Do Colleges Look At MCAS Scores?

If you are proceeding ahead even after reading the title of this article, then you may be a student from Massachusetts or an aspirant of it or the parent of a student. Let us know about Do Colleges Look At MCAS Scores?

Do Colleges Look At MCAS Scores?

If it is so then, you are on the right platform to read the appropriate article of your concern. Here, in this article, you will be availed of all the information you need to know before giving the MCAS test.

Do Colleges Look At MCAS Scores?

What is MCAS?

  1. The meaning of MCAS in Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.
  2. Its name suggests that it is testing covering all elements or aspects of students’ previous and current knowledge.
  3. Massachusetts is a state located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and belongs to the area of the North- Eastern United States of America. It is a very populated city, hence developed continuous evaluation strategies like Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System to put students in the fields of their respective interests.
  4. MCAS was started in 1993 due to the coming up of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act in the same year.
  5. It is compulsory for all students who are involved in the classes of tested grades and in the study with the help of public funds to give this MCAS test.
  6. It was prepared for standardizing the knowledge level of students only, but not to measure the level of readiness of students in college or their career after college.
  7. A student who is getting benefits from public funds can renew it only if he/ she has a good score in MCAS. 

At which grade MCAS testing starts?

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment starts at grade 3 and then continues.

In how many subjects MCAS testing are available?

Subjects in which MCAS testing is available are as follows-

  1. Reading Math for Grade 3 students.
  2. English Language Arts Reading Comprehension and Mathematics for Grade 4 students.
  3. English Language Arts Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Science and Technology/ Engineering for Grade 5 students.
  4. English Language Arts Reading Comprehension and Mathematics for Grade 6 students.
  5. English Language Arts Reading Comprehension and Mathematics for Grade 7 students.
  6. English Language Arts Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Science and Technology/ Engineering for Grade 8 students.
  7. Science and Biology for Grade 9 students.
  8. English Language Arts Reading Comprehension and Composition, Mathematics, Science and Technology/ Engineering for Grade 10 students.
  9. Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, or Technology/ Engineering for high school students.

Do all students have to give the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Test?

Yes, it is a compulsory test for all the students enrolled in the colleges of Massachusetts.Before giving any exam, test, or assessment, the major concern of a student is whether the exam is just a passing one or you need to have a high score in that or for how many attempts of that exam you are eligible for. For MCAS, the concern is the same. So, do colleges consider MCAS scores?No, colleges don’t consider MCAS scores for any application or admission process.It is only a passing test, whose scores are a matter of concern to students only to reflect on the level of preparation they had done for their final exams.

However, it is a matter of relief for many students that colleges don’t see the results of MCAS scores. But, the main question that comes out here is that when it is compulsory to give MCAS tests then, why colleges don’t see the MCAS scores?

The main fact that hinders college authorities to consider the marks of MCAS is that it is a state-level exam.According to different researches, 84% variation comes in the scores of students in MCAS scores, due to only socioeconomic factors. 

MCAS only considers individual students’ effort or performance in tests, neglecting the level of effort and resources the college is providing them. Until High School, all students are dependent on their college.Thus the socio-economic factor decreases or increases the performances of students in MCAS, hence it can not be considered in any college application or admission process.

Do you also know that many education experts have critically evaluated the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System?

Their points of criticism are as follows – 

It is criticized for the way it pressurizes both students and teachers to limit themselves only to their grade’s syllabus/ curriculum. Even the Former Mayor Scott W. Lang of New Bedford opposed the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Test by stating it as “completely unsustainable” and “impractical” to be a part of the education system.

He said that many students dropout of high school as high school students must have to pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Testing to pass their graduation.

Also, teachers from public schools such as Joan Bosingnore of Easthampton High School have claimed that MCAS can not correctly demonstrate or analyze the skills that students have.The socio-economic factor is also a major part of their criticisms of MCAS.MCAS many times stated as Massachusetts Child Abuse System by a number of critics.


MCAS provides an opportunity for students to improve their performance by assessing their level of knowledge in a particular subject.So, instead of considering it as only a passing exam, take it as your preparatory examination. To better reflect on the status of your performance.

Some Frequently Asked Questions are-

How many times can a student take the MCAS test?

A student can’t take the MCAS testing-

  1. In the same year of testing, for more than three years.
  2. For more than four times in two consecutive years of studies.

What is a good MCAS score?

  1. An MCAS score is indicated by a number between 200 to 280.
  2. A score of 220 indicates the baseline for passing in the subjects of Science, Technology/ Engineering of MCAS.
  3. A score of 240 is an indicative line of proficiency in the subjects of English Language Arts Comprehension and Mathematics Subjects of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Testing.
  4. The closer your score on MCAS is to 280, the better you have performed.

How can a student check his/ her MCAS score?

They are available on your college website. As it is made mandatory for the college to report your test results to the college website by MCAS conducting body.

Can a student take a retest if he/ she fails MCAS testing once?

Yes, they can take a retest in their next grades or the same grades themselves.