MCAS Graduation Requirements

To qualify for a Burlington High School diploma, all students must complete graduation requirements as well as achieve competency on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). Students must achieve competency on the English Language Arts (ELA), Math, and Science/Technology MCAS.

In addition, students must meet the following guidelines:

  • Students will be required to meet or exceed a scaled score of 240 on both the Grade 10 English Language Arts and Mathematics MCAS exams;   OR 

  • Students will be required to meet or exceed a scaled score of 220 on both the Grade 10 English Language Arts and Mathematics MCAS exams and fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP).  The EPP shall be developed for the subject matter area(s) in which students did not meet or exceed a scaled score of 240.  

Students in the Classes of 2010 and beyond must also achieve competency on the Science/Technology MCAS exams. Students may achieve competency in Science/Technology by receiving a passing score on either the Engineering Technology, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics exam.  In general, students will take the Science/Technology exam that corresponds to the course in which they’re enrolled in their freshman year. Students take the English Language Arts and Mathematics MCAS exams during their sophomore year.  

MCAS exams for freshman are usually administered in June.  MCAS exams for sophomores are usually administered in March and May.  Makeup MCAS exams for juniors and seniors who have not yet achieved competency are administered in November and March. 

On rare occasions when a student is struggling to pass a state mandated exam, that student, with administrator approval, may repeat a course and receive credit for it.  The goal in allowing this is so the student may be exposed to the content a second time in order to be in the best position to pass and meet a competency determination. 

Students in the Class of 2021 and beyond will complete the ELA and Mathematics MCAS exams by means of the next-generation, computer-based version of the MCAS exams in those subjects, beginning in Spring 2019.  These exams are similar in design to the tests that students in Massachusetts public schools took as eighth graders in Spring 2017. The next-generation grade 10 MCAS exams will have different achievement levels and scores than the previous versions of the grade 10 exams.  The mandated required achievement levels will be publicized to BHS families as the scores are available.

Department of Education