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MCAS Maven’s math hints

MCAS Maven’s MCAS Math prep

by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

Free MCAS Review from JFYNetWorks

The 10th grade math MCAS begins May 17, just 4 ½ weeks away. And one of those weeks is April vacation. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that it’s not too late to review the necessary material to be well prepared. JFYNetWorks has online curriculum and teacher support to help students refresh 9th and 10thgrade math skills. Please read on.

We now have two years of Next Generation MCAS 2.0 behind us (2019 and 2021). The test changed in 2019. The 2018 test was the last of the Legacy tests based on the old 2000 curriculum standards. In 2019 the new Next Generation 10th grade test transitioned to the revised Mathematics standards that were adopted in 2017. This transition created a significant change in the distribution of domains. MCAS 2.0 has a much higher proportion of algebra and geometry than the old test. Here’s the distribution in 2019 and 2021:

distribution in 2019 and 2021

The distribution of domains in the two years is almost identical, so we can trace a consistent pattern of coverage. Both the standards tested and the number of questions each year are very similar, as the chart below shows.

There were 42 questions each year. Each question was based on an identified state standard. There was some duplication: only 40 standards were tested in 2019 and 41 in 2021.
Furthermore, some standards were tested both years. So out of the 84 total questions, 56 standards were tested at least once. (There are a total of 101 standards in the high school curriculum frameworks.) That’s part of the good news.

But the real good news is that 24 standards were tested both years. If we focus on those 24 standards for the next 4 ½ weeks, we can be prepared for a likely nucleus of content on the coming test. And we can review a core of grade-level standards that we need anyway to be at grade level and prepared for 11th grade. It’s a twofer.

If we finish the 24 standards, we can go on to the remaining 32 that appeared in one of the years. Since MCAS questions are taken directly from the state standards, a focused year-end MCAS intensive is a good way to review the whole year.

JFYNetWorks has online curriculum that covers the 24 repeat standards and the 32 one-time standards. We can provide that curriculum to schools, and train teachers in how to use it, at no cost. If you are interested, send an inquiry to

JFY covers MCAS Math prep 2022

The last two years were not normal years. Although teachers and students did the best they could under difficult circumstances, student retention of previous years’ material suffered. That unfinished learning, or learning loss, creates a need to review past standards, not only to do well on MCAS but to catch up to grade level. For teachers, this means reviewing essential material from past years along with the normal focus on current grade-level content. Bridging past years’ skills through acceleration will get students where they need to be, and give them a better foundation for demonstrating their competence on MCAS.

Joan Reissman, the MCAS Maven, is a JFYNetWorks curriculum specialist. She has been analyzing MCAS since 2000.

Other posts authored by our MCAS MAVEN can be found here.

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