RICAS Assessments

We are excited to announce that beginning in spring 2018, Rhode Island will be administering the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS) in grade 3-8 in English Language Arts and mathematics.

While this is a new assessment, several important attributes remain the same. Most importantly, our state standards have not changed. The RICAS assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Instruction in our classrooms should continue to be aligned to these standards in English language arts and mathematics for all students. Below are important documents and other resources that will help LEAs and educators prepare for RICAS. 

Information for Test Coordinators

2018 Test Coordinator Handbook (pdf): This handbook contains snapshots of each assessment in the Rhode Island Statewide Assessment Program. It includes dates, contact information, and other important details about each assessment being administered in Rhode Island during the 2017-18 school year.

RICAS Resource Center (ricas.pearsonsupport.comincludes access to student practice tests, technology requirements, test administration manuals, online training modules, and released test items.

Medical Exemptions: Please use the guidance and information found here to submit medical exemptions.

Training Information for Test Coordinators

In-person half day RICAS School & District Test Coordinator Trainings will be held Monday through Wednesday, February 12, 13, and 14, 2018. Sessions will be held in the morning and afternoon at each location, with all sessions covering the same content. Content will include test administration and security protocols, technology, test design, and accommodations and accessibility features.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities and English Learners


RICAS Accommodations and Accessibility Features Manual (pdf) contains all of the information on allowable accommodations for students with disabilities and English Learners and accessibility features for all students. It also includes references for the SR/PNP file. Updated 12.29.2017.

RICAS Student Registration and Personal Needs Profile Guide (pdf) contains all of the directions for working in PearsonAccessNext (PAN) to update accommodations for RICAS testing.

RICAS Assistive Technology Guide (pdf) contains a list of all assistive technology programs and devices that are and are not supported by TestNav8. Updated 11.30.2017.

Bilingual Dictionaries and Glossaries for English Learner Students (pdf) contains a list of bilingual dictionaries and glossaries that current and former English Learner students may use on RICAS assessments.

NOTE: Please ensure that students the bilingual dictionaries/glossaries regularly during instruction throughout the school year. Bilingual dictionaries should not be given to a student on the day of testing. For approved bilingual dictionaries/glossaries for other state assessments, such as the PSAT10 or SAT School Day, please that test's specific web page. As a rule, bilingual dictionaries and glossaries may not contain any pictures, or definitions; only word-to-word dictionaries and glossaries are permitted.

Graphic Organizers, Checklists, and Supplemental Reference Sheets. The approved graphic organizers, checklists, and supplemental reference sheets listed below are for use by students with disabilities in grades 3-8 who have the Pre-approved Graphic Organizer or Supplemental Reference Sheet accommodation (A9, page 14, RICAS Accommodations and Accessibility Features Manual) listed in their IEP or 504 Plan. RICE encourages educators to familiarize any student who will be using these reference sheets or graphic organizers with these tools during instruction throughout the school year since students using these tools should be comfortable using them during RICAS testing. 

NOTE: Only the approved organizers and supplemental reference sheets listed below may be used for ELA and/or mathematics RICAS tests by students who meet the criteria of the A9 accommodation listed above. While text or graphics may not be added, it is permissible to remove text or graphics to suit the needs of the student.

NOTE about using pre-approved graphic organizers and reference sheets during testing and instruction: These graphic organizers and reference sheets may be helpful to students without disabilities. If appropriate, educators may use these graphic organizers and reference sheets during instruction for all students, not just students with disabilities. However, students without the A9 accommodation in their IEP or 504 Plan may not use the graphic organizers or reference sheets during RICAS testing. Educators should not feel the need to incorporate these graphic organizers or reference sheets into their instruction if they have others they use or feel they are not appropriate for their students.

English Language Arts Pre-Approved Graphic Organizers

Mathematics Supplemental Reference Sheets


SR/PNP Information

The 2018 Student Registration and Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) (pdf) instructions and file layout document will show schools how to update student information and accommodations. Information on Accommodations for RICAS can be found in the Accommodations for Students with Disabilities and English Learners tab on this web page.

NOTE: RIDE will upload the student registration file on behalf of all LEAs. Please ensure that all student information in the Enrollment Census and the Special Education Census is accurate and up-to-date to ensure clean, accurate student rosters.

Test Design: English Language Arts Information

The English Language Arts Test Design (pdf) document describes the design of the RICAS ELA tests. Test design documents were updated 11.28.2017 to reflect new testing times.

The RICAS assessments are based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework which is strongly aligned with Rhode Island's English Language Arts/Literacy standards: the Common Core State Standards. You can access the Massachusetts' Curriculum Frameworks documents here: www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks.

RICAS Student Tutorial and Practice Tests can be accessed here: ricas.pearsonsupport.com

RICAS Released ELA Items can be accessed here: ricas.pearsonsupport.com/released-items

  • RICAS Sample Student Work can be found here: www.doe.mass/edu/mcas/student/2017
  • Writing Standards in Action Project provides samples of student work that demonstrates grade-level expectations. The samples are annotated by educators to support student instruction in writing by showing how student writing meets or exceeds the standard. These writing samples are another source of student writing to help calibrate student expectations by grade level. The Massachusetts' Curriculum Frameworks documents refer to the Writing Standards in Action Project samples.

ELA Rubrics: The rubrics below will be used to assess the various types of students writing for the RICAS assessment. 

Test Design: Mathematics Information

The Mathematics Test Design (pdf) document describes the design of the RICAS mathematics tests. Test design documents were updated 11.28.2017 to reflect new testing times.

Mathematics Test Design and Fact Sheets by Grade: The documents below describe the 2018 RICAS test designs for Mathematics and English Language Arts for grades 3 – 8. They also include information on item types, calculator use, and links to RICAS resources. Fact Sheets were updated 11.30.2017 to reflect new testing times.

Mathematics Reference Sheets by Grade: The reference sheets below are for all students to use during the RICAS mathematics tests. Mathematics Reference Sheets for students who are eligible for the Supplemental Reference Sheet accommodation A9 (page 14 in the RICAS Accommodations and Accessibility Features Manual) can be found on the Accommodations for Students with Disabilities and English Learners tab on this web page.

RICAS Calculator Policy: Students who prefer to use a handheld calculator when taking the computer-based test may do so. RIDE recommends that handheld calculators be equivalent to the ones embedded in the grade-specific online testing platform. However, schools may provide a five-function handheld calculator to students in grade 8 as well as grade 7. Students may also provide their own handheld calculator.

RICAS Supplemental Assessment Tables and Achievement Level Descriptors: Supplemental assessment tables provide information for specific standards in terms of assessment. Achievement level descriptors are summaries of the knowledge and skills students demonstrate for the different levels of proficiency on RICAS.

Technical Skills for Students

Technical Skills for Students (pdf) outlines the skills students should be familiar with in order to navigate and use TestNav confidently. Please ensure that students have time to use these skills on the practice tests before testing begins.

Site Documents

Documents on this site require the use of the following programs:

DOC - Microsoft Word

PDF - Acrobat Reader

PPT - Microsoft PowerPoint

XLS - Microsoft Excel