Connecticut Academic Performance Test, or simply
the CAPT, is a state-mandated standardized test administered by the
Board of Education that all public school students in Connecticut must take.
Students in some districts must
pass to graduate high school. The test is proctored to all students
in their sophomore year; if the state goal is not met, students
must retake the sections they do not pass until they meet goal.
Students take the test in March.
The test covers the four curricular subjects—mathematics
—in nine individual sessions,
which are taken over a period of 9 days. Prior to testing, the
state of Connecticut requires that students take scaled practice
tests to allow them to be at ease when they take the real CAPT. The
mock tests are actually prior CAPT tests that the state has
As of 2006, CAPT tests students on four curricular disciplines,
which is broken down into nine individual tests.
The Science portion of the CAPT is broken into two 55-minute test
sessions entitled Science I
and Science II
of questions included in the science tests include open-ended
questions. The science tests
cover a wide range of topics: basic chemistry and physics; biology,
including cell reproduction and structures; and earth science,
The Reading section split into two tests: Reading for
and Response to Literature
. Both tests
require the student to read various articles and respond to
open-ended and multiple choice questions accordingly.
Response to Literature
Response to Literature
requires the student to read a
short story and answer four predetermined questions in a time of 70
minutes. Each year, the questions stay almost exactly the same.
Recently, the questions have been as follows:
- Initial Understanding. What are your
thoughts and questions about the story? You might reflect
upon characters, their problems, the title, or other ideas in the
- Interpretation. One of the following is given:
- Choose one of the following quotations from the story
(three are given). Explain what you think the quotation
means as it relates to elements of the story such as characters or
- How does the main character change from the beginning of
the story to the end? What do you think causes the
- Connection. What does this story say about
people in general? In what ways does it remind you of people you
have known or experiences you have had? You may also write about
stories you have read or movies, works of art, or television shows
you have seen. Use examples from the stories to explain your
- Critical Stance. How successful was the author
in creating a good piece of literature? Use examples from the story
to explain your thinking.
The students have a total of 21 lines on which to complete each
question. The questions are graded as a whole, meaning that the
grade is affixed to the entire set of answers, not each
individually. This section is graded on a scale from one to six;
two scorers will read the answers and the final grade will be out
of twelve. A score of nine is now required to meet state
Writing comprises three test sessions on two subjects.
Interdisciplinary Writing is composed of two test
sessions—Interdisciplinary Writing I
Interdisciplinary Writing II
—taken on two separate days.
Each session requires that you read two articles on a divisive
issue and take a clear stance on the issue. Students are given
three pages on which to write a persuasive letter on the stance
that they have taken. It is required to use evidence from each of
the two sources. The same procedure is repeated for the second day;
a new topic is given.
Editing & Revising
Editing & Revising
is a short session in which the
student read short excerpts from stories and answer multiple choice
questions accordingly. Questions usually relate to grammar,
spelling, structure, etc.
The mathematics portion of CAPT is also broken into two sessions:
and Mathematics II
. In both tests,
there is a section of open-ended questions in which the student
must answer a question, explain their procedure, show their work,
and sometimes draw a visual. The second portion of the tests are
grid-ins; the student will answer a question and then bubble in
his/her answer in the grid provided.
- While it is required that every district administer the CAP
Test to students, some districts have decided to make passing the
CAPT a graduation requirement.
- Previously, a score of only eight was required, but since then,
the goal has been bumped up.