Updated on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 2:44pm

What is CMAS?

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) are the new state assessments, which measure students’ progress at the end of the school year in English language arts, math, science and social studies. CMAS features two new tests: tests developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to assess language arts and math, and Colorado-developed tests, which assess science and social studies. 

CMAS Parent Guide (PDF): English | Spanish
CMAS Mythbusters (PDF): English | Spanish

Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, House Bill 15-1323 added the requirement of a College Preparatory Exam for the 10th grade and the College Entrance Exam for the 11th grade. These tests are a part of CMAS. In the past, the College Entrance Exam was known as the ACT.

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. 

What Will the Scores Look Like?

The Colorado Department of Education has developed a score report guide for parents (en español) which helps explain the CMAS: PARCC scores.

Score Report Parent Guide: English | Spanish
Score Report Samples: English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Arabic | Chinese (Mandarin) | Haitian Creole | Navajo | Polish | Portuguese | Russian | Urdu

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 guide