Education Commission of the States has researched state summative assessment policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. Click on the questions below for 50-state comparisons showing how all states approach specific policies. View a specific state’s approach by going to the state profiles page.

The newly reauthorized federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), maintains the No Child Left Behind Act’s assessment subject and grade level requirements as a condition of receiving federal funds. ESSA requires state education agencies to implement statewide assessments in mathematics and English-language arts in grades 3 through 8 and once in grades 9-12. Many states, however, test math and English-language arts more than once in high school.

The federal law also requires a science assessment once in each of three grade brackets: 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12. Few states exceed these requirements, and most states test science in grades 4 or 5, 8 and once in high school through an end-of-course assessment in biology.

While states may exceed the minimum federal testing requirements, the information below covers only those assessments that are mandatory statewide. In addition to federally-required assessments, if a state mandates a social studies or college and career readiness assessment statewide, this information is included as well. Locally-selected assessments may also be used to provide additional information to parents, teachers, schools, and districts, but these are not represented in the information below.

Where available, assessment vendor information is provided. However, many states work closely with their vendors to develop their assessments. Where a vendor is indicated, this is not meant to negate the collaborative work done by the SEA, teachers, and others in the state.

This information was collected from state department of education websites and through contact with state department staff and therefore may not reflect what is required in state statute or regulation. State assessment systems vary widely, and the information below may not fully capture the unique qualities of each system. If you have suggestions or questions, please contact Julie Woods at

50-State Comparisons

  1. Math & English-language arts assessments & vendors for Grades 3-8 (2016-17)
  2. Math & English-language arts assessments & vendors for Grades 9-12 (2016-17)
  3. Science Grades and/or End-of-Course Requirement
  4. Social Studies Grades (if any)
  5. College and Career Readiness – Grade 11 unless otherwise indicated. Statewide, during school, paid for by the state
  6. State Summative Assessments 2016-2017 – All Data Points

Related Resources
Database: State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies:

 PUBLISHED: January 13, 2017




 STATE(S): Nationwide

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