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  • HSA



     What is the High School Assessment (HSA) Program?

     The Maryland High School Assessments (HSA) are tests that measure school and individual student progress toward Maryland's High School Core Learning Goals in in English, Government, Algebra/Data Analysis, and Biology. Passing the HSA is a graduation requirement beginning with the graduating class of 2009. Students take each test whenever they complete the course. For example, some students may take algebra in seventh grade while others may not take it until tenth grade. The tests contain multiple-choice questions and questions requiring written responses. These questions are based on the content outlined in Maryland's Core Learning Goals.


     HSA Passing Scores


     Passing Score

     Algebra/Data Analysis









     If a student does not pass a test, he or she can still fulfill the HSA requirement for the Maryland diploma by earning at least the  minimum score on each test and a combined score of 1602. The combined score is the total of all HSA test scores. 

     How and when are scores reported?

     Within nine weeks after testing, the scoring company sends students' scores to the local school system. The local school system then sends the scores to parents. Scores for schools, school systems, and the state are published annually in mid-August on the Web at

     Students' scores are reported as scale scores. Maryland uses a scale score to provide a more precise measurement of a student's achievement and to assure that tests given at different times are comparable. Students'scores can range from 240 to 650 on the scale. Local school systems place students' HSA performance on the students' official records.


      What is the Maryland testing requirement?

     For a student who entered the 9th grade in or after the 2005-06 school year to graduate from high school with a Maryland High School Diploma, he/she must meet the a testing requirement as well as meet the State course requirements, service learning requirements, and local graduation requirements. 

     How can a student meet the testing requirement? 

     There are three options to meeting the testing requirement, as follows:

     Pass each of the four High School Assessment (HSA) tests - algebra/data analysis, English, biology, and government. These tests are generally taken in the 9th and 10th grade. There are two potential substitutions:

     Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Tests - For students who have earned a score approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) on the HSA-related AP or IB test

     Modified HSA - An alternative test for students with disabilities who meet the specific participation criteria based on their IEP process

     Combined-Score Option - A student would need to earn a combined total of 1602 points across the four exams to meet the testing requirement. This option allows students to offset lower performance on one test with higher performance on another.

     Bridge Plan for Academic Validation - A student who has not passed an HSA after taking the test twice and meets eligibility criteria, including locally-administered or approved assistance, can complete one or more project modules in the content area. The projects modules will be submitted to a local review panel and the local superintendent for approval.

     What criteria will a student have to meet to be eligible for the Bridge Plan for Academic Validation?

     A student who has not passed an HSA test after two attempts would be eligible for the Bridge Plan if he/she:

     participated in locally-administered or approved assistance;

     passed the HSA-related course;

     is making satisfactory progress toward graduation.



     Reference: and