The Montana Comprehensive Assessment System (MontCAS) meets the testing requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and ensures that all children have the opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and assessments.

All Montana public and nonpublic accredited schools are required to test all students in the following content areas:

Schools must also annually assess the English language proficiency of identified English Learners (ELs).

General and Alternate Tests in Reading/English Language Arts (Grades 3-8 and 11)

ELA Required Tests

For reading/language arts in Montana, all students in Grades 3-8 and Grade 11 are assessed using tests aligned to the state's content standards. The OPI administers the Smarter Balanced assessment for English Language Arts (ELA) in Grades 3-8. For students with severe cognitive disabilities, the OPI administers the Multi-State Alternative Assessment (MSAA) test. For Grade 11, the OPI administers the ACT test for ELA and for students with severe cognitive disabilities, the MSAA test.

 Elementary and Middle School Statewide Assessments  High School Statewide Assessments
 Given at Grades 3-8  Given at Grade 11
 The SB is for general-population students.  The ACT is for general-population students.

SBAC Icon

ACT icon
 
Elementary, Middle School, and High School Statewide Assessments   
Given at Grades 3-8 and 11
The MSAA is for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
MSAA Icon

General and Alternate Tests in Mathematics (Grades 3-8 and 11)

Math Required Tests

For math in Montana, all students in Grades 3-8 and Grade 11 are assessed using tests aligned to the state's content standards. The OPI administers the SBAC test for math in grades 3-8. For students with severe cognitive disabilities, the OPI administers the Multi-State Alternative Assessment (MSAA) test. For Grade 11, the OPI administers the ACT test for math, and, for students with severe cognitive disabilities, the MSAA test.

 Elementary and Middle School Statewide Assessments  High School Statewide Assessments
 Given at Grades 3-8  Given at Grade 11
 The SBAC is for general-population students.  The ACT is for general-population students.
 SBAC Icon  ACT icon
Elementary, Middle School, and High School Statewide Assessments   
Given at Grades 3-8 and 11
The MSAA is for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
MSAA Icon

English Language Proficiency (ELP) General and Alternate Tests (Grades K-12)

English Language Proficiency (ELP) Required Test

The OPI statewide assessment includes annual ELP in Grades K-12. The OPI requires the inclusion of all accredited public and nonpublic elementary and secondary school students in its assessment system.

For English Learners (ELs):

  • Policies state that all ELs must be included in the assessment system unless the OPI exempts a student who has attended schools in the U.S. for less than 12 months.

The annual federal- and state-required ELP assessment is shown below.

 Elementary, Middle School, and High School Statewide Assessments
 Given at Grades K-12
 The WIDA ACCESS assessment measures the Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing for Students Identified as ELs. 
ELs must be assessed annually until they reach proficiency. 
 ACCESS for ELLS

General and Alternates Tests in Science (Grades 5, 8, and 11)

Science Required Tests

In Spring 2019, the CRT-Science and its Alternate were administered for the last time using the OPI’s published guidance for test administration and test security. The new Montana Science Assessment program will be implemented in Spring 2020 under updated guidance; all students in grades 5, 8, and 11 will be administered a science test.


Elementary and Middle School Statewide Assessments

High School Statewide Assessment
 Given at Grades 5 and 8  Given at Grade 11
MSA Icon
ACT icon
The MSA for general-population students.
 
The ACT is for general-population students.

 
   
Elementary, Middle School, and High School Statewide Assessments
Given at Grades 5, 8, and 11
AMSAIcon
The AMSA is for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
 


Although the CRT and CRT-Alt will no longer be administered, results from previous test cycles will remain available on MARS.
 
CRT icon
 
CRT Alt Icon