Government HSA Testing

  • FAQ's about the Test
    1. Why has the Government High School Assessment (HSA) been reinstated? 

      During the 2012 General Assembly session, legislation was introduced to reinstate the Government HSA to support the teaching and engagement of students in the area of government and civics. Both the House and the Senate unanimously passed their respective bills and on May 22, 2012, Governor Martin O'Malley signed Senate Bill 293 and House Bill 1227 into Maryland law (Chapters 476 and 477) resulting in the reinstatement of the Government HSA. The Governor placed funds in the FY13 budget for the Government HSA.

    2. When will the administration of the Government HSA begin? 

      Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, all students enrolled in the Government course will take the Government HSA. The first administration of the test will occur in January 2013.
    3. When will the test first be administered to meet a high school graduation requirement? 

      On April 24, 2012, the State Board approved the reinstatement of the Government HSA as a graduation requirement. The entering 9th graders in the 2013-2014 school year will be required to pass or obtain a combined score of 1602 on the four high school assessments, algebra/data analysis, English, biology, and government to meet the graduation requirement. The first administration of the Government HSA in the 2013-2014 school year will be the January 2014 administration.

    4. Why is the Government HSA being administered in the 2012-2013 school year if it is not a graduation requirement? 

      Administration in the 2012-2013 school year will serve as a formative assessment as teachers and principals gear up for the administration in the 2013-2014 school year, when passing the Government HSA will become a graduation requirement for entering 9th graders. This timeline will allow for broad communication to all stakeholders including parents, students, teachers, principals, coordinators of social studies, guidance counselors, superintendents, etc. The timeline will also allow for the necessary change in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) for the graduation requirement since there was a lapse in the administration.
    5. Starting with the administration of the Government HSA in 2012-2013 can students use government as part of a combined score? 

      The following rules apply:
      • Students entering 9th grade in the 2012-13 school year or in a prior school year (including students who entered 9th grade in 2011-2012, 2010-2011, or 2009-2010) have two options to meet the combined score option.
        • Students MAY achieve a combined score of 1602 for English, Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology, and Government.
        • OR
        • Students MAY achieve a combined score of 1208 for English, Algebra/Data Analysis, and Biology.
      • Students entering 9th grade school year 2013-2014 and beyond MUST include the Government HSA score to meet a combined score of 1602.
    6. What is the design of the Government HSA?

      In 2012-13 the Government HSA will include only selected response items. In 2013-14, the Government HSA will include constructed response and selected response items.

    7. In 2013-14 will Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Government students still have the option to substitute a score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam or a 4 or higher on the IB exam for the Government assessment? 

      Yes. Students who need the Government HSA as a graduation requirement will still retain the option to substitute an AP score of 3 or higher or a score of 4 or higher on the IB exam for the Government Assessment.