Spring (Testing) is Here!
April in Mississippi beckons the start of warm weather and signals our approach to the end of another school year. For our team, it begins the largest testing period in the Mississippi CTE world, a period of eight weeks during which over 35,000 secondary and postsecondary students are tested by national certification examinations, performance assessments, or MS-CPAS assessments. We understand that this period is extremely hectic for our CTE administrators, test coordinators, and educators. Please use the notes below as reminders for upcoming processes and events.
- Practice Test Data: If you want the practice test reports, remember to download the PDF file of those reports as soon as possible. In May, we will clear out that data to make room for the following year. If you do compare the results of practice tests and live tests, I would like to remind you of the findings from a recent RCU study. In 40 of the 41 courses with a practice test, the students' scores on the first administration of the practice test were related to their scores on the MS-CPAS in 2018-2019. On average, students who scored higher on the practice test scored higher on the MS-CPAS than their peers who scored lower on the practice test. Second practice test administrations did not have a positive, direct relationship between MS-CPAS scores like the first practice test results.The study also found that students that took one practice test scored approximately 5 points on average higher than students who did not take a practice test. Anecdotally speaking, this difference could be due to a variety of factors, such as test sensitivity or inadequate remediation activities.
- Training Notes and Manuals: We have posted archived video tutorials of each session from our February Test Coordinator training held at the Hunter Henry Center on the MSU campus and in Hattiesburg, MS, on the Assessment page of the RCU's website. There are other video tutorials and the CTE Testing Manual, which outlines EVERY preparation and administration process associated with MS-CPAS.
- Other Important Dates: Download the exact dates for other testing-related events through the summer of 2019 in a single page format here.
As Bear Bryant once said, "If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride-and never quit-you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards." As fellow educators in arms, we appreciate your sacrifices to ensure you are providing the best opportunities for the students and future leaders of Mississippi!
Sean Owen, PhD
Postsecondary Testing........................................................................April 1-5
Postsecondary Final Reports Available................................................April 19
Secondary PBA Scoring and Interview..............................................April 1-26
Secondary MS-CPAS (Congressional Districts 1 & 3).......................April 8-16
Secondary MS-CPAS (Congressional Districts 2 & 4).....................April 17-25
Final Day for Secondary Makeup Testing.............................................April 26
National Certification Testing.....................................................April 1-May 10
Secondary Final Reports Available.......................................................May 10
MS-CPAS testing is underway for postsecondary schools and begins April 8 for secondary schools. Here are a few troubleshooting points to keep in mind.
- It is very important that students enter their student identification number carefully in the "Participation Login" section of our testing program. After checking the number that they have entered in the "Name" field, students can copy and paste the number in the "Password" field where the numbers are masked.
- Providing students with a testing ticket is an easy way to limit login errors by ensuring that students have the web address of the testing program, their student identification number, and the correct test ID. Testing tickets are found under Testing Tools in the MS-CPAS Reports section of the RCU website.
- The monitor or proctor login information that test administrators must enter for each student is located on page 44 of the Secondary CTE Testing Manual and on page 33 of the Postsecondary CTE Testing Manual. The proctor login information should NEVER be shared with students.
- To be prepared for possible connectivity issues, we suggest that testing personnel become familiar with the suggested solutions in Section 6 of both the Secondary CTE Testing Manual and the Postsecondary CTE Testing Manual.
- Supplementary materials that should be printed in advance of testing are available for some MS-CPAS tests. The Supplementary Materials Manual is available under MS-CPAS resources on both the secondary MS-CPAS page and the postsecondary MS-CPAS page.
- Students scheduled for tests will be listed on the Test Status Page when the testing window opens. The test status page will contain a preliminary percentage score for each student as well as a column that indicates the national certification qualifying status for secondary students in Culinary Year 1, Culinary Year 2, Automotive Service Year 2, Collision Repair Technician Year 2, and Diesel Service Technician Year 2.
- In the event of a testing irregularity, an irregularities report is available as an appendix to each testing manual. The report can be printed, completed, and sent as an attachment to the help desk.
We are here to help. If you have a question, please reach out to us by sending a
ticket or by calling
National Certifications Updates
The national certification testing window is upon us. Here are a few reminders about valuable resources available to you as you begin the process of testing your students. Please do not forget to visit the
RCU Assessment/Student Certification page
and take advantage of all of the certification tools, testing tutorials, and PowerPoint presentations available there. You will also find testing manuals, quick reference guides, proctor scripts, and contact information for customer service support. If you run into any issues, these resources should prove most valuable. If you require assistance from the RCU, send us a Help Desk ticket
and we will be glad to help you in any way we can.
NCCER exams have been made available for your students. If you have made any recent changes to your student rosters in the NCCER test management system, please send a Help Desk ticket
that includes the name of your testing site and the classes for which you made the roster changes. If you have added any students to your rosters, we will make sure exams are made available for those students.
As you know, in order for Culinary Arts students to take the ProStart exam, they must first make the qualifying score on the MS-CPAS. Once your students have taken the MS-CPAS, the test status page in the RCU portal will indicate which of your students qualify to take the ProStart. Once you know how many of your students qualify for the ProStart exam, send in a Help Desk ticket
indicating how many of your students will need the Level 1 ProStart exam, how many will need the Level 2 ProStart exam, and if you need the 1st edition or the 2nd edition. Make sure you include the name of your testing center and the email address to which you want your testing vouchers sent.
If you have any questions or issues, please feel free reach out through our Help Desk or call 662.325.2510.
Performance-based assessment local scoring starts today, April 1, and runs through April 26 for second-year students in architecture and drafting, digital media technology, polymer science, and simulation and animation design. We have three resources that will be useful to you as you complete your PBA administrations:
- The PBA Manual
- The OSCAR Scorer Guide
- The Principles of Scoring Student Work
Remember that if you need to make a change to your PBA evaluators, you must verify their information on our website at least 24 hours before you plan to conduct your local scoring, or your evaluators will not be able to log in.
If you are a teacher in a PBA program, don't forget to register for final scoring the week of April 29 in GoSignMeUp.
As always, if you have any questions, you can let us know via a phone call or Help Desk ticket. We hope your PBA administrations go smoothly!
Have assessment needs not addressed in this issue?
Create a Help Desk ticket, and we'll get right on it!