MSAA Family Resources

The Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) is the MEA alternate Mathematics and English language arts/literacy assessment, administered in grades 3-8 & 11. It has been developed for students who are identified as having significant cognitive disabilities. 

The MSAA assessment itself is an Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS), and aligns with Maine’s Life and Career Readiness Standards. As a partner state of MSAA, Maine takes an active role in the development of this assessment. The Science Alternate Assessment (SAA) will become a part of the online MSAA in the 2021 school year. For additional information, please use the links below to navigate to across this page.

Test Design and Accessibility Features

Sample Items

Accommodations

Additional Resources

 

Test Design and Accessibility Features

The MSAA is administered online, and has built in accessibility features, including:

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

Additionally, MSAA provides a stage adaptive assessment that allows students to interact with items that will more accurately reflect their abilities (see flow charts below). A student’s performance in stage 1 will determine which assessment they receive in stage 2, with version A being the least difficult (level/tier 1) and version C presenting the most difficulties (level/tier 3).

MSAA English MSAA Math

 

Sample Items

Visit here to access sample questions from the MSAA national database. 

 

Accommodations

Accommodations are changes in the materials or procedures of the assessment that do not alter the construct being measured. A student may use the accommodations in his/her/their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) while taking the assessment, so long as they are consistent with the MSAA accommodations policies. Note: The use of any physical prompting, including hand over hand, invalidates the results of the test for the student. The use of physical prompting is considered to be a modification or change to the Directions for Test Administration. Physical prompting is not permitted, and it is considered to be an inappropriate test practice and a test irregularity.

  • Assistive Technology: Students may use assistive technology devices for viewing, responding to, or interacting with the test items. The student and TA should use the AT device with the sample items to ensure that it functions properly with the MSAA System. The MSAA System supports various AT devices, such as alternate keyboard, switches and hub, head mouse, etc.
  • Paper Version of Item/s: The use of a paper-based presentation of test item/s is a state-specific policy. Refer to Appendix A. State Specific Information.
  • Scribe: This accommodation may be used for Selected- Response or Writing Constructed-Response Items.
  • Sign Language (e.g., ASL, PSE, SEE): TA may communicate passages, items and response options using sign language to student.

 

Additional Resources

  • MSAA Parent Overview (PDF) Pages 1 - 4 of this document provides a parent overview explaining the MSAA. Each section thereafter breaks down grade level information for each content area of the assessment.
  • Webinar Qs and A (PDF) Common questions asked by TAs.
  • MSAA Administration Resources: Visit this link to access resources regarding MSAA administration.