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State Assessments

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS)

CMAS is the state's common measurement of students' achievement on state standards at the end of the school year in English language arts, math, science and social studies. Designed to be administered online, the tests feature a variety of interactive questions that are engaging and aligned with 21st century teaching and learning practices. CMAS testing occurs annually in the Spring.

Watch a video overview of CMAS below:

CMAS video link



The PSAT (pre-SAT) for tenth graders aligns to the literacy and mathematics expectations in Colorado academic standards and state tests. The PSAT measures the same skills and knowledge as the SAT in a way that makes sense for tenth graders. It focuses on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that research has identified as most important for college and career readiness and success. The PSAT will be taken by all Colorado tenth graders during the 2016-17 school year to help prepare for the SAT in eleventh grade.


Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, the Colorado Department of Education will be transitioning eleventh grade students to take the SAT as the college entrance exam for Colorado. A selection committee of school and district representatives from across the state agreed that the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) for tenth graders and the SAT for eleventh graders provide Colorado with the best option for assessments of college and career readiness. The committee noted several advantages to using the PSAT and the SAT including:
  • A close alignment to the content and expectations in the Colorado Academic Standards
  • The availability of free resources, including practice tests, to help students prepare
  • The annual release of items so that the look and feel of the assessment is familiar and students can determine what items they got right and wrong
  • The development of a Colorado SAT website to provide specific resources College Board's willingness and demonstrated history of assessment and resource improvement.

SAT is currently accepted by all public, private, accredited, and not-for-profit colleges in the state of Colorado and across the United States.

Colorado Alternative Assessment (CoAlt)

Students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) who are not able to take CMAS will instead take the Colorado Alternate Assessments. The CoAlt is a standards-based assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance and a framework for students to access the general curriculum in English language arts, math, science, and social studies.


The ACCESS for ELLs assessment measures a student's English language proficiency. ACCESS for ELLs is given annually to kindergarten through twelfth-graders who have been identified as English Language Learners (ELLs) who are Non-English or Limited-English proficient. It provides educators and parents proficiency levels and information that is used to enhance instruction and learning for ELL students in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

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