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Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP)

Students in grades 3-8 take the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Achievement Test each spring. The Achievement Test is a timed, multiple choice assessment that measures skills in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Student results are reported to parents, teachers and administrators.

TCAP Competency
The TCAP Competency Test is a multiple-choice test designed to measure student achievement in certain mathematics and language arts skills. The test consists of a mathematics sub-test and a language arts sub-test that includes sections on spelling, language and reading.

As of the fall semester of the 2001-2002 school year, all students entering the ninth grade must pass each sub-test before they can graduate with a regular diploma. Additional testing opportunities are available in the spring and summer for those needing to retake one or both subtests.

In order to graduate with a regular diploma, students entering high school for the first time in or after the fall semester of the 2001-2002 school year will be required to pass the Gateway Tests in Mathematics, Science, and Language Arts. The last scheduled administration of the Competency Test will be in the summer of 2004. Subsequent to that date, students who have not successfully passed the TCAP/CT will be required to pass the Gateway Tests for a regular diploma.

Writing Assessment
The Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Writing Assessment requires students to write a rough draft essay in response to an assigned prompt (topic) within a limited time period. Fifth-grade students are asked to write a narrative essay (a story), eighth-grade students an expository essay (an explanation), and eleventh-grade students a persuasive essay (an argument). The writing samples are scored holistically.

End of Course Examinations (High School)
On October 29, 1998, in compliance with TCA 49-1-608 and TCA 49-6-6001(a)(1), the State Board of Education designated ten high school courses as the basis for End-of-Course examinations. The Select Oversight Committee on Education of the Tennessee General Assembly subsequently affirmed the State Board’s recommendation.

To raise the academic bar for all high school students and add accountability for students’ academic performance, Tennessee has adopted a new testing program for End-of-Course Tests in key subjects. Beginning with freshmen entering high school in 2001-02, students must pass the Mathematics, Science, and Language Arts tests to earn a high school diploma. These three tests are referred to as Gateway Tests.

The revised End-of-Course Assessment Program will include Algebra I (also taken by Math for Technology II students), Algebra II, Geometry, Math Foundations II, Biology I (also taken by Biology for Technology I students), Physical Science, Chemistry, English I, English II and US History. All ten of the End-of-Course Assessments will count as part of the course grade for any student enrolled in the related course. Development of the Algebra II, Geometry, Physical Science, Chemistry, and US History tests is currently on hold.

Mathematics, Science and Language Arts, the three Gateway tests, are also end-of-course tests and fall under this guideline. These tests are given at the end of the following courses: Algebra I and Math for Technology II, Biology I and Biology for Technology II, and English II.

Merit’s language arts and math software programs correlate to the Tennessee Curriculum Standards and can help students prepare for the TCAP tests. 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 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP).

Visit our Curriculum Correlations for Tennessee.

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