Social Studies 8 Assessment Resources

The following resources are designed to support teaching and learning in 8th grade United States History and to prepare students for the Social Studies 8 assessment.

American History

Middle School United States History Framework A detailed list of all of the indicators, objectives, and assessment limits which appear on the Social Studies 8 assessment.
NEW: Frequently Asked Questions Frequently asked questions about the Social Studies 8 assessment.
Practice Test A full practice test for the Social Studies 8 assessment is available. The practice test follows the style and organization of an actual test.
Social Studies 8 Assessment description A short description of the Social Studies 8 assessment that will be field-tested in May 2022.

Rubrics

 

DRAFT 4 Point Rubric for Content CRs

 

DRAFT 2 and 4 Point Rubric for EBAS

 

Beginning with the May 2022 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 CR items.

The 2 and 4 point EBAS rubrics will be used to score the CR items in the Evidence Based Argument Sets (EBAS).

Sample Selected Response items One of the item types on the Social Studies 8 assessment is the selected response (SR) question. These items measure students' understanding of U.S. History content identified in the assessment limits of the framework.  
Sample Constructed Response items One of the items on the Social Studies 8 assessment is the 4 point constructed response question. These items measure students' understanding of U.S. History content identified in the assessment limits of the framework.

Sample Evidence Based Argument Set (EBAS)

 

The More Learning, Less Testing Act of 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 with four 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.
EBAS Anchor SetScored student responses, scoring annotations, and practice responses are available in this content banking system. 
NEW: Video: Intro to MCAP – Assessment Limits
​This video is a brief introduction to the Assessment Limits outlined in the Framework and how they are used to write items for MCAP Social Studies 8.
Video: Intro to MCAP - Test Structure This video is a brief introduction to the structure of the Social Studies 8 assessment.
Video: Using iTem/Pra for Social Studies Professional Development This is a training video for how to use the MSDE website iTem/Pra for social studies professional development.

Source Work Crosswalks

 

SHEG Crosswalk

 

APPARTS Crosswalk

 

SOAPSTONE Crosswalk

 

These crosswalks illustrate the connections between Maryland's 6.0 Skills and Processes standards and source analysis approaches commonly used in classroom instruction.
Street LawStreet Law has developed instructional materials for the court cases that students must know for the Social Studies 8 assessment.