Standards-Based Accountability Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and alternate assessment Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards and also meet federal and state legislative requirements. 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 the alternate assessment MTAS instead.
The list below shows tests by subject and the grades they are given:
- Reading: MCA or MTAS (grades 3-8, 10)
- Mathematics: MCA or MTAS (grades 3-8, 11)
- Science: MCA or MTAS (grades 5, 8, and once in high school)
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 is available from the Data Center. Links are available under Related MDE resources. 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 Pearson’s Perspective, are available on the PearsonAccess Next website. Item samplers are provided to help students and teachers become familiar with the format and type of content included in the state tests.