8th Grade United States History and MCAP
Middle School Social Studies Assessment Information

The following links and resources to support student learning in 8th grade United States History and to prepare for the MCAP Middle School Social Studies assessment.

American History

NEW: Using iTempra for Social Studies Professional Development
This is a training video for how to use the website iTempra for 8th grade social studies professional development.
            iTempra for Social Studies Professional Development
NEW: Practice Test

Practice Test
A full practice test for the MCAP Grade 8 Social Studies Assessment is available.  The practice test mimics the style and organization of an actual test.
NEW: Frequently Asked Questions about the Grade 8 AssessmentFrequently Asked Questions
Description of the MCAP Middle School Social Studies Assessment.A short description of the 8th grade social studies assessment that will be field tested in May 2020.
8th Grade United States History FrameworkA detailed list of all the objectives, indicators, and assessment limits which appear on the exam.
NEW: Rubrics

Beginning with the May 2020 administration the following rubrics will be used to score constructed response (CR) items on the social studies 8 assessment.

The 4-point content rubric will be used to score content-focused CR items.

The two and four-point EBAS rubrics will be used to score the CR items in the Evidence-Based Argument Sets (EBAS).  A sample EBAS can be found below.
NEW:Sample Evidence-based Argument Set (EBAS) for 8th Grade United States History

The Evidence-Based Argument Set (EBAS)


The More Learning, Less Testing Actof 2017 (Md. Ed. Art §7-203) requires that “to the greatest extent possible” the middle school assessment “consist of criterion-referenced, performance-based tasks that utilize critical and historical thinking skills and analyze primary sources.”  These new performance-based item types are referred to as Evidence-Based Argument Sets (EBAS) in the social studies 8 assessment.

The EBAS assess three social studies skills and processes from Maryland Social Studies Standard 6.0: Skills and Processes. These skills were selected by the LSS social studies supervisors. These skills are:
  • Evaluate the credibility of the sources by considering the authority, origin, type, context, and corroborative value of each source.
  • Identify credible, relevant information contained in the sources.
  • Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources.

The EBAS are organized around a compelling historical question and provide students 3-4 sources that allow for the development of an answer to the compelling question. The EBAS have constructed response and technology enhanced items that will assess students’ ability to source,
contextualize, and corroborate sources as well as to identify relevant information contained within a source. In addition, the EBAS will have a small focused final writing task.
NEW: Evidence Based Argument Sets Anchor Public Release ItemTo access the responses, click on the public access module (at the bottom), and select the module titled “EBAS 2019 - Women in the American Revolution.” Scored student responses, scoring annotations, and practice responses are included.
NEW: Sample 4-Point Constructed Response Item for MCAP Social Studies Grade 8 AssessmentOne of the items on the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) Social Studies Grade 8 assessment is the four-point constructed response question. These items measure students’ understanding of United States History content identified in the assessment limits of the grade 8 framework.
​NEW: Sample Selected Response Items for MCAP Social Studies Grade 8 AssessmentOne of the item types on the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) Social Studies Grade 8 assessment is the selected response (SR) question. These items measure students’ understanding of United States History content identified in the assessment limits of the grade 8 framework. Below are examples of the formatting for SR question types.
Source Work Crosswalks​The crosswalks illustrate the connection between Maryland’s 6.0 Skills and Processes and commonly used source analysis approaches (SHEG, APPPARTS, SOAPSTONE)

SHEG Crosswalk- Crosswalk between Maryland’s 6.0 Skills and Processes and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) Approach

APPARTS Crosswalk- Crosswalk with College Board’s Pre-AP APPARTS Document Analysis Method

SOAPSTONE Crosswalk- Crosswalk with College Board’s Advanced Placement SOAPSTONE Document Analysis Method