Sophomore Students Begin Testing For the MCAS


The gymnasium is ready for students.

Danielle Levya

The gymnasium is ready for students.

Walpole High School sophomores begin taking the English Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessement System (MCAS) exams on Tuesday March 20. The English portion of the MCAS exams consists of a long composition and reading comprehension, which is broken down into three separate test days. On Tuesday morning the students taking the test will enter the school and sit in the gymnasium, which is filled with desks for students to work at for hours on the MCAS. Last year, 96 percent of the students who took the MCAS received proficient and advanced scores, an improvement from past years. Out of the 96 percent of students with high scores, 251 students received proficient grade scores and 128 students received an advanced grade. Only eight students in Walpole High scored lower then a passing grade.

Teachers do not just focus on the MCAS when preparing students for the exams; they are mainly preparing the students for college, which in past years has helped the students on the exam. Teachers are mainly focused on getting students ready for college, and while doing so, they become prepared for the MCAS exams. “It is shown over the past years teachers prepare the students very well for the MCAS,” said English Department Head Lauren Culliton.

Students prepare for the exam by completing practice open response questions in their English classes throughout the school year.  To prepare for the long composition, students review books they have read in the past grades and review the book’s themes, which may help them answer the prompt of the composition. The  night before the exams, “many students try to get a good night’s sleep to help the, get through the tests,” said sophomore Bridget Lindh, who will be taking the tests this year.

Teachers are hoping that more students received advanced grades on this years MCAS. “I hope that we maintain the excellence that we have and keep the excellence we achieved,” said Culliton.