The Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT)

The Connecticut Mastery Test, aka CMT, is given to 4th, 6th and 8th graders in Connecticut public schools in order to measure student achievement. Read on to learn more.

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The Connecticut Mastery Test is administered to 4th, 6th and 8th graders in Connecticut public schools and measures student achievement. With five levels of performance (Advanced, Goal, Proficient, Basic, and Below Basic), the CMT achievement standards break down into three broad areas:

Mathematics

Emphasizes the mastery of:

  • Basic skills and concepts
  • The ability to apply these same skills and concepts to solve problems
  • Communication of mathematical ideas.

Students in grade 4 take two 60-minute sessions; at grade 6 there are three 60-minute sessions; and at grade 8 there are two 60-minute sessions and one 70-minute session.

The test is presented in three formats:

  • Multiple-choice - Requires students to identify correct answers from among four options
  • Grid-in (grades 6 and 8 only) - Requires students to compute answers or solve problems, then fill in the solution grid
  • Open-ended - Requires students to show all work and explain or justify the solutions reached

CMT assesses the students understanding of the following aspects of his math education:

  • Number sense
  • Operations
  • Estimation and approximation
  • Ratios, proportions, and percentages
  • Measurement
  • Spatial relationships and geometry
  • Probability and statistics
  • Patterns
  • Algebra and functions
  • Discrete mathematics.

Reading

Comprehension

Requires students to read passages representing different types of literature including both fiction and nonfiction. Grade 4 students read passages that are 400-500 words; grade 6 students read passages of 500-800 words; and grade 8 students read passages containing 800-1000 words.

After reading each passage, students take a 70 minute test with multiple-choice and open-ended questions. This test involves reading for meaning and requires students to develop an ever deepening understanding of the text as they reconsider or reread certain sections of the passage.

Degrees of Reading Power

Tests how well students understand the meaning of a text. Students in grade 4 take a 70-minute test in which they read eight informational passages and answer fifty-six multiple-choice questions. Students in grades 6 and 8, read eleven informational passages and answer seventy-seven multiple-choice questions. 6th graders get 75 minutes and 8th graders get 70 minutes to complete the test. Each passage is between 325 and 350 words.

Writing

Direct Assessment of Writing

Requires students to provide a written response within 45 minutes. 4th graders write in the narrative mode (the student tells a story), 6th graders write in the expository mode (the student provides an explanation about a familiar aspect of life), and 8th graders write in the persuasive mode (the student takes a position on a particular topic and tries to convince the reader he's right). The pieces are treated as first drafts and the scorers look more at how well the student communicates the message, rather than at spelling and punctuation.

Editing and Revising

Focuses on a student's ability to proofread and edit. All the questions on this test are related to errors in a passage the student has just read. 4th graders answer thirty-two multiple-choice questions, 6th graders answer thirty-six questions and 8th graders answer forty. All students are given 1 hour to complete the test.

The CMT is a standardized test intended to monitor student achievement, with the goal of constantly improving the quality of Connecticut public education. Students, teachers, schools and even whole school districts can benefit from the test results and the information they provide. Areas of weakness can be identified and strengths can be built upon.

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