Assessments

Standards-Based Accountability Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) 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)
English Language Proficiency Accountability Assessments
The ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 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 2.0, 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 website is provided under related resources on the right side of the page.

Parent Fact Sheets
Answers to frequently asked questions about the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA), Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), and ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, are available in a downloadable and printable Parent Fact Sheets. A test preparation fact sheet is also available. See the document list below. Translated versions of these fact sheets are available under Translated Documents, below.

MCA Parent Fact Sheet

MTAS Parent Fact Sheet
ACCESS Parent Fact Sheet
Test Preparation Suggestions for Parents and Teachers


Student Participation in Statewide Assessments

Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.31, subdivision 4a, requires the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to publish a form for parents/guardians to complete if they refuse to have their student participate in state-required standardized assessments. The Parent/Guardian Guide to Statewide Testing document provides some basic information to help parents/guardians make informed decisions that benefit their child and their school and community. The form to meet this legislative requirement is available at the link below; it must be returned to your student's district. Your student’s district may require additional information.

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

Test Security Tip Line
Maintaining the integrity of tests and test items is of great importance to the Minnesota Department of Education. Improper or unethical behavior by students or educators undermines the validity of test score interpretation. Please report suspected incidents of cheating or piracy of test items using the Minnesota Statewide Test Security Tip Line