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RICAS ELA Test Design

Based upon information provided by the RI Department of Education


The English Language Arts Test Design (pdf) document describes the design of the RICAS ELA tests. Test design documents were updated 11.28.2017 to reflect new testing times.

The RICAS English Language Arts/Literacy Informational Session webinar reviewed test design information including item types; the percentage of points allotted to reporting categories for each grade; and RICAS achievement levels. Also highlighted are released items and other resources available through the RICAS Resource Center. 

The RICAS assessments are based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework which is strongly aligned with Rhode Island's English Language Arts/Literacy standards: the Common Core State Standards. You can access the Massachusetts' Curriculum Frameworks documents here:

RICAS Student Tutorial and Practice Tests can be accessed here:

RICAS Released ELA Items can be accessed here:

  • RICAS Sample Student Work can be found here: www.doe.mass/edu/mcas/student/2017
  • Writing Standards in Action Project provides samples of student work that demonstrates grade-level expectations. The samples are annotated by educators to support student instruction in writing by showing how student writing meets or exceeds the standard. These writing samples are another source of student writing to help calibrate student expectations by grade level. The Massachusetts' Curriculum Frameworks documents refer to the Writing Standards in Action Project samples.

ELA Rubrics: The rubrics below will be used to assess the various types of students writing for the RICAS assessment. 

The RICAS Achievement Level Descriptors (pdf) document contains all of the achievement level descriptions for all grade levels.

See RICAS accommodation information for additional information on graphic organizers.

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