The CRCT - Standardized Testing in Georgia

The CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests) is a standardized test given to students in Georgia to test individual student performance, school systems' teaching of Georgia Performance Standards, and the general state of education in Georgia. Covered subjects are reading, English/language arts, math, social ​studies, and science. The tests are based on Georgia Performance Standards. All questions are multiple choice.

Originally, all students in grades 1-8 took the CRCT. In the 2010-2011 school year, testing in grades 1 and 2 was eliminated due to budget issues. All students in grades 3-8 must now take the test, including special needs students and ESL students. However, there is a possibility of an alternate test in certain circumstances or a one-year deferment for bilingual students.

What Happens When Students Fail The CRCT

Students in grade 3 must pass reading to move on to fourth grade. Students in grades 5 and 8 must pass reading and math to be promoted. If students fail these exams, they can study or attend summer school and take a retest. A student who passes on the second try can move up to the next grade. A second failure automatically triggers a conference with the student's principal, teachers, and parents. If they unanimously agree that the student should be promoted, the student can move up without having passed the exam.

Otherwise, the student will repeat the previous grade.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "in 2009, at least 77,910 of the state's third-, fifth- and eighth-graders failed the CRCT. But that year, only 61,642 students in all 12 grades were held back for a myriad of reasons, including poor attendance, classroom grades and CRCT scores."

Preparing For and Taking the CRCT

If a child wants to prepare for the CRCT, Georgia Department of Education has an Online Assessment System which enables students to take practice tests. They receive a login and password from their school. The actual CRCT is given in April, usually the week after spring break.

Results are sent to the schools and parents in May.

CRCT Scoring

Students are not compared to each other; they are assessed on their mastery of Georgia Performance Standards. Therefore, the CRCT does not include a ranking or percentile score. The scores are Meets Expectations, Does Not Meet Expectations, and Exceeds Expectations.