Testing and Assessments

  • Assessment Calendars

     MDE Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing

    Biennial Review of District Testing Program

    Every two years districts are required to report on the district testing program.  The report must include written objectives of testing program, names of tests and grade levels tested, use of test results, and student achievement results compared to previous years.  The testing program incorporates federally mandated Title I and Title III assessments, state mandated assessments, and local assessments.



    Reading and Mathematics Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)

    MCAs are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards and meet the requirements of NCLB. Results are used to make decisions for students about curriculum and instructional practices. They are also used to determine whether schools and districts have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward all students being proficient by 2014. The Math MCA is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 11, and the Reading MCA is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 10. 

    Science MCA

    The Science MCA is an online assessment that presents a series of science scenarios.  It is administered to students in grades 5, 8, and at the high school level. 

    Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)

    MTAS is Minnesota’s alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards.  The MTAS is designed to measure the extent to which students with significant cognitive disabilities are making progress in the general curriculum.  The Math MTAS is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 11, and the Reading MTAS is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 10.  TheScience MTAS is administered to students in grades 5, 8, and at the high school level.



    Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS)

    ACCESS for English Learners is a large-scale assessment of English language proficiency based on the WIDA English Language Development Standards.  There are four language domains to the ACCESS for ELLs for students in grades K–12: reading, writing, listening and speaking. These English language proficiency assessment results are used for federal Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) and determine state English learner funding for districts.  This test is administered to students in grade level clusters:  K, 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.



    In order to be eligible for a diploma from Minnesota public high school, all students must fulfill graduation assessment requirements.

    Students Enrolled in Grade 8 through 2011-12: These students can meet the graduation assessment requirements by meeting the GRAD requirements in reading, mathematics and written composition. 

    Students Enrolled in Grade 8 in 2012-13 and Later: These students will meet graduation assessment requirements through the career and college assessment system, which will first be administered in the 2014-2015 school year. The career and college assessment system will include a Career and College Assessment in grade 8 and 10 and a grade 11 College Entrance Assessment. Students not yet academically ready for a career or college based on their growth in academic achievement between grades 8 and 10 must take the college placement diagnostic exam before taking the college entrance assessment in grade 11. Additional information about these assessments will be provided when it becomes available. 



    Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

    MAP is a standards-aligned computer adaptive assessment program developed by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) that provides educators with the information they need to improve teaching and learning.  Educators use the growth and achievement data from MAP to develop targeted instructional strategies and to plan school improvement.  This reading and math assessment is administered to all students in grades K-10.


    FAST earlyMath and earlyReading are comprised of 3-4 numeracy or literacy subtests administered individually to Pre-K and K students.



    If you have additional questions, please contact the Department of Learning Office at (651) 457-9469.