areas as part of a nationally representative assessment of student performance.
Preparing for the Washington WCAP
For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page.
The real preparation for Washington MSP tests, or any standardized test, begins with your commitment to your children’s education throughout their school years. Devote time and effort to helping your children learn. Start by making sure your kids do their homework and read every day. Many families also employ tutors or an online learning program, such as Time4Learning, to build fundamental skills.
When preparing for standardized tests, students often benefit from test prep programs and books, which offer guidance and practice with test formats, time restrictions, test-taking strategies (when to guess, when not to), and different types of questions. For instance, when a reading passage is followed by comprehension questions, many test prep programs teach students to scan the questions first in order to know what areas of the passage require close reading. Time4Learning is not a test prep program, it is a program that builds the skills that will be tested.
Time4Learning is a new approach that takes advantage of today’s technology. It’s a convenient, online home education program that combines learning with fun educational teaching games.
The online language arts and math curriculum comprise a comprehensive program for preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Science and social studies programs are provided as a free bonus for most grades.
Time4Writing provides highly effective, 8-week writing courses online that help elementary, middle and high school students build writing skills through one-on-one interaction with a certified teacher.
Kids like using the computer to learn and to develop their skills. Time4Learning’s educational teaching games give students independence as they progress at their own pace.
Parents like that it tracks progress and helps kids advance by teaching through individualized learning paths that assure mastery of the skills and concepts that makes kids succeed.
Have a child with math and language arts skills at different grade levels? No problem, just tell us in the online registration process.
Time4Learning is proven effective, has a low monthly price, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can be sure that it works for your family, risk free!
For more information and resources on Washington Education, visit:
Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
Washington Homeschooling Information