Colorado State Assessments

The Colorado State Assessment System is designed to measure Colorado students’ mastery of the Colorado’s academic content standards. In December of 2009, Colorado adopted revised academic content standards progressing from early school readiness to postsecondary competencies reflective of both workforce readiness and 21st century skills.

Paper-Based Policy    Parent Right of Refusal    2023-24 assessment calendar


The CMAS name encompasses the Colorado-developed science and social studies assessments as well as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)-developed, English language arts (ELA) and mathematics assessments. Colorado’s CMAS tests are designed to meet higher academic standards and to better prepare students for career and college.


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Colorado is a member of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium. ACCESS for ELLs is the state required large-scale language proficiency test for K-12 students and is one component of the WIDA Consortium’s comprehensive, standards-driven system designed to improve the teaching and learning of English language learners (ELLs).

The purpose of ACCESS for ELLs is to monitor student progress in English language proficiency (ELP) on an annual basis and to serve as a criterion to aid in determining when ELLs have attained language proficiency comparable to that of their English-proficient peers. This is given to all students identified as limited English proficient students (NEP and LEP) in grades K-12.


The College Board’s revised SAT and PSAT serve as the college entrance and 9th and 10th-grade exams for Colorado students. Students in grade 9 and 10 take the PSAT instead of the PARCC/CMAS exams in English language arts and math.  Students in grade 11 take the SAT and PARCC/CMAS Science exam.


Acadience™ Reading K–6 is the new name for the DIBELS Next® assessment. Acadience™ is a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills. This test is required per state statute from kindergarten through third grade. This assessment is optional at grades four through sixth. The assessment is designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.

Acadience™ is comprised of seven measures to function as indicators of phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. Acadience™ is designed for use in identifying children experiencing difficulty in acquisition of basic early literacy skills in order to provide support early and prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties. The purposes of Acadience™ are:

  • to identify students who may be at risk for reading difficulties (universal screening);
  • to help teachers identify areas to target instructional support;
  • to monitor at-risk students while they receive additional, targeted instruction; and
  • to examine the effectiveness of your school’s system of instructional supports.

The Colorado READ Act calls for districts to provide interventions to each K-3 student identified with a Significant Reading Deficiency.


The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures students’ reasoning abilities in the three areas most linked to academic success in school: Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. The CogAT is given in February. Administered during 2nd grade; other students with referral.

TS Gold Assessment for PreK

Teaching Strategies GOLD is grounded in 38 objectives that guide teachers throughout the assessment cycle. They are based on research, include predictors of school success, andare aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework, CommonCore State Standards, and early learning standards for each state. The objectives are organized into 10 areas of development and learning, including broad developmental areas, content areas, and English language acquisition. Many of the objectives also include dimensions that guide teachers’ thinking about various aspects of that objective, and help clarify what the objective addresses.

School Assessments

Instructional staff, with guidance and coaching from administration, complete a thorough analysis of all student data from state and local assessments. This data is used to prescribe instructional practices and set educational goals necessary for students to continue individual academic progress. The process of collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data for instruction and student achievement is on-going throughout the course of each school year.


STAR Reading Enterprise is an assessment of reading comprehension for independent readers.


Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) creates a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student’s learning level. Monitors student progress on state standards throughout the school year. Data used for instructional planning and monitoring. Students tested fall, winter, and spring in ​Grades 2-12.