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Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, DC has implemented a new name for its general statewide assessment system, which includes assessments in English language arts/literacy (ELA), mathematics and science. The District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessments of Progress in Education (DC CAPE) include the DC ELA assessment (DC ELA), the DC Math assessment (DC Math) and the DC Science assessment (DC Science). Together, these assessments create a comprehensive system that provides important information on students’ progress and proficiency relative to DC’s educational standards.

From 2015 to 2023, DC was a member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and administered PARCC assessments in ELA and math. As a PARCC member state, DC was able to partner with other states to develop high-quality assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Building upon this foundation, the DC ELA and DC Math assessments will continue to follow the same rigorous development and review process and will measure the same knowledge and skills that matter most for DC students.

The DC Science assessment is DC’s statewide assessment of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and was first administered in 2019. DC Science presents students with tasks that are built around scientific phenomena as well as engineering design challenges. During the test, students use scientific principles, skills and behaviors to observe phenomena, generate questions, conduct investigations, create models, predict outcomes, analyze results and engage in argumentation and communication.

DC CAPE assessments are administered in these grades and courses:

  • DC ELA: Grades 3-8, ELA I and ELA II
  • DC Math: Grades 3-8, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II
  • DC Science: Grades 5, 8, and high school Biology

Test Design

DC CAPE assessments are computer-based assessments that allow for the use of a variety of innovative item types where students can apply critical-thinking skills to demonstrate their understanding of the CCSS and NGSS.

DC CAPE assessments are designed to:

  • Maintain a proportional coverage of and a representative sampling of standards and evidence statements
  • Maintain a similar proportion of items to a blueprint across the item types, content domains, and subclaims
  • Maintain the performance scale, all five performance levels, and reported subclaims
  • Follow the same rigorous development process, reviews, and policies
  • Be administered on the same platform, use the same accommodations and accessibility features, and provide the same experience for students

For more information about different content areas test specifications, please visit the DC CAPE ELA and Mathematics page of the DC Science page (links coming soon!)

Practice Tests and Tutorials

Resources have been developed to empower students, families and educators to experience computer-based format, item types, and technology features on the DC CAPE assessments. The DC CAPE Portal includes practice tests, tutorials and sample items.

Accessibility for All Students

OSSE is committed to providing equitable assessment opportunities for students in the District of Columbia. DC CAPE assessments include a wide range of accommodations and accessibility features that can be administerest to support students. More information can be found on the Testing Accommodations page. Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities can take an alternate assessment to the DC CAPE assessments, the Multi-State Alternative Assessment (MSAA).

Resources for Parents

Service Contact: Stephanie Snyder
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 765-7158
Suite #: Fourth Floor
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Service Location: 1050 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002