We are excited to announce an important update regarding our website URL. As part of our ongoing efforts to improve functionality and increase internet security, we are changing our current URL from k12.wa.us to ospi.k12.wa.us. Read more about this change and its impact.
WCAS Educator Resources
This page provides information and access for the training tests, test design and item specifications, test scores, lessons learned from scoring student work, achievement level descriptors, and various science assessment presentations.
(Updated November 2020)
Students who take online assessments need opportunities to explore the features of the online assessment and to practice using the tools available to them. Students, families, and teachers can access Training Tests for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) on the Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program (WCAP) Portal.
Training Test Lesson Plans
(Updated May 2022)
Training Test lesson plans are available for each grade-level test. These documents include ways to practice using the tools for each item type, an answer key, and standards alignment for each question on the Training Tests.
- Grade 5 Training Test Lesson Plan
- Grade 5 Training Test Lesson Plan Video
- Grade 8 Training Test Lesson Plan
- Grade 8 Training Test Lesson Plan Video
- Grade 11 Training Test Lesson Plan
- Grade 11 Training Test Lesson Plan Video
Quick Start Guide
(Updated January 2021)
Please see the Quick Start Guide for information about accessing the WCAS training tests as a Guest User or through the secure browser.
Test Design & Item Specifications
The Test Design and Item Specifications documents describe how the clusters (stimulus and item sets) and standalone items for the WCAS are developed. They include a technical description of the assessment that ensures the assessment will measure the science standards in a reliable manner every year.
- Grade 5 Test Design and Item Specifications (updated January 2021)
- Grade 8 Test Design and Item Specifications (updated January 2021)
- High School Test Design and Item Specifications (updated January 2021)
- Modifications Log (updated January 2021)
Science Test Design & Item Specifications Webinars
Presentation Slides (Updated February 2020)
Webinar Recordings (Updated March 2020)
Statewide test scores are publicly released on Report Card.
For families: WCAS Score Reports for families arrive in districts in early October.
For educators: Scores are available in the Smarter Reporting System (SRS) in late August. Trainings, resources, and SRS can be accessed from the Scores and Reporting section of the WCAP Portal.
The Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) describe the knowledge, skills, and processes that students should know and do at each tested grade. The ALDs were developed by educators and used to recommend the Scale Score Ranges for Levels 1, 2, 3, 4 on the WCAS to the State Board of Education.
Lessons Learned from Scoring Student Work
(Updated October 2022)
The Science Assessment Team shares observations about student responses for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) field test items.
During their session at the virtual conference, the science assessment team shared design features and development processes for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) that help ensure an equitable and accessible measurement of student learning. Updates on resources and professional development opportunities available to educators were included.
(Updated December 2019)
Students in grades 5, 8, and 11 took the operational Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) for the second time in spring 2019. At this session, OSPI staff shared information and gathered session attendee questions and feedback on anything related to the WCAS. This effort will inform OSPI's continued development of resources and supports to inform learning and assessment outcomes for all students.