Test Accessibility

Annual assessments are designed for all students—recognizing that the validity of assessment results depends on every participating student having appropriate access to the assessment. An updated Accessibility Guide with detailed information will be available soon.

Allowable Test Administration Conditions

Students are generally tested in their regular classroom and follow the standard test administration schedule for the grade and content area tested. Certain students may require testing at a different time or testing space as long as all requirements for testing conditions and test security are met.

At all grade levels and in all courses, TCAP will include both calculator permitted subparts and a calculator prohibited subpart.

  1. The first subpart of each math assessment will be calculator prohibited.
  2. The remaining subparts will be calculator permitted.
  3. Sharing calculators during testing is not permitted.
  4. It is the responsibility of the Test Administrator to ensure the regulations outlined in this policy pertaining to calculator use are followed.
  5. All memory and user-entered programs and documents must be cleared or removed before and after the test.
  6. A student may use any grade-band-permitted calculator on a calculator-permitted subpart. For calculator-permitted subparts of TCAP, students may use a handheld calculator provided by the school/district or one owned personally.
  7. Students should have access to no more than one handheld calculator device for calculator-permitted subparts of TCAP.

For more information, see the TCAP Calculator Policy for Mathematics.

The following administrative considerations regarding the timing, scheduling of assessments, and setting/locations for testing are available for any student.

Administrative Consideration Description

Small Group Testing

Student is tested in a separate location with a small group of students with matching accessibility features, accommodations, or testing needs as appropriate. The suggested maximum number of students allowed in a small group is 10.

Time of Day

Student is testing during specific time of day based on their individual needs (e.g., ELA/Literacy in the morning; no testing after lunch).

Separate or Alternate Location

Student is tested in a location other than their originally scheduled testing classroom.

Specified Area or Setting

Student is tested in a specialized area or setting (e.g., in front of the classroom, seat near the door, library, on homebound, etc.)

Adaptive and Specialized Equipment or Furniture

Student is provided specialized equipment or furniture needed for successful testing environment (e.g., low lighting, adaptive seat).

Frequent Breaks

Guidance on logistics for administering the TCAP assessments with frequent breaks:

  1. Medical Breaks: Student takes a break due to existence or sudden onset of a temporary or long-term medical condition. Student’s testing time stops during a medical break.
  2. Individual Bathroom Break: Student requests a bathroom break within their overall allotted testing time. Student's testing time stops during bathroom break
  3. In-Chair Stretch Break: Student pauses and stretches. Student’s testing time does not stop.

Rest/Break Accommodation: Based on individual need as outlined in a behavior plan, IEP, EL or medical plan which requires additional rest/breaks, the team should select the rest/breaks accommodation.

Because of security issues, TDOE must maintain the single day administration for individual sub-parts of each assessment. Permitting the administration of a single subpart over multiple days would allow for educators and students to review the test content in advance.

Breaks during subparts are an allowable test administration condition for the administration of the assessment.

  1. These breaks must be monitored and test booklets must be closed.
  2. No discussion of the test content is allowed.
  3. Test administrators may institute as many breaks as needed; however, students must complete the administration of each subpart in a single school day.
  4. As always, schools can choose to break-up the subparts with another activity, such as completing one subpart before and one subpart after lunch, taking a recess between subparts or taking subparts on consecutive school days. 
  5. Subparts must be taken in order.

A small number of students will require additional accessibility features to meet their individual needs. These accessibility features will be selected ahead of time based on the individual needs and preferences of the student. A student should not use a test accessibility feature that they do not typically need  based on the tools they use during instruction and in daily life. Where applicable, the chart will include the test administrator activities before, during, and after testing necessary for successful implementation of the accessibility tools. There are a few tools which must be pre-identified for the student before testing begins. When needed, this information is included in the “before-testing” guidance.

It is recommended that a consistent process be used to determine these supports for individual students.

Accessibility Tool Administrative Guidelines Additional Considerations for Use
Highlighter Before Testing: Test administrator provides student with highlighter(s). Students may use a highlighter to highlight text in a passage or item in their test book as needed to recall and/or emphasize. Multiple colors may be provided as needed.
Straight Edge Line Reader/Mask Tool Before Testing: Test administrator ensures the student has direct access to a blank straight edge or blank masking card.

Allows student to track the line he or she is reading. Students are able to focus their attention on a specific piece of text at a time. This may be a notecard, ruler, etc., as issued during daily instruction. The student may cover or uncover answer options and/or text with blank masking cards as needed.

The masking tool is recommended for students who have attention difficulties. It may also be needed by students with print disabilities or visual impairments. Students may need to mask content not of immediate need which may be distracting.

Auditory Aids

Before Testing: Test administrator ensures student’s access to the necessary auditory aid.

During Testing: The student uses amplification device assistive technology (e.g., FM System), noise buffers, or white noise machines provided by the student or by the school.

The student should continue to use the same auditory aides during assessment as required during daily instruction. Music is not permitted to be played during the assessment. If headphones are used only as noise buffers, they should not be plugged into a device.
Color Overlay Before Testing: Test administrator provides student with access to colored overlays.

Students will use the same color overlay during assessment as are required in daily instruction.

Students with attention difficulties may need this support for viewing test content. It also may be needed by some students with visual impairments or other print disabilities.

Place Marker Before Testing: Test administrator provides student with place marker. The student may use place marker to “bookmark” items to review later.
Scratch Paper

Before Testing: Test administrator provides at least one page of blank scratch paper (i.e., either unlined, lined, or graph) per student.

During Testing: The student uses blank scratch paper to take notes and/or work through items. Additional pages may be provided as needed.

After Testing: Test administrators are responsible for collecting all scratch paper after testing is completed to be securely destroyed. Scratch paper must be securely shredded if it has been used. Schools may reuse unused scratch paper only if the paper is completely blank.

Scrap paper should be collected at the end of testing and securely destroyed.
Eliminate Answer Choices During Testing: The student may use removable markers (e.g., small strips of paper) to indicate that they are eliminating the answer. Please note any stray marks on the answer document may conflict with accurate scoring.
General Administration Directions Read Aloud and Clarified and/or Repeated as Needed During Testing: The test administrator reads aloud the general administration directions only per the test administration manual. A student may raise his or her hand and request the directions be repeated. A student may raise his or her hand and request the directions be repeated. The test administrator may clarify directions upon request. No passages or items may be clarified.
Magnification/Enlargement Device Before Testing: Test administrator provides student with magnification/enlargement device The student uses an external magnification or enlargement device to increase the font or graphic size (e.g., projector, CCTV, eye-glass mounted or hand-held magnifier, electronic magnification system, etc.). The student should use the same type of magnification equipment during assessment as is used during daily instruction.
Redirect Student to the Test During Testing: The test administrator redirects the student’s attention to the test without coaching or assisting the student in any way. There is no limit to the number of times a test administrator can redirect a student back to the test. Examples: providing reminders to stay on task and focused during the assessments; providing a visual cue to the student to remain on task.
Glossary in Footnotes During Testing: Student refers to a glossary of pre-selected, construct-irrelevant words in the footnotes of the paper-based test. The test administrator may read the words included in the footnoted glossary as requested by the student. The test administrator may not clarify the text in any way.
Student Reads Assessment Aloud to Him or Herself

Before Testing: Test administrator ensures student’s testing environment is conducive to read aloud to self.

During Testing: The student reads aloud the assessment to self in a manner which will not be overheard by other students.