SAT, WorkKeys Dates Set for 2016 and More PSAT Info

wendyz@michiganprincipals.org's picture

MDE and College Board have been working hard to get information out to the field on next year's state assessments as it becomes available. This week, MDE announced the SAT and WorkKeys test dates for spring 2016 as well as the M-STEP Testing window. Additionally, College Board put out additional information on PSAT—next year's 9th and 10th grade assessment—in response to questions they received about the Test Ordering System (TOS) and PSAT testing logistics.

Principals should be sure to read the this week's Spotlight on Assessment and Accountability article about SAT testing dates for spring 2016—which we have reprinted below—and note that this year students and schools will, for the first time, be getting TEST ITEMS AND ITEM LEVEL INFORMATION in their score reports. This week's edition also includes an extended "SAT Corner" feature on testing accommodations and key changes in the new SAT. Remember that MASSP and MASA have also collaborated on a series of SlideShares about the new SAT.

Testing Schedules for Next Year!

We are working to get information out as soon as possible regarding next year’s testing windows. We would like to provide as much planning time as possible for districts and schools to prepare next year’s calendar. We are working with educators around the state over the next several weeks through our surveys and focus groups to gather feedback on how test administration within this year’s test window structure went. We hope to use that feedback to create an even better experience for schools next year, and will have detailed test window guidance published in the Spotlight in August.

Today, however, we want to provide some key information that can begin all of our planning for a great assessment in 2016.

  • Our online testing windows will not open prior to April 11, 2016, and will end by May 27, 2016. (Guidance around when grade levels or content areas will assess within that larger window will be provided later this summer).
  • Our statewide SAT date is April 12, 2016. (make-up on April 26)
  • Our statewide WorkKeys date is April 13, 2016 (make-up on April 27).

With the added benefit of the April administration date of the SAT, the College Board will be able to release items and item level information in the reports educators, students, and parents will be able to see. This will be the first time we will be able to provide this valuable benefit from the college entrance exam portion of the Michigan Merit Exam.

With the recent addition of the PSAT for 9th and 10th graders, we are still working out details around administration dates for those exams and will provide those as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience as we work through all the great feedback we’re receiving around testing windows and schedules. We will get detailed information out later this summer.

Thanks again for all the very hard work that led to a very successful administration of the M-STEP this year. We look forward to another great year!

As MASSP reported in Weblines last week, MDE has announced that the PSAT will be the state assessment for 9th and 10th graders beginning in 2015-16. Michigan's freshmen and sophomores have not previously been included in the state's assessment system, but legislation passed last year required that MDE expand the state assessment to include those grades and close the hole that previously existed in those grades. The Department opted to use the PSAT rather than trying to expand M-STEP.

A press release that was sent out by the College Board on Thursday of this week highlights both last week's announcement, this week's details about testing dates, and information about SAT's partnership with Khan Academy to provide free individualized preparation materials and practice tests to students.

Finally, as many districts look to invest in fall PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 testing, the College Board has received several questions about how the Test Ordering System (TOS) works.

Additionally, College Board representatives offered the following guidance for schools:

If a school has not ordered PSAT/NMSQT previously, the first step to create a College Board account and then update the TOS with information about the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 Coordinator. This can be the same person. For a new user, the TOS Access Code will be sent to the PSAT Coordinator. If a school already has a PSAT Coordinator, the access code was provided in the PSAT Registration Announcement. If anyone needs assistance obtaining an access code, please send an email to michiganpsat@collegeboard.org. We can provide access codes. These screen shot reference PSAT 8/9 so the fee waiver request screens are not provided. Only schools that order PSAT/NMSQT test will be prompted to order fee waivers.

Please note that fee waivers are only for low-income students. All students identified as “at-risk” are not eligible for fee waivers, only those that economically at-risk/low-income. If a school is denied the number of fee waivers requested, the school should send a screen shot of the denial via email to michiganpsat@collegeboard.org so that they can work with the district to resolve the issue.

In addition, we have gotten several questions about PSAT/NSMQT and PSAT 8/9 testing logistics. It may be helpful to review the 2014 PSAT/NMSQT Test Coordinator Manual. While the proctor script and other details will be updated to reflect the format/timing of the revised assessments, the general policies and processes will be very similar.
2014 PSAT/NMSQT Coordinator Manual: https://www.collegeboard.org/pdf/psat/psat-nmsqt-supervisors-manual.pdf.

Test Coordinator Manuals and similar resources will be provided in the fall for schools that order 2015 PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 8/9 materials.