CMAS

Updated on Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:57am

What is CMAS?

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) are Colorado’s standards-based assessments designed to measure the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) in the content areas of mathematics, English language arts (ELA), science and social studies. Eligible English learners in grades 3 and 4 may take the Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA)* assessment as an accommodation in place of ELA. A small number of students with significant cognitive disabilities who meet specific criteria may demonstrate their content knowledge on the CoAlt assessment which measures the Extended Evidence Outcomes (EEOs) of the CAS.

The purpose of the CMAS assessments is to indicate the degree to which students have mastered the expectations of the CAS in each content area at the end of the tested grade level. CMAS results are intended to provide one measure of a student’s academic progress relative to the CAS. Aggregated scores may be used by districts and schools to monitor their programs’ effectiveness by comparing performance from year to year.

The following table includes the content areas and grade levels that were assessed across Colorado in spring 2018.

  • CMAS ELA and Math tested in grades 3-8
  • CMAS Science tested in grades 5, 8 and 11
  • CMAS Social Studies tested in grades 4 and 7

*As a requirement of Colorado School Law C.R.S. §2271006.3 (4) (a) and (b), Spanish-speaking students in grades 3 and 4 who meet established eligibility criteria may take the CSLA assessment in place of the ELA assessment.

What are the Tests Like?

State tests are now taken on computer. Gone is the scantron paper-and-pencil format we grew up taking. The online format provides consistency across tests and grades, allows for easier text-to-speech and other accessibility options, and gives more time and flexibility with testing periods. Most importantly, online formats allow better evaluation of our students' critical thinking and problem solving, rather than simply their correct answers. 

Want to give the test a try? If you're brave enough to test, try the PARCC online practice tests.

Take a look at the old tests compared to the new tests: Elementary | Middle School

Or read the overview of changes to CMAS: PARCC in 2015. 

How Can I Help My Child? 

We believe parents are a child's first teacher. Your continued engagement in your child's learning is essential to their success. You can help your child succeed with CMAS testing by the following: 

  • Talk with your child about testing. Assure them it is just one aspect of school. 
  • Help your child get a good night's sleep and eat a good breakfast before test days. 
  • Work with your child's teacher to determine areas to work on and improve.
  • Read Five Power Moves for Supporting your Child Academically.

For more ideas, see the CDE's parent resources