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
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