Test Support: Planning

Statewide tests are an important part of measuring student learning. They help compare a child to his or her peers, and a child’s school to schools in the same neighborhood, in the same school system, and across the state. Maryland has statewide assessments for the grade levels as follows:

  • Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) in kindergarten covers seven indicators: social and personal development; language and literacy; mathematical thinking; scientific thinking; social studies; the arts; and physical development.
  • Maryland School Assessment (MSA) from grades 3 through 8 covers math, reading, and in grades 5 and 8, science. The content and format of the MSA help prepare students for success on the HSAs.
  • Maryland High School Assessments (HSAs) cover four core subject areas – algebra/data analysis, English, government, and biology.

Each series of assessments builds on the last and is fully aligned with the statewide curriculum. If a student is actively participating in class, completing all readings and assignments, and performing well on tests and quizzes throughout elementary and middle school, he or she should be prepared to succeed on the HSAs.


As a parent, you have substantial influence over how well your child performs in school. Planning for the future starts in middle school.

  • Making sure your child keeps up with classwork, homework, projects, tests, and quizzes not only ensures the work gets done, but also lets your child know that education is a priority.
  • Communicating with teachers, school counselors, and school staff will help you and your child understand what he or she knows and still needs to learn.
  • Creating a plan or path of study will provide a guide for the coming years so students can meet expectations.


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