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South Carolina Statewide Assessment Program

The following are brief descriptions of the tests given by the state of South Carolina.

PACT: Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests

PACT is part of South Carolina’s statewide assessment program, which measures student performance in respect to the state standards. It is administered to all students in grades three through eight each year. The PACT includes tests in four subject areas - English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies.

BSAP: Basic Skills Assessment Program Exit Exams

The BSAP Exit Examination is being phased out gradually and will eventually be replaced by the New South Carolina Exit Examination.

The BSAP Exit Examination is a criterion-referenced test administered in mathematics, reading, and writing. Students must meet standard requirements on all three parts of the test in order to receive a South Carolina high school diploma. The BSAP examination is administered initially to tenth graders in the spring. Students who do not meet standards in any of the areas tested may take that portion of the test again in the eleventh grade and twice in the twelfth grade.

The Education Accountability Act of 1998 requires the development of end-of-course examinations in gateway or benchmark courses. This endeavor is called the End-of-Course-Examination Program (EOCEP). The examinations, which determine 20 percent of the students’ final grade in each gateway or benchmark course, currently include Algebra 1/Math for the Technologies 2, English 1, Physical Science, and Biology 1/Applied Biology 2. In 2006-07, U.S. History and Constitution will be added.

SCRA: South Carolina Readiness Assessment

The Education Accountability Act of 1998 requires that the Department of Education develop or select readiness assessment to determine students’ readiness for first and second grade. SCRA is an unobtrusive measure that relies on teacher observation and documentation. It is an adaptation of the Work Sampling System, and was field-tested statewide in 2000-01. The EAA provides that the results of the assessment are not to be used for either the retention of students or accountability.

NRT: Norm-Referenced Test

The Education Accountability Act of 1998 requires the annual administration of a norm-referenced achievement battery. The tests are administered to representative samples of students in three of the grades three through eleven. TerraNova, published by CTB McGraw-Hill, is the achievement battery in current use. TerraNova is administered to a sample of about 20,000 students divided among three grade levels each year. The three grade levels rotate according to a three-year cycle. In 2001, grades 4, 7, and 10 were tested. In 2002, grades 3, 6, and 9 were tested, and in 2003, grades 5, 8, and 11 were tested. The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee is responsible for selecting the sample.

Merit’s language arts and math software programs correlate to the South Carolina curriculum standards and can help students prepare for the State assessments. The content and format of Merit’s programs can help students develop and strengthen their test-taking skills as well as their reading, writing and math skills.

Merit reading software has been proven -- through rigorous, scientifically based research -- to increase both student reading comprehension and standardized test scores. Merit research study findings reveal that education software is an effective tool to improve test scores and academic performance.

Published: May 2005

Merit Software's programs address the specific areas covered on the South Carolina Statewide Assessment Program.

Visit our Curriculum Correlations for South Carolina.

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