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Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) Testing Begins

MONDAY, MARCH 05, 2018 07:52 AM

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) tests cover mathematics, reading and science to ensure students learn on par with state and federal standards. Students in Minnesota will take the MCA tests beginning March 5, 2018 through May 11, 2018. Each school and district will establish its own testing schedule inside of this window.

Understanding the MCAs

The Minnesota Department of Education uses the MCA to assess how school curricula work in alignment with the Minnesota Academic Standards and federal accountability measures. Individual schools gain insight into teachers' skills and student learning methods by evaluating MCA scores. Students who are in 3rd through 8th grade take reading and mathematics MCAs, 10th graders take only the reading test and 11th graders complete the math version. Anyone in grades 5 through 8 also performs science tests, and students enrolled in biology or life science classes must partake as well.

Each online version of the test adapts to students' answers, making the questions more or less difficult based on the students' choices. This provides a more individualized look at each kid's learning. Paper or braille versions of the MCAs are available upon request for eligible students.

Readying your kids for the MCA

The homework and tests that your children complete during the school year are all geared toward teaching the kids so they can succeed on the MCAs. Teachers base their plans for the year around informing students about the topics and skills they must know for the MCA exams. You can, however, provide your kids with extra help by having them try some practice tests. Students can brush up on their test-taking skills by practicing online, which may alleviate nervousness during test time for the MCAs. Kids may even spot areas they should improve on before taking the MCAs. Plus, moving from paper standardized testing to computerized versions can take some getting used to.