NSCAS Science

NSCAS Science for general assessment is administered to students in grades 5 & 8.   Science assessment will transition to College and Career Ready in 2020-2021.  Assessment results will currently be based on the legacy (former) standards.

If a student is taking the Science Alternate Assessment please go to the  NSCAS Alternate Summative Assessment Page.

For information on interim or formative assessment supports, please click on the links.

Science assessment development from adoption of Nebraska College and Career Ready Standards for Science (NCCRS-S) to an operational assessment designed for NCCRS-S.

Test Administration Window

March 18, 2019 – May 3, 2019

Make-up Testing Only

April 29, 2019 – May 3, 2019


Test Administration Window

March 16, 2020 – May 1, 2020

Make-up Testing Only

April 27, 2020 – May 1, 2020

NSCAS Table of Specification

Please read this explanation to find why the TOSs for NSCAS Science are different than other content areas.

Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and uses of local Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS)

This website houses tools, information, and resources developed as part of the Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS) project. We pronounce that just like the word “skills”!

SCILLSS brings together a consortium of three states – Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming – with a team of researchers and a panel of experts on validity theory, principled-design, psychometrics, and STEM education to establish a foundation for creating enhanced science assessments. Such assessments would yield scores with strong validity evidence to support score interpretation and use.

SCILLSS is funded for a 48-month period from 2017 through 2020 by an Enhanced Assessment Grant from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the US Department of Education, awarded to the Nebraska Department of Education

Please note:  The information below was developed for the NeSA assessment, but is still applicable for NSCAS.

NeSA Science Performance Level Descriptors

Please note: The Nebraska Science Performance Level Descriptors describe three levels of mastery for specific science standards. More information about the sequence of the learning and further clarification of what students should know and be able to do can be found in the following three documents: Nebraska Science Standards – Articulated Format; Sample K-12 Science Curriculum – Articulated Format; and the Inquiry Scoring Rubric. Each of these documents may be accessed on the NDE science education page.

NeSA Science
PLDs (Grade 5&8)
NeSA Science PLD pdf

NDE Science Education
NDE Science Education page


For general assessment questions, contact Statewide Assessment.


For more information about SCILLSS project, contact Rhonda True, Enhanced Education Grant Coordinator.


For more information about Nebraska’s College and Career Ready Standards for Science, contact Sara Cooper, Science Education Specialist.


Updated November 8, 2019 2:34pm