What you need to know about TCAP and End-of-Course testing this year

TCAP and End-of-Course (EOCs) exams are coming soon! Nearing the end of the year means it's time for state tests, and this is officially the LAST YEAR for TCAPs and End-of-Course exams.

Students will take TCAP tests in school April 28-April 30. Make-up tests will be available May 1 and 4.

End-of-Course exams are May 4-7. Make-up exams will be available May 8.

Tests are a vitally important part of education. Think of them as measuring sticks for your school and the district. Teachers and district leaders use the information they get from tests to measure progress and make decisions about future instruction.

We want to do everything we can to support your children during testing time. Schools often plan special events and activities around test time to build confidence and help kids have fun. To find out what your school is doing, talk to your child's teacher or call the main office.

Here are a few need-to-know facts about testing, including what's coming next year to replace TCAP and EOCs:

  • TCAP
    • TCAPs are given to all students in grades 3-8. Students in grade K-2 do not take state standardized tests.
    • TCAP is a multiple choice test measuring student achievement in Reading/Language arts, math and science. It provides valuable information about student progress in Metro Schools and across Tennessee.
    • TCAP test scores will count for 10% of a student’s final grade in grades 3-8.
  • End-of-Course Exams
    • EOCs are given in English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, U.S. History, Biology I, Chemistry and Physics. EOCs will count for 25% of a student’s second semester grade. Students are not required to pass the EOC to pass the course.
  • This is the final year for both TCAP and EOCs. Starting next year, students in grades 3-11 will take TNReady exams, the new measurement of learning in Tennessee.
  • Both TCAP and EOCs are state mandated tests. The Tennessee Department of Education requires schools to administer these tests and sets the dates during which they will be given.


Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my child’s scores? “Quick Score” reports are given to schools before the end of the school year. These are used only to help calculate students’ final grades. These scores may be visible in GradeSpeed soon after the school received them.

Full score reports are given to schools in the summer that go into great detail about student performance on the tests. These reports are then sent home to parents.

What kinds of questions will the tests ask? TCAP tests and EOCs ask multiple-choice questions measuring a student’s mastery of state standards. For example, students may be asked to read a passage and then answer questions about word meaning or comprehension. To see examples of TCAP and EOC test questions, visit the Tennessee Department of Education website.

How long are the tests? TCAP is made up of three subject areas: reading/language arts, math and science. Each of those subject areas has it’s own test, which is divided into two parts. The total amount of time spent on each subject area is:

  • Grade 3
    • Reading/Language Arts: 136 Minutes
    • Mathematics: 92 minutes
    • Science: 104 minutes
    • TOTAL: 5 hours, 32 minutes over 3 days
  • Grades 4-5
    • Reading/Language Arts: 136 minutes
    • Mathematics: 83 minutes
    • Science: 95 minutes
    • TOTAL: 5 hours, 14 minutes over 3 days
  • Grades 6-8
    • Reading/Language Arts: 140 minutes
    • Mathematics: 83 minutes
    • Science: 95 minutes
    • TOTAL: 5 hours, 18 minutes over 3 days

EOCs are untimed, so there is no official count of how long they will take, though most are completed within one class period.

Can students use calculators during TCAP tests and EOCs? Yes, plain calculators are allowed during tests. Some types of calculators are not allowed, including cell phones, iPods and other electronic devices, as well as calculators that can wirelessly transmit information and certain kinds of graphic calculators.

Are there special tests for students with disabilities or students whose first language is not English? Yes to both. Per Federal law, students with disabilities must be included in state-mandated assessments. In Tennessee, students take the TCAP Alternate Portfolio, an assessment that measures very specific skills. The Alternate Portfolio is very responsive to student need, giving teachers the flexibility to measure very specific skills and actions based on the abilities of each individual student. To see an example of an Alternate Portfolio, visit the Tennessee Department of Education website.

Students who speak a language other than English at home are also required to take state-mandated assessments. Furthermore, Tennessee is an English-only state, meaning assessments cannot be translated into a student’s native language. Instead, students are given tests where the language has been simplified, and they are given additional time to complete each section.

More answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found on the Tennessee Department of Education website. You can also call your school's main office or the Metro Schools’ Customer Service Center at 615-259-INFO (4636).