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MOSART Self Service Site

Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers

Test Inventory and Development

Tests are free to educators; however, since their structure and use differ from many assessment instruments with which you may be familiar, we require anyone seeking access to these instruments to complete tutorials about their design and proper usage. The site will keep track of your progress through the tutorials, and give you direct access to the tests once the tutorials are complete.

Test Development

The tests available on this web site were developed by a team of researchers in the Science Education Department of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The content of the questions is based on published studies of science misconceptions and the NRC National Science Education Standards. Research scientists in the specific content areas evaluated draft questions for scientific accuracy and the development team iterated revisions with the scientists until all comments were resolved. Subsequently, an educator with expertise in literacy reviewed the tests for readability and grade appropriateness. The project team then constructed pilot versions of these tests and administered each test question to 100+ students in the lowest grade level to whom the test would be given. For example, the middle school tests were administered to students in grades 7 and 8. After the pilot data were analyzed, over 1000 students in several grade levels took field test versions of the tests. Thus, the middle school tests were given not only to students in grades 7 and 8, but also to high school students. The result of these efforts for more than 10 years is more than 2,000 multiple-choice test questions addressing most of the NRC's K-12 earth science content standards. The team has developed tests that are available to educators at no cost for downloading from from the web as PDF files.

A detailed article on our test development methodologies and some of our findings, focused on development of the K–12 astronomy/space science items, but describing our overall process, can be found in the online journal, Astronomy Education Review.


Test Inventory

  • K-4 Astronomy/Space Science
  • K-4 Earth Science
  • K-4 Life Science
  • K-4 Physical Science
  • 5-8 Astronomy/Space Science
  • 5-8 Earth Science
  • 5-8 Life Science
  • 5-8 Physical Science
  • 9-12 Astronomy/Space Science
  • 9-12 Chemistry
  • 9-12 Earth Science
  • 9-12 Physics

We have received NSF funding to develop items and tests for grades 9-12 life science. We plan to have the tests on this site by the end of 2015. We will post a more exact date when possible.