The Science MEA

The Science MEA is a two hour test. Most of you will fail it. Let's not have that happen. Why? Because it's a set of questions, not a boogeyman. Dates: 3/30/20 - 4/10/20 120 minutes. 56 questions. Alternative assessment 4/6/20 – 5/22/20 (for developmental delays). Two sections of sixty minutes each, followed by a 30? minute questionnaire about the test?

2013 Test

1) They love tectonic plates.

2) They evidently don't know what an atom after 1950 really looks like.

3) What they mean by "best answer" is "do you remember a specific science vocabulary word"?

D. The Physical Setting 1. Universe and Solar System 2. Earth 3. Matter and Energy 4. Force and Motion

E. The Living Environment 1. Biodiversity 2. Ecosystems 3. Cells 4. Heredity and Reproduction 5. Evolution

The written response is testing a particular idea. Get it right, compare and contrast, and you get a four. Get it wrong, and you'll maybe get a two. Be a grader: handwriting, wording, and politeness count! Number your answers, and write in complete sentences. If you don't understand the question, rewrite the question in your own words using good English grammar. If you have time, always thank your grader! "Thank you for taking the time to grade my test!"

They avoid C as an answer.

2013-14 Test

1) They love graphs of kinetic vs. potential energy.

2) They love evolution and Mendelian genetic selection.


1) There's always a gas pressure question.

2) There's only one "right" answer to the origin of the universe.

3) There's always a potential to kinetic energy question (easy).

4) There's always a weird, confusing plains ecosystem question.

5) There's always a question/graph about climate change/temperature/CO2 concentrations.

6) They only understand fission, fusion, and radioactive half-lives.

7) Development/business is pretty much always disruptive to ecosystems.

8) The genetic mixing questions are generally the hardest.

9) There's always a question about physics laws of motion.

10) Distant galaxies moving away faster has shown up twice as an answer in three tests.

11) They like chemical comparison graph/pictures with questions for the hard questions.

12) They always ask a question about meiosis and mitosis.

Some of the essay questions are REALLY hard.

Students are graded down on their essays if they cite religious beliefs.


Potential vs. kinetic energy

Sound wave cancellations

Polar, covalent, ionic, polymeric, bonds

Parts of an atom.


Weirdly, chemical reactions between marble and nitric acid shows up in two different years

Selective gene expression

Earth crust questions


Getting much harder


Very difficult with lots of images/graphs. Half as many questions.

I have to complete a questionnaire about the test.

1. Go to 2. Select “Maine” from the drop-down list and click “Enter.” 3. Select “Department Chair Questionnaire” from the options in the column on the left side and follow the online directions to submit the questionnaire. 4. Please contact the Measured Progress Maine Customer Care Center at (866) 615-2745 or email if you have any questions about submitting your Department Chair Questionnaire.

The MEA is structured using both common and field-test items. Common items are taken by all students in a given grade level. Student scores are based only on common items. Field-test items are divided among the forms of the test for each grade level. Each student takes only one form of the test and therefore answers a fraction of the field-test items. Field-test items are not identifiable to test takers and have a negligible impact on testing time.

D. The Physical Setting

12 questions D1: Universe and Solar —Students explain the physical formation and changing nature of our universe and solar system, and how our past and present knowledge of the universe and solar system developed. D2: Earth—Students describe and analyze the biological, physical, energy, and human influences that shape and alter Earth systems.

22 questions D3: Matter and Energy—Students describe the structure, behavior, and interaction of matter at the atomic level and the relationship between matter and energy. D4: Force and Motion—Students understand that the laws of force and motion are the same across the universe.

22 questions E. The Living Environment E1: Biodiversity—Students describe and analyze the evidence for relatedness among and within diverse populations of organisms and the importance of biodiversity. E2: Ecosystem—Students describe and analyze the interactions, cycles, and factors that affect short-term and long-term ecosystem stability and change. E3: Cells—Students describe the structure and function of cells at the intracellular and molecular levels, including differentiation to form systems, interactions between cells and their environment, and the impact of cellular processes and changes on individuals. E4: Heredity and Reproduction—Students examine the role of DNA in transferring traits from generation to generation, in differentiating cells, and in evolving new species. E5: Evolution—Students describe the interactions between and among species, populations, and environments that lead to natural selections and evolution.

9 Recall questions, 37 decision making questions, 10 strategic thinking questions.

Correct answers were assigned a score of one point and incorrect answers were assigned zero points. Student responses with multiple marks and blank responses were also assigned zero points.

Written responses: scorers at computer terminals accessed electronically scanned images of student responses. Scorers evaluated each response and recorded each score via keypad or mouse entry through the iScore system. When a reader finished one response, the next response appeared immediately on the computer screen. Imaged responses from all answer booklets were sorted into item-specific groups for scoring purposes. Scorers reviewed responses from only one item at a time.

Scorers were required to have successfully attained a four-year college degree or higher. Many have masters or PhDs. They spend a lot of time making sure the scorers agree with each other. You get one through four. Zero is nothing, 1 is something, 2 is basic, 3 is general and 4 is specific. In reality, the difference between three and four is likely grammar, word choice, and handwriting.