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DC Science Assessment

DC Science is the District of Columbia's annual assessment of science, based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In 2013, the District of Columbia adopted the NGSS, which are based on the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, as its state learning standards. Each standard focuses on three foundational dimensions: disciplinary core ideas (DCI), cross cutting concepts (CCC), and science and engineering practices (SEP). The NGSS integrate content and application and reflect how science and engineering are practiced in the real world. The DC Science Assessment uses scenarios and interrelated questions set in real-world contexts to increase student engagement and evaluate their performance in three-dimensional science learning.

DC students in grades 5 and 8 and students enrolled in high school biology take the DC Science assessment online each spring. DC Science results are one of several measures - including report card grades, classroom performance, and teacher feedback - that together create a broader picture of a child’s progress.

To learn more about the DC Science assessment and resources available to educators and families, please explore the resources below.

Test Design

The DC Science assessment is built on scenarios set in real-world contexts. Blueprints [PDF] for the 2017 DC Science assessment are currently available.

Practice Tests and Tutorials

The DC Science Sample Question Booklet [PDF] provides administrators, educators, parents, and students with the types of items that appear on the DC Science Assessment.

Accessibility for All Students

OSSE is committed to providing equitable assessment opportunities for students in the District of Columbia. The DC Science assessment includes a wide range of accommodations and accessibility features that can be administered to support students. More information can be found on OSSE’s Testing Accommodations page.

Test Results

OSSE will begin posting DC Science assessment results to the Results.OSSE.dc.gov website in 2017. This is an interactive platform that allows visitors to explore assessment results. On this site, users can view school-, local education agency- (LEA), and DC-level information on DC assessment performance.


Contact the OSSE Assessment Team
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 535-2651
TTY: 711