Free DCAS Practice Test

The Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) is taken by all students in grades 2-12 in the state of Delaware. The exam is entirely computer based and all questions are multiple choice (though it is possible some additional question types will be added in the future). According to the state of Delaware, computer-based testing offers the opportunity to provide immediate feedback to students, teachers, and other educators alike about students' performance.

Delaware reports two primary purposes for administering the DCAS: 1) to help schools and districts determine whether their students are making progress on meeting standards set by the state, and 2) to help the state determine how schools and districts are ensuring their students are being taught those same standards.

The difficulty of the questions presented to the students depends on the performance of the student. If the student is doing well, then more difficult questions will subsequently be asked; likewise, if students are doing poorly, easier questions will be asked. Therefore, the overall score is not based solely on the number of questions answered correctly but also on the difficulty of the questions asked. Students are not required to have a mastery of keyboard skills in order to participate in the computer-based test. Students are prepared for online testing by being provided practice tests in advance (in all subject areas), and a training test is also available for families to try out in advance. Some tools are provided during the test to aid in the assessments, including zoom features, highlighting particular passages, online calculators, striking out answer options for multiple-choice questions, and other features.

The DCAS was put in place in 2011 and replaced the Delaware Student Testing Program. In general, most assessments are initially given in the fall testing window, which allows for multiple retesting opportunities, midyear and in the spring, for those who performed below standard. However, any student can have any assessment re-administered to them during any retesting window.

For students in grade 2, only reading and mathematics assessments are given (in the spring) to provide preliminary information about overall student achievement. Reading and mathematics assessments are then given every year from grades 3 through 10; during the spring assessment period, schools are allowed to give students additional opportunities to pass the test if they were unsuccessful the first time. Science assessments are given in grades 5, 8, and 10; social studies assessments are given in grades 4 and 7.

The reading section assesses a student's ability to both read and comprehend various types of texts, especially informational and literary. The questions given are designed to test students' ability to make inferences about the text they just read, as well as to critically analyze the same material. Questions on the mathematics assessment assess the conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and overall knowledge of various mathematical processes. The purpose of the science section is to assess whether students have the ability to grasp key scientific principles as well as solve realistic problems using those same principles. The social studies section assesses whether students can apply key concepts to everyday living within a diverse world while testing core areas such as civics, economics, geography, and history.

For each section of the exam, the score level ranges from 1 to 4. An assessment of 1 signifies a student scoring well below the standards set for that grade level. An assessment of 2 signifies a student scoring below the standards. An assessment of 3 means a student is meeting the standards. An assessment of 4 means the student is scoring above the standards.

The state strongly encourages that students with disabilities, as well as those known as "English language learners," take the exam. In some instances, accommodations can be made for students with disabilities, such as having the person administering the exam read out loud the passages from the reading section. However, accommodations such as these mean a student's score will be classified as "non-standard," which means that their scores cannot be compared meaningfully with the scores of students who are given "standard" scores.

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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