Transition Assessments and other tests

During the high school years, there are many different kinds of assessments, or tests, that can help you to understand your child's needs and develop the Transition Plan. Some will be formal ones that all students take, like the SAT or MCAS. Others will be part of your child's transition process to see how they need to prepare for getting a job or living independently.

Here's what they can do:

  • Provide a baseline to understand how your child is functioning

  • Figure out your child's strengths, interests and abilities

  • Help you to make realistic and useful goals for adult life

  • Identify the Transition Services that your child will need to meet these goals

There are many different kinds, and it's often helpful to do a few different ones.

Typical school achievement tests:

  • Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)

  • SAT, ACT and other tests of academic skill

MCAS: The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

  • This is an academic achievement test that everyone in public school in Massachusetts must take.

  • It tests the student's knowledge of core subjects like Math, English Language Arts, and Science to make sure they have have the basic knowledge needed to graduate.

  • It also tests the school and the school district to make sure they are teaching effectively.

Standardized Tests: SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), ACT (American College Testing). These are tests students take in their juior or senior year. Standardized means they are the same for all students all over the eocuntry. You must send the scores to colleges you are applying to. Students can choose to take either the SAT or the ACT. Colleges accept one or the other or both.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE)

Other formal assessments:

  • Aptitude tests and measurements of specific abilities in a certain skill area

  • Psychological testing and intelligence tests to assess cognitive function

  • Adaptive behavior and independent living skills evaluations

Informal assessments:

  • Career interest inventories 

  • Job readiness assessments

  • "Situational Vocational Assessments" (they take the student around to see different jobs in action--a great way to see what your child really might want to do!)

  • Teacher/parent observation

Learn more about Transition Assessments

See this website for some examples of different kinds of assessments: Shrewsbury Public School Transition Assessments. (Click on it to open it in a new tab.)

Click the link at the bottom of the page to download a 2-page brochure. Or click here to find it in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Chinese and Vietnamese. (From a website)

You have the right to request any of these assessments as part of your child's Transition Plan. Ask your IEP team!

(The team must agree to provide the assessment - they are not required to.)

Source: Mass Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Federation for Children with Special Needs, Shrewsbury Public Schools