Testing is used in schools to measure student achievement. State tests are given to students in a district once a year, based on their grade level and subject area. Classroom tests are given by individual teachers on a more regular basis and may include quizzes, mid-terms, chapter tests, and final exams, among others. Both types of tests give educators an idea of how well their students are learning the concepts presented to them in the classroom.
State testing information (data) by district or school can be found using the Data Center link provided. Educators can use this testing information to adjust their instruction to increase how well their students retain what is being taught.
Additional resources, including Item Samplers and Learning Point Navigator, are available on the Minnesota Assessments website. Item Samplers are provided to help students and teachers become familiar with the format and type of content included in the state tests. Learning Point Navigator can be used to access learning resources linked to student test results.
Information on this page can help parents, caregivers, and students learn more about testing in Minnesota schools. If you have additional questions about testing, please contact your school or District Assessment Coordinator.
Title I Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and alternate assessments MCA-Modified and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards and also meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility requirements may take one of the alternate assessments instead. The list below gives the tests available for each subject, with grades given in parentheses behind each test.
Reading: MCA (grades 3-8, 10) or MCA-Modified (grades 5-8,10) or MTAS (grades 3-8, 10)
Mathematics: MCA (grades 3-8, 11) or MCA-Modified (grades 5-8, 11) or MTAS (grades 3-8, 11)
Science: MCA or MTAS (grades 5, 8, and high school)
Note: 2013–2014 is the last year the MCA-Modified assessments will be administered. As a result of U.S. Department of Education regulations that require states to discontinue alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards, MCA-Modified will no longer be offered in spring of 2015 or thereafter.
Based on new legislation, the graduation assessment requirements have changed. Please refer to the Graduation Assessment Requirements Parent Fact Sheet
and the What Statewide Assessments Will My High School Student Take This Year
below for details.English Language Proficiency Assessments
The ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are the assessments developed by the WIDA consortium and administered to English learners in order to measure progress toward meeting Minnesota’s standards for English language development, developed by the WIDA consortium. Most English learners will take the ACCESS for ELLs, but English learners who received special education services and meet the participation guidelines may take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. A link to the WIDA Consortium website is provided under related resources on the right side of the page.What Statewide Assessments Will My High School Student Take This Year
This document provides an overview of the statewide assessments the typical grade 9, grade 10, grade 11, and grade 12 students will take in school year 2013–2014.English Arabic Chinese Hmong Khmer Laotian Russian Somali Spanish VietnameseParent Fact Sheets
Answers to frequently asked questions about the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA), MCA-Modified, Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), and graduation assessment requirements are available in a downloadable and printable Parent Fact Sheets. A test preparation fact sheet is also available. English Language Parent Fact Sheets
Translated Parent Fact Sheets