The Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) is the standard assessment administered to students in Grades 3 through 8. Students are assessed in the content areas of reading, mathematics, writing and science (Grades 5 and 8). Reports of individual student achievement relative to performance standards in each of these content areas are provided to the school districts and parents/guardians of each student tested. The CMT provides information about achievement that is used for many purposes including:
- setting high expectations and standards for student achievement;
- testing a comprehensive range of academic skills;
- disseminating useful test achievement information about students, schools and districts;
- identifying students in need of intervention; assessing equitable educational opportunities;
- and monitoring student progress in Grades 3 through 8 over time.
You can find more information about the CMT at:
Who Participates in CMT?
Students enrolled in public school in Connecticut are required to take the CMT in Grades 3 through 8. Since 1985, the CMT has assessed essential mathematics, reading and writing skills that students are expected to master. The content of the test is based on The Connecticut Curriculum Frameworks. State and federal laws require that all students participate in statewide tests such as the CMT.
Students who are English Language Learners (ELL) and who are enrolled in a U.S. school for the first time for 10 months or less may be exempted from the reading and writing portions of the CMT. All other ELL students must take the grade-level test with accommodations, if necessary.
Most students enrolled in special education are tested on the grade-level test with accommodations, if necessary. Students in special education who have significant cognitive impairments are assessed with the CMT Skills Checklist, which is an alternate assessment designed specifically for this population. Parents whose children take the CMT Skills Checklist receive a CMT Skills Checklist results folder that contains the child’s CMT Skills Checklist Student Report, a copy of the CMT Skills Checklist, and a copy of the CMT Skills Checklist Performance Level Descriptors.
What Scores Are Reported?
Overall scores in mathematics, reading and writing for your child are reported in scale score units. The scale scores for each test area range from 100 to 400. Within the scale score range, five levels of performance have been established for each of the content areas. These five levels are: Advanced, Goal, Proficient, Basic and Below Basic. The goal range is composed of students who score at the two highest levels, Advanced and Goal. Scoring in the goal range is a challenging, yet reasonable, expectation for Connecticut students.
Your child’s total Mathematics score is reported as well as a score relative to the mastery criteria for each content strand. Results for the total Mathematics test are reported relative to state standards. The Mathematics test assesses students’ mastery of basic mathematics skills and concepts along with their ability to solve realistic problems. The specific mathematics content strands (e.g., place value, basic facts) are listed on the enclosed CMT Student Report.
The Mathematics test is administered in two one-hour sessions in Grades 3 and 4, and three one-hour sessions in Grades 5 through 8. The test includes a combination of multiple-choice, grid-in (Grades 5 through 8 only), and short-answer questions. Multiple-choice questions require students to identify the correct answer among four options. The grid-in questions require students to compute an answer or solve a problem, write the correct answer into boxes, and then fill in the matching bubble below each box. The short-answer questions require students to solve mathematical problems, show their work, and explain or justify their reasoning and/or the procedure(s) they used.
Your child’s reading score is a combination of scores from two Reading tests, the Degrees of Reading Power® and Reading Comprehension. Each test accounts for 50 percent of the total reading score. Results for the total reading test are reported relative to state standards.
The Degrees of Power® (DRP) test assesses your child’s understanding of what he or she has read. Students read nonfiction passages with missing words and then select appropriate words to complete the text. Students do not need to be familiar with the subject matter of the passages in order to supply the missing words. Additionally, all answer choices are common words. Students in Grades 3 and 4 answer 42 multiple-choice questions in 45 minutes testing time. Students in Grades 5 through 8 have 45 minutes to answer 49 multiple-choice questions. A DRP unit score is included on your child’s report.
Additional information about your child’s DRP unit score may be found in the CMT Interpretive Guide.
The Comprehension test assesses your child’s ability to read and understand both fiction and nonfiction passages. The Reading Comprehension test is administered in two 45-minute sessions in Grades 3 through 8. The test includes a combination of multiple-choice and short-answer questions.
Multiple-choice questions require students to identify the correct answer from four options and short-answer questions require students to provide a written response.
A total score for the Reading Comprehension test is reported, as well as a score relative to the mastery criteria for the four content strands: Forming a General Understanding, Developing Interpretation, Making Reader/Text Connections, and Examining the Content and Structure. Information regarding what it means to master these four content strands is described below:
Forming a General Understanding
Students who master this content strand demonstrate a basic understanding of the general content of written work typically found in grade-level text. Generally, these students can determine the main idea or theme and identify important characters, settings, events and details. They can effectively select and use relevant information to summarize a written work.
Students who master this content strand can effectively interpret and explain what they have read. Generally, these students can draw conclusions about an author’s purpose and use information from the text to draw and support their conclusions. They can also identify an author’s use of text organizational patterns.
Making Reader/Text Connections
Students who master this content strand can connect or associate the ideas in a written work to their own lives. Generally, these students can make connections between a text and outside experiences and knowledge, and can select and use relevant information from the text to write a personal response to the written work.
Examining the Content and Structure
Students who master this content strand can respond critically to what they have read and make judgments about the text’s quality and themes. Generally, these students can analyze and evaluate the author’s craft and use of literary devices. These students are able to select and use relevant information from the text to extend or evaluate the written work.