MEA / SAT Questions and Answers

MEA / SAT Questions and Answers

Last week I sent out an e-mail asking for any questions that you may have about the upcoming MEA/SAT.  Below are the list of questions and the answers I either found on the DOE website, or received from Charlene Tucker.  Let me know if you have further questions.  Good luck and remember, we are here to support you! ~ Holly


I have yet to locate any information, materials, etc. relating to the actual administration or the proctoring of these tests. When you go to the portal made available on Monday, there is an option for "Help and Support", and when you select this option, there is section entitled "Training". However, when you select "Training", it just says "Documents will be available in mid to late February.

            As of today, I am told they are “Coming soon.”


We have information that the window to start assessment is March 14.  Did this change recently?

                     No, as of now the test window is March 21 to April 15.


I was wondering if the MPA will craft a (template) letter/brochure of information regarding the assessment that schools can send out to parents with consistent information.  Our assistant superintendent will be working on one as the administration has asked her to take on this task but I feel that there should be one message from the state.  

                   At this time, the MPA is not crafting a letter/brochure of information.  Attached is a copy of last year’s SB brochure that Song Lakes sent home to parents.  It’s easy enough to input your information and send to parents.  Click here to view it.

                       The Department of Education has released a Sample Parent Letter.  Click here to view it.

My first question is does anyone know yet when LD 1459 An Act to Delay Any New Statewide Assessment will be taken to the floor for a vote?  I'm sure the MPA has heard from several principals around the state concerned about the total last minute nature of this testing "experiment".  To not have the training modules completed and additional administration info available this late in the game seems ridiculous.  I'm very much in favor of not putting our staff and students through yet another circus brought upon us by Augusta.  I'm hoping LD1459 is voted on soon and passes.

                 Your frustration is shared by many.  The likelihood of LD 1459 passing as written is not likely.  The Education Committee heard the bill and voted unanimously to amend the bill. The assessment will still be given, however the data cannot be used in negative “human capital” decisions nor can the data be used to “grade” the schools – at least for this year and next.


Do we know if students testing on iPads will really also need to have an external keyboard?  With smarter balance it seemed to be important for the math for our students to have those last year, so curious if that is the case again with this assessment.

                 External keyboards are optional, not required. Schools and students should take the test using the tools they are most comfortable with. (


Is it true that students will have to finish any section started on that same day?  Meaning, no accessing a section the following day.  If a student begins the Math 1 assessment on Monday and does not finish it, they cannot continue on Tuesday.

                 A particular session has to be completed once begun.  Once students have seen the test questions, we can’t have them go into an unsecured environment (where they can talk to their parents, look things up on their iPad or at the library, talk to their friends), and then go back and answer or re-answer questions.


Will unanswered questions be considered incorrect, or will only the questions answered ‘count’ in scoring a student?

                  Unanswered questions are considered incorrect.  Because of this, I would encourage teaching the test taking strategy of eliminate the obviously wrong answers and pick among the remaining answers.


This test is untimed?

                 The test times are suggested, but it is not considered a timed test. There is individual flexibility in the test session times to accommodate your students based on “extended time."

                 This chart shows the ESTIMATED testing time for each component by grade. This is not a timed test and student should be provided with a reasonable amount of time to complete each section.

Test Section Number of Sessions Estimated Testing time per Session (minutes)
3 4 5 6 7 8
Mathematics 2 51 51 51 53 53 54
Reading 2 57 57 57 57 57 57
Writing (SR) 2 35 35 35 35 35 35
Direct Writing 1 60 60 60 60 60 60
Total Testing Time 7 346 346 346 350 350 352



I am wondering if there will be a student questionnaire section on the MEA this year. There always has been in the past, but in the recommended time schedules published by the DOE, I don't see any reference to one. Any information on this would be helpful as we set testing schedules.

                 No student questionnaire.


With the testing window two weeks away, will there be some sort of training available by DOE for the test administrators and proctors?

                     I am told “coming soon.”        


I was under the impression that our MEA portals would already have all of the students enrolled in our school pre-loaded into them and we would not need to upload a student roster unless we wanted to create proctoring groups within the system. When I logged into my district's account I did not see any students. Do I need to upload a roster into the MEA portal or has this not been updated by the DOE? If I need to upload a roster file, where can I find information about how to format that file? 

                    Classes/Rosters – The testing system will be prepopulated with school by school, grade by grade class lists. If schools elect to add more detailed class rosters they have two options: 1. Upload from a spreadsheet 2. Manually select students from a list. (2 Column/field spread sheet with ClassName/SSID).  This should be available in the next days.


Who determines whether or not students should/are eligible to take the MEA (Alternate) & ELA/Literacy (Multi-State Alternate Assessment - MSAA) designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities?  Is this left to a case manager, or is there a set standard?

               This is a local district/school determination made by a team lead by your district’s Special Education Director.


Is there an option to pause individual test sessions and have students complete their test session at a later time in the school day? 

                      Yes, they will however if the test is paused for more than 20 minutes, a student cannot go back and review questions previously answered.


How many questions are in each of the test sessions?

                     That varies by test.  Using Grade 4 as an example, Mathematics Session I has 26 questions, Reading Session I has 18 questions, and Writing Session I has 23 questions. If you are thinking about testing time, please keep in mind that some types of questions take longer than others.


How have the recommended session completion times been determined? Has this test been piloted in the current format with students at field sites?

                    Generally, test items are field tested, not test forms.  The items have been field tested.



SAT Questions 


Not so much a question about the SAT itself, but rather a question on the Science Augmentation component.  DOE (or at least I assume it was DOE) gave us a very strict deadline to administer the Science part of things during the last week of April, or the first week of May...which is prime time to prepare for the infamous AP exams in May.  Who do I complain to? Can this be changed in the future?  

                  I cannot guarantee that it will be changed, however Charlene Tucker, will be the best person to address any concerns.  Her information is:

Charlene Tucker

Director of Assessment & Accountability


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


When is the bulk registration deadline?

                    We will continually update the students in the testing system each day.  As soon as a student enters or exits the district, they need to be changed in Infinite Campus State Edition.


Is this the preferred way to register our students?

                   Only the state can load students into the iTester system for eMPowerMe testing at grades 3-8. 


Is the School Day SAT only available to Maine students in MEDEMS?

                  For SAT, it is possible to prepare an answer document for a new student who shows up on testing day.


Will the state provide funds for Non - Maine students to take the SAT on May 7th?

                 Students attending a public school, a public charter school or a 60% private school have access to the SAT on April 12 (make up on April 27)—NOT MAY 7—at state expense.

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