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About the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs)



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Practice Tests for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs)

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About The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) Tests



State Testing Information for Minnesota

Portions of the following material were taken from the Minnesota Department of Education website. Please see our links and source sections at the bottom of the page for more details and references.

General Description of the Tests

Provide teachers and school administrators with valuable information about the academic status of all students in Minnesota

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs)

  • Grades: 3-8, 10, 11
  • Subjects: Reading, Mathematics, Science
  • Help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind
  • These tests are given every year to measure student performance on the Minnesota Academic Standards, which define what our students should know and do in a particular grade.


Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)

  • Subjects: Reading, Mathematics, Science
  • Alternate assessment designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities
  • Part of the statewide assessment program and measures the extent to which students with significant cognitive disabilities are making progress in the general curriculum


Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (GRAD)

  • Grades: 9-11
  • Subjects: Reading, Mathematics, Writing
  • The state tests that fulfill Minnesota’s high school graduation requirement for students who first entered grade 8 in 2005-06 or later


EPAS (Educational Planning and Assessment System)

  • A set of tests (ACT, PLAN, EXPLORE) available to districts under a short-term grant from the state of Minnesota
  • Developed by ACT to assess student preparation for postsecondary education. These tests measure students’ preparation for college-level work.
  • Grade 8 - EXPLORE
  • Grade 10 - PLAN


National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

  • Grades: 4, 8, 12
  • Subjects: Mathematics, Writing, Geography, Reading, Arts, Economics, Science, Civics, U.S. History
  • The federal program that annually assesses the academic achievement of samples of students in all states
  • The only national assessment of what students know and can do in various subject areas



Assessment Information

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs)

  • Mathematics and Reading

  • - Paper and pencil tests that are divided into four segments
    - Each segment has multiple-choice questions and one or two short answer, or constructed-response, questions.
    - Students must attempt at least four multiple-choice questions in each of the four segments in order to receive a score.
  • Science

  • - Has multiple-choice and short-answer, or constructed-response, questions, as well as figural-response questions
    - Students respond to figural-response questions by manipulating graphic elements of an item, selecting a point on a graphic or completing a graph or diagram.



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