How can students prepare for the tests?
The “Test Preparation Suggestions for Parents and Teachers” handout is available on the MDE website with tips on content preparation, general test-taking strategies and using a calculator. View the Test Preparation handout on the MDE website. (Go to Just for Parents > Testing Information.)
Item samplers help students become familiar with the format of the test and provide examples of the types of questions that are on the test. You can find item samplers for each grade and subject on the Minnesota Assessments portal (www.mnstateassessments.org). View the item samplers on the Minnesota Assessments portal (see links below).
What does it take to pass the tests?
Students do not pass or fail the reading and mathematics tests given in grades 3–8 or the science tests given in grades 5, 8, and high school. Each student receives a score that falls in one of four achievement levels—Does Not Meet the Standards, Partially Meets the Standards, Meets the Standards and Exceeds the Standards.
The grade 10 Reading MCA and the grade 11 Mathematics MCA may be used to meet graduation assessment requirements. If students achieve Meets or Exceeds the Standards, they have met their graduation assessment requirement for that subject. View the Graduation Assessment Requirements Parent Fact Sheet on the MDE website for further information on graduation assessment requirements. (Go to Just for Parents > Testing Information.)
How are tests administered?
All grades of the Science MCA are administered online only. All grades of the Reading and Mathematics MCA are administered online or on paper, as determined by each school.
The Mathematics MCAs in grades 3–8 are online, adaptive tests, which means that every time a student answers a question, his or her response helps determine the next question the student will answer.
What skills are assessed by the MCA?
The MCAs measure student performance on the Minnesota Academic Standards. View the Minnesota Academic Standards on the MDE website. (Go to Educator Excellence > Standards, Curriculum and Instruction > K-12 Academic Standards.)
The Reading MCA is aligned to the 2010 academic standards.
The Mathematics MCA is aligned to the 2007 academic standards.
The Science MCA is aligned to the 2009 academic standards.