MDE Spotlight on Assessment

Spotlight Newsletter Spotlight

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Every Thursday get the latest MDE assessment news delivered to your inbox. You’ll find a wealth of information including important test and material ordering dates, College Board SAT Corner, links to training and answers to recently asked questions about assessment. 

Free PSAT Practice Tests

Practice tests!


The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test designed to measure your ability to do college work. It is given once a year.

The test consists of five sections, two testing verbal reasoning skills and two testing mathematical skills, and one testing writing skills. Fifty minutes is allowed for answering the verbal questions, fifty for the mathematical questions, and thirty minutes for the writing questions.

PSAT/NMSQT is a trademark jointly owned by the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which do not endorse this website.


8th Gr. PSAT

The 8th Gr. PSAT will be given in school.
Parent and teacher link and info for PSAT:
Go to

PSAT Test Structure & Format

The PSAT A review of the test format, structure, and question types.
PSAT Math An overview of the PSAT Math sections.
PSAT Critical Reading An overview of the PSAT Critical Reading sections.
PSAT Writing An overview of the PSAT Writing section.

2016 Spring WIDA


The WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and the WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is scheduled to begin                       Monday, February 5, 2018 and will end March 23, 2018.  

The test coordinator and all staff administering the WIDA must watch the webinars available at the WIDA website so they can be prepared to complete tasks that are required in the administration of the WIDA.

We will share additional information with you regarding this EL language assessment as it becomes available from MDE.


Michigan Merit Examination

Spring 2016 MME Test Administration Webcast For up-to-date information on the Spring 2016 MME test administration, join MDE, College Board, and ACT staff for a full-day live training presentation on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. This streamed presentation, which will be broadcast from Wayne Regional Education Service Agency, will cover an overview of the MME, administration of the M-STEP, WorkKeys, SAT, and PSAT 8/9 and 10, and a brief discussion of the Secure Site and Test Accommodations. The webcast will be streamed live via MI Streamnet (http://mistreamnet. org/videos/3504/michigan-merit-examination-mmeadministration). An email address will be provided for viewers to submit questions on the day of the event. Questions will be answered at the end of the day, if time permits, and posted in the Recently Asked Questions section of the Spotlight one week after broadcast. Can’t make the live webcast? Don’t worry! The presentation will be posted in chapters after the live training in approximately 1-2 business days on the MI Streamnet site. Look for details in the November 5th Spotlight on how to access the videos on demand.

Schedule_of_Events_-_MI_503461_7  ACT WorkKeys

S16_Testing_Schedule_4985297 (1)  SAT College Readiness

Who_Must-Can_Take_the_Spring_2016_MME_504565_7  Who must take the Spring MME 2016?

Getting_Prepared_for_College_Board_Assessments_501797_  Staff Prep

M-STEP 2015 Statewide Results Released


Michigan Dept of Ed header

News Release

Contact:    Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs, (517) 241-4395

                  Bill DiSessa, Spokesperson, (517) 335-6649



October 27, 2015

LANSING – Michigan has reset the bar on learning with the release of the rigorous M-STEP statewide student assessment results taken last spring.

“With this all-new and more rigorous test, we expected statewide student scores to be lower than what we’d seen with the old MEAP tests,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “While the overall scores on this new test are low, they aren’t as low as we first thought they could be.

“In order to prepare our students for the careers of the 21st Century and to vault Michigan to become a Top Ten education state in 10 years, we need high standards and rigorous assessments,” Whiston added. “This year’s results set the new baseline from which to build.”

After 44 years of the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) test, 80 percent of Michigan students across the state sat down in front of computers to take the first-ever M-STEP. A paper and pencil option also was available for the handful of districts not yet prepared to test online.

Whiston said the M-STEP measures the state’s standards that give students a deeper understanding to what they are learning. It requires students to move beyond bubble sheets and multiple choice questions to a more interactive, engaging assessment. Students also must demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving, and deeper knowledge through written responses.

“Wherever we set the achievement bar, the students will jump over it,” Whiston said. “It’s about expectations. As a state, we need to raise the expectations.”

The M-STEP results will be released in a staggered sequence, with the public release of statewide aggregates today. Schools and districts then will receive testing data through the MDE secure web site for schools’ access only. Later this year, school and district aggregate results will be available.

 Table of MSTEP proficiency scores by grade and subject

 Table of ACT subject scores

Michigan’s federal ESEA Flexibility waiver, approved by the U.S. Department of Education in August, provides that Michigan will not complete or issue public, high-stakes accountability in the form of top-to-bottom rankings and school report cards until Fall 2017.

Additionally, MDE will provide schools with useful reports and data that can be used to guide and improve student instruction based upon the first year of implementation of the M-STEP later this year. MDE provided preliminary reports to schools within about two weeks of the close of each testing window.

The 2016 M-STEP will include improvements announced this summer by the department, based upon feedback from school districts during the first administration of the test and survey responses from more than 26,000 students and 5,000 parents following the spring testing window.

MDE heard that the testing time was an issue for schools in this first implementation and made some initial adjustments during that testing window. The department later announced that for Spring 2016, the testing time for the Michigan Merit Exam will be reduced by eight hours, and by two and a half hours for grades three, four, six, and seven.

The test also will be administered in smaller portions over multiple days so students will not be required to complete the test all in one sitting.

Whiston said that the department currently is conducting an assessment vision workgroup with education stakeholders to see how student assessments can be streamlined for spring 2017 and beyond.

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PSAT/NMSQT Testing for 11th Gr. on Oct. 14, 2015

The PSAT/NMSQT will be given to 11th gr. at all of the high schools on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.  By taking this exam, students may qualify for National Merit Scholarships.  This opportunity also provides exposure to the suite of SAT assessments.  SAT will be the test used for the Michigan Department of Education college readiness examination in the Spring of 2016.

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