Montana CRT Test Prep

About Montana’s Standardized Tests for 3rd – 8th Grades, and High School

Are your kids preparing for Montana’s Criterion-Referenced Tests? The Montana Comprehensive Assessment System, known as MontCAS, uses Criterion-Referenced Tests (MT CRT) to measure the progress of students from third to eighth grades, as well as tenth grade. Montana CRT test results provide actionable data to help parents, teachers, and students improve academic performance in reading, math, and science. Montana also uses the Iowa Norm-Referenced Tests for fourth, eighth, and eleventh grade students. MontCAS test results are essential to the evaluation each school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Time4Learning and Time4Writing are two online services that teach many of the MontCAS designated skills. We offer this page to support your research on the best ways to help your kids with MontCAS test practice and preparation.

MontCAS Tests at a Glance

Montana public school students take the following MontCAS tests:

Montana CRT Tests: 3rd – 8th Grades, and 10th Grade

The Montana CRT Tests assess students’ progress in meeting the Montana Content Standards. These Montana state standards define what students should learn in every grade. The annual Montana CRT testing is administered as follows:

MT CRT – Reading: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th grades.

MT CRT – Math: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th grades.

MT CRT – Science: Fourth, eighth, and tenth grades.

Montana Norm-Referenced Tests: 4th, 8th, and 11th Grades

MontCAS also administers the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) to 4th and 8th graders, and the Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) to 11th graders. The ITBS and ITED assess students in reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies. These are nationally standardized, norm-referenced achievement tests, which measure Montana students’ performance in relation to the performance of students across the United States.

How Montana MontCAS Tests Are Scored

The MT CRT testing measures how well students have mastered grade-level content and skills, as specified by the Montana Content Standards. As criterion-referenced tests, your child will only compete against him or herself, rather than be compared against other test takers, as with norm-referenced tests. Student achievement in each subject is reported by one of four levels:

1. Advanced

2. Proficient

3. Nearing Proficient

4. Novice

ITBS and ITED scores are expressed as percentile ranks, based on the scores of all students in the same grade nationwide. For example, a percentile rank of 75 means your child scored as well or better than 75% of students who took the test across the country. The national average for all schools is 50.

Other Montana Standardized Tests

Montana uses a balanced range of assessments to promote learning for all students. Montana’s Criterion-Referenced Test Alternate Assessment (CRT-Alternate) is designed to measure the progress of students with severe cognitive disabilities. All students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) take the Montana English Language Proficiency Assessment (MontCAS ELP), which measures progress in English language acquisition. Montana is also a leader in ensuring that Native American students are offered a quality education.

NAEP in Montana

Montana 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 MontCAS Tests

For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page.

The real preparation for the Montana CRT, 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 Montana Education, visit:

Montana State Office of Public Instruction
Montana Homeschooling Information

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