MECAS Assessment Information For Families

Assessing student learning is an essential aspect of education, as it provides data that can lead to improved instruction and outcomes. Assessments take many forms, and each type of assessment has distinct value and purpose in a comprehensive assessment system. This section of the website is intended for families who wish to learn more about specific assessments; use the links below to navigate to common FAQs with answers. 

Why Does Maine Use a Statewide Assessment Program?

The MECAS provides information about the academic progress of students, schools, and the state as a whole. The MECAS includes state assessments, known as the Maine Educational Assessments, which measure the progress of Maine students in the areas of English Language Arts and Literacy, Mathematics, and Science. The variety of assessments in MECAS allows for comparisons between Maine students and students in other states and nations. These comparisons can help educators, families and communities, and educational agencies measure quality of curriculum, address achievement gaps, and understand where additional supports may be needed.

What Standardized Assessments are Administered at Maine Public Schools?


Year in School

Content Areas


General Fact Sheet

Grades 3-8

Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy


General Fact Sheet

Third Year HS


General Fact Sheet

For students with significant cognitive disabilities: Grades 3-8, Third Year HS


For students on a non-standard administration roster (NAR) or State-Approved Accommodations (SAA*): Third year HS *Not college reportable

MEA Science

General Fact Sheet

Grades 5, 8, Third Year HS



General Fact Sheet

For students with the most significant cognitive disabilities: Grades 3, 8, Third year HS

ACCESS for English Language Learners (ELLs)

General Fact Sheet


English Language Proficiency

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 

General Fact Sheet

For students with the most significant cognitive disabilities: Grades K-12


General Fact Sheet

Only selected schools, Mathematics and Reading are administered biennially for those in Grades 4 and 8; other content areas are subject to year-by-year changes.

Mathematics, Reading, other content areas


General Fact Sheet

Only selected schools, not administered annually: Grade 4

Reading Literacy


General Fact Sheet

Only selected schools, not administered every year: 15-year-olds

Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy


General Fact Sheet

Only selected schools, not administered annually: Grades 4, 8

Mathematics and Science



How Long are Statewide Assessments and When are they Administered?

Assessments are administered throughout the year and some are subject to fluctuation. Please check here for a continually updated calendar.

What is an Alternate Assessment and How Does One Qualify?

Alternate assessments (MSAA, SAA, and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs) are designed to evaluate students with cognitive needs which deviate from those associated with the larger student body. They include built-in supports, such as:

Reduced passage length in reading. Pictures and graphics included to help students understand.


Consult the this flow chart to determine whether or not a student qualifies for an alternate assessment.

  • Models in reading, writing, and mathematics.
  • Common geometric shapes and smaller numbers on the mathematics test.
  • An option to have the entire test read aloud.
When Can I Access Score Information?

Please visit this page for assessment result information. 

 Little Guy in Library