Frequently Asked Questions about Online Assessment Format and Content
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Frequently Asked Questions about Online Assessment Format and Content

What assessments must students take?

Students in grades 5 and 8 must take the online HSA Science (NGSS) Assessment at least once. Schools have the option of administering the HSA Science (NGSS) Assessment to a student up to two times.

The online HSA Science (NGSS) testing window is January 09, 2024 May 30, 2024 (extended to June 14, 2024 for multi-track schools).


What types of items are on the assessments?

Students will answer several types of items for the online HSA Science (NGSS) Assessments:

  • Multiple-choice and multi-select items, in which students will select an answer option from a set of possible choices
  • Constructed-response items that include the following:
    • Natural language items, in which students will type a short answer in an answer space
    • Interactive items, in which students will use the mouse or keyboard to move items or draw responses in an answer space (also called a “grid”)
    • Simulation prompts, in which students will interact with data and provide answers in varied formats

The HSA Science (NGSS) Assessments will consist of a combination of standalone items and cluster items. Standalone items consist of one or two questions and may include any of the item types listed above. Cluster items consist of a stimulus section providing text, graphic, and/or animations followed by several questions of varying item types listed above. Students use the stimulus information to respond to each question.

Go to the Training Tests on to see some of these types of items.