Frequently Asked Questions about Montana Science Interims
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Frequently Asked Questions about Montana Science Interims

When is the Montana Science Interim testing window?

The Montana Science Interim testing window is scheduled for September 5, 2023, to May 24, 2024. Testing may continue up to and including the last day of the testing window. The Science Interim Assessments are untimed. Each interim assessment will take students approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete, plus an additional 10 minutes for reading the directions to the students. Students should be given additional time if it is needed.

Which grades can take the interim Montana Science Assessments?

The Science Interim Assessments are available for grades 5, 8, and high school.

How are the science interims organized?

The NGSS-based Science Interim Assessments for grades 5, 8, and high school are comprised of short, fixed form, online interim assessments. Each test includes either one “science cluster” focused on a specific NGSS-based standard performance expectation (PE) or 2-3 clusters and standalone items based on a Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI). Interim assessments are meant to support classroom teaching and learning. The tests are divided by elementary school, middle school, and high school grade-bands in the online testing system. For more information on test administration refer to the Montana Interim Assessments Test Administration Manual.

How can the science interims be used and administered?

The Montana Science Interims provide educators with the opportunity to assess students on NGSS-based concepts throughout the school year. These optional assessments may be used formatively to support instruction within the classroom. These tests may be administered via the secure browser or supported web browser. For more information on test administration refer to the Montana Interim Assessments Test Administration Manual.

How many times can my students take the science interims?

Students can take the science interims as many as they want. However, teachers should be aware the interim assessments are fixed-form tests and repeated exposure to and familiarity with test questions may not provide an accurate indicator of student performance and knowledge over time.

Is there any hand scoring required for the science interims?

No hand scoring is required for the science interims.

When can I see my student scores for the science interims?

Scores for the Science Interims Assessments are available in the Reporting System immediately after test administration. The Reporting System is an interactive, online reporting platform that provides clear, easy-to-understand data on student achievement and delivers intuitive and timely reports for teachers and administrators. Educators can view results from the interim assessments at the group, student, and item-level to help identify what students know and can do and where they might need additional support to master the content. Results may be exported to a comma-separated values (csv) or Excel file. Teachers and district administrators who have access to the Reporting System may also view, download, and print individual student reports for families.

Will the science interim assessments be available through the Science Summative Assessment testing window?

Yes. The interim assessments are available throughout the summative testing windows.

Do students need to download the Secure Browser to take the Science Interim Assessments?

No. Interim assessments are available for administration via the secure browser as well as a supported web browser.

Are the Interim Assessments mandatory?

Science interim assessments are optional and are designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year. In addition, these assessments can be used to prepare students for this year’s summative assessments.

How to respond in the event of testing improprieties, irregularities, or breaches?

Inappropriate uses of interim items may prevent a teacher from a different school or district from using an interim assessment for their planned purpose. A breach incident must be reported to the System Test Coordinator immediately. The System Test Coordinator is responsible for notifying the Montana Office of Public Instruction of a potential security breach by emailing or calling 1-844-867-2569.