MCA Testing
    Sherill Miller
    District Coordinator of Technology & Assessments

Testing Q&A

  • How can I prepare my child for state tests?

    Posted by:

    In general, parents should …

    • Remind students that these tests are important and should be taken seriously
    • Encourage students to answer all test questions
    • Encourage students to participate in practice sessions at school and home
    • Have students get a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test
    • Provide students with a study area
    • Encourage students to practice good study habits. Students should set aside time every day for homework

    Comments (-1)

State Testing Windows 23-24

  • 2023–24 Testing Calendar

    While the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) strives to ensure this testing calendar remains unaltered, it is subject to change based on assessment decisions made by the Minnesota Legislature or United States Congress.

    Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs)

    Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)

    ACCESS for ELLs

    WIDA Alternate ACCESS

    January 29

    • ACCESS for ELLs and WIDA Alternate ACCESS begin.

    March 4

    • Reading, Mathematics, and Science MCAs and MTAS begin.

    March 22

    • ACCESS for ELLs and WIDA Alternate ACCESS end.

    May 3

    • Reading and Mathematics MCAs and Reading, Mathematics, and Science MTAS end.

    May 10

    • Science MCA ends.
  • Pearson Perspective site for Minnesota :  Help your child prepare for the spring MCA tests. Perspective for Families provide thousands of learning resources aligned to the Minnesota Academic Standards. This site has thousands of learning resources to help students improve and achieve. Talk with your teacher for recommendations on areas you can focus or simply select a grade & subject to dive into a wealth of resources. Pearson Perspective site for Minnesota


    Please note: if the Google Assessment Calendar is not visible above, please click this link: Google Assessment Calendar

Information About Assessments

  • The Minnesota Assessments System has three purposes:

    1. To measure achievement towards meeting the Minnesota Academic Standards
    2. To measure the academic progress of students over time.
    3. To provide Minnesota graduates information related to career and college readiness.

    The primary purpose of the Standards-Based Accountability Assessments is to measure achievement on the Minnesota Academic Standards. Districts and schools use the results to inform curricular decisions. Parents use the results to monitor the academic progress of their children over the years. Minnesota public districts and schools, including charter schools, are required to assess all students in the required grades who are enrolled in the district during the state’s accountability window. Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet the MTAS eligibility criteria may take the MTAS. View the MDE website for further information (MDE>Students and Families>Statewide testing)

    The ACCESS is an English language proficiency assessment based on the Minnesota Standards for English Language Development, developed by the WIDA Consortium. There are four language domains assessed by the ACCESS: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test is available in six grade-level clusters: grades K, 1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, and 9–12. While the Kindergarten ACCESS remains paper-based, the ACCESS is administered online. View the WIDA website for further information, including resources technology requirements (WIDA > Assessment > ACCESS for ELLs 2.0).

    Results for MCA, MTAS and ACCESS assessments are shipped to the district in August and include the paper copy of the Individual Student Reports. This report documents the student’s overall achievement level as well as performance on each strand or sub-strand.  ISRs will be distributed to parents by fall conferences.