Test Construction

Last year, Measured Progress developed more than 18,000 items, including multiple-choice and constructed-response items, writing prompts, and performance tasks. Statistics show that external item review committees accepted more than 97 percent of the items Measured Progress first presented to them last year. Each item in a high quality assessment addresses the appropriate state standards, challenges but doesn't trick students, and is accessible to all students at their grade level. 

The majority of Measured Progress assessment development specialists hold advanced degrees in their fields and have had years of classroom experience. Their experience enables them to create items well-aligned with students' classroom experience.

Specialists work with clients to create customized items that measure students' knowledge of the standards.

Before any item is released for external review, members of the C&A team review it against client item specifications, and for bias and fairness concerns.

Read more about the item development and review process.

Item Characteristics

Mathematics Items

  • Based on real-life situations appropriate to student age-level
  • Assess higher-order thinking skills, such as application of concepts
  • Use clear sentence structure and appropriate vocabulary
  • Include distractors designed to capture common errors

Reading/English Language Arts Items

  • Selections reflect a wide variety of reading types
  • Selections must be:
    • Interesting to read
    • Important and meaningful to students
    • Appropriate for grade level
    • Free of bias and sensitive topics
  • measure higher-order thinking skills
  • assess material in the selection
  • clearly indicate what the student is being asked
  • have only one correct or best option and plausible distractors


A sophisticated in-house Publishing department provides all graphics content for test materials and carries thousands of test-related documents and ancillary materials through rigorous editorial, production, and quality-control processes. Publishing staff also manage Measured Progress's item authoring and banking system and prepare test booklets, answer documents, and manuals for commercial printing, online administration, Web posting, or distribution via other digital media.

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