The Connecticut Academic Performance Test
The mathematics subtest of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) is mandated by the Connecticut State Department of Education, and is administered the first week of May each year to all Tenth Grade Students. It is based on the view that mathematics understanding is best assessed by doing mathematics, and that doing mathematics means using and discovering knowledge in the course of solving genuine problems.
The CAPT conceptual framework for the assessment of Mathematics was developed by an advisory committee of Connecticut educators and is based on current research and theory about mathematics instruction and assessment. The CAPT Mathematics Framework integrates skills, competencies and understandings delineated in Connecticut's Common Core of Learning with the vision described by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Accordingly, the test focuses less on specialized knowledge, and more on generalized abilities and an integrated understanding of key mathematical concepts drawn from everyday experiences. Using open-ended items, the examination represents directly the mathematics that students are expected to know and be able to do. Items will be presented to students in clusters, each cluster consisting of a realistic scenario followed by a series of 3 to 5 separately scored items related to that scenario.
CAPT Mathematics Content Areas
A. Number and Quantity
Represent and use numbers in variety of ways, including in-depth work with rational numbers (fractions, decimals, percents). Demonstrate an understanding of order and magnitude, operations of numbers, and ratios and proportions.
B. Geometry, Measurement and Shape
Represent and solve problems using geometric models. Interpret 2-and 3-dimensional objects. Understand and use the concepts of rotation, reflection, and translation to demonstrate geometric figures and apply relationships of congruence and similarity. Deduce and use properties. Use coordinate relationships. Select and use units and tools to measure. Understand and use concepts of perimeter, area, volume, angle measure, capacity, weight and mass. Develop and use rates. Understand and apply the relationship between precision of measurements and accuracy of calculations.
C. Statistics, Probability and Data
Systematically collect, organize and describe data. Construct, read and interpret tables, charts and graphs of data from real world situations. Draw inferences from graphs and tables of data. Understand sampling and recognize its role in statistical claims. Understand basic probability and likelihood of events.
D. Relations, Functions and Algebra
Understand and use the concepts of variable, expression and equation. Represent and analyze situation involving variable quantities with tables, graphs, verbal rules and equations. Describe, analyze, extend and create a wide variety of patterns. Use tables and graphs to solve problems. Analyze and use functional relationships.
Question on the Mathematics portion of the CAPT consist of two types of questions.
- Open-ended items: Open-ended items are those for which a student must write a response to a question.
- Grid-in items: Grid-in items are those for which a student must arrive at an answer and enter it into a grid.
Results of the Test
The results are returned to the districts some time in the early fall. Students also receive the results. For those students making goal on the CAPT for each of the sub-tests, a sticker is place on the student's permanent file. This information is transferred to anyone requesting transcripts such as institutes of higher learning and/or places of employment. If a student does not reach goal, that student has the opportunity to request to take the exam again during the regular testing period the following academic year.
What is Being Done in the Mathematics Departments in Stratford
Students are involved in the process of preparation for the CAPT from Kindergarten through Tenth Grade. In the seventh and eighth grades, everyday problems, practice problems, and problems on tests regularly prepare student with grid-ins and open-ended questions.
At the high schools, students have regular questions, some as often as daily. There are formal pre-tests given to all ninth and tenth grade students. These are designed to look like and require the same kinds of questions and problems as the state produced examination. Students sit for the 120 minute duration as with the state examination.