What Tests Does Each State Require?

By Catherine Gewertz — February 15, 2017 | Updated: March 05, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Education Week has tracked states’ testing plans in math and English/language arts since 2014. This year’s survey found a continued, steady erosion in the number of states using the PARCC or Smarter Balanced common-core-aligned tests: five fewer than in 2017. The number of states requiring students to take college-admissions tests, or pass an exit exam to graduate, is holding steady. (For an interactive breakdown of states’ 2016-17 testing plans, click here.)

Below are highlights from the latest survey of testing plans. Scroll down to see the full results for 2019.

Jump to a Section

    Which States Use PARCC or Smarter Balanced?

    Only ONE-THIRD of the states use the PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests.

    23assessment parcc smarterbalanced map 700

    • Fifteen states and the District of Columbia will administer PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests in the spring of 2019. That’s five fewer than in 2016 and 2017.
    • Thirty-two states use tests they designed or bought.
    • Three states give hybrid tests. Two mix their own questions with items from the PARCC/New Meridian item bank, and one adds its own questions onto the full Smarter Balanced test.

    Read more about the current state of common-core tests.

    Learn more about the states using PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests.
    Learn more about the states using non-consortium tests.
    Learn more about the states mixing PARCC and Smarter Balanced with their own items.

    Which States Require Students to Take the SAT or ACT?

    Requiring the ACT or SAT is HOLDING STEADY after a rise in popularity.

    23assessment sat act map 700

    • Twenty-five states require students to take the SAT or ACT, the same number as in 2016 and 2017. That number had been climbing steadily—from seven states a decade ago— as states looked for ways to encourage students to go to college.
    Learn more about the states that require SAT or ACT.

    Which States Require Exit Exams?

    Requiring exit exams is HOLDING STEADY after a decline.

    23assessment exit exams map 700

    • Thirteen states require students to pass a test to get a high school diploma, one more than in 2017. In some states, students can use projects or portfolios to meet this requirement. Exit exams used to be more popular: In 2002, more than half the states required them.
    Learn more about the states that require exit exams.

    What Tests Are States Requiring in 2018-19?

    Below is a complete breakdown of results from our state survey.

    Design & Visualization: Stacey Decker & Vanessa Solis
    A version of this article appeared in the February 15, 2017 edition of Education Week as What Tests Do States Require in 2018-19?


    This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
    Student Well-Being Webinar
    Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
    Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
    Content provided by Renaissance
    Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
    Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

    EdWeek Top School Jobs

    Teacher Jobs
    Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
    View Jobs
    Principal Jobs
    Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
    View Jobs
    Administrator Jobs
    Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
    View Jobs
    Support Staff Jobs
    Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
    View Jobs

    Read Next

    Assessment The State of Teaching Where Teachers Say the Pressure to Change Grades Comes From
    Teachers are more likely to be pressured by parents than school leaders.
    4 min read
    Conceptul image in blues of a teacher handing out graded papers.
    Liz Yap/Education Week and E+
    Assessment What the Research Says AI and Other Tech Can Power Better Testing. Can Teachers Use the New Tools?
    Assessment experts call for better educator supports for technology use.
    3 min read
    Illustration of papers and magnifying glass
    iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Assessment What the Research Says What Teachers Should Know About Integrating Formative Assessment With Instruction
    Teachers need to understand how tests fit into their larger instructional practice, experts say.
    3 min read
    Students with raised hands.
    E+ / Getty
    Assessment AI May Be Coming for Standardized Testing
    An international test may offer clues on how AI can help create better assessments.
    4 min read
    online test checklist 1610418898 brightspot