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CMT Content and Description
The mastery tests Connecticut public school children are given in differ from those you were taking a generation ago. Instead of being tested to see where each student ranks compared to others who took the test, children take criterion-referenced tests designed to measure how well they perform against established standards of benchmarks in a variety of essential and specific skills.
Starting this school year (2005-2006), the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) will be administered in March 2006 to children in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, in the subjects of reading, writing, and mathematics. Beginning in the spring of 2008, students in grades 5 and 8 will also be tested in the mastery of science concepts.
The following sections briefly describe the structure and content of each of the CMT subtests.
The CMT Measures students' reading skills with two tests: Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) and Reading Comprehension. In the DRP test, students are required to read nonfiction passages in which words are deleted, and to select appropriate words to complete the selection. Through this method, the degree to which your child understands what he or she has read can be assessed. In the second test, Reading Comprehension, students demonstrate their understanding of both fiction and nonfiction passages by answering multiple-choice items and responding to questions that require written responses.
Student's writing skills are assessed in two ways. On the Direct Assessment of Writing test, students provide a written response to a topic to determine how well they communicate a complete message in a coherent, elaborate, and organized fashion. In the second test, Editing and Revising, students respond to multiple-choice questions to further demonstrate how well they can compose, revise, and edit portions of written passages.
The following writing modes will be used:
- Grades 3 and 4 will be narrative,
- Grades 5 and 6 will be expository, and
- Grades 7 and 8 will be persuasive.
The narrative mode includes fictional and personal narrative prompts. The expository mode is a straight explanatory piece or a prompt that includes a compare and contrast element. Persuasive prompts at Grade 7 will look similar to the traditional CMT persuasive prompt of previous generations. At Grade 8, however, students will be given more background information that potentially could be used to support a paper’s position.
The Mathematics section emphasizes mastery of basic skills, understanding of key concepts, and the application of these skills and concepts to solve problems. The Mathematics test uses multiple-choice, grid-in (grades 5-8), and open-ended items that require written responses and explanations to assess a range of mathematical content, including computation, number sense, estimation, measurement, geometry, probability, statistics, patterns, and in the upper grades, algebra. Each grade level also includes extended problem-solving tasks designed to assess integrated application of mathematical understanding. In addition, students are permitted to use calculators on portions of the tests in Grades 5-8.
For examples of test items in each of the tested content areas, visit the CMT Sample Items section of the CMT website.