State Testing


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 the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 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. 

Tests by subject:

Grades 3-8, 10 
Grades 3-8, 11
Grades 5, 8, and high school* 

*The high school science test is taken the school year when students finish Biology.

Pearson Access Next

Pearson Access Next is the portal to all Pearson Services used by Minnesota school districts.  Use the resources below to better prepare for the MCA’s.

• Item Samplers
• Student Tutorials
• Formula Sheets
• Stand Alone Calculators

Career and College Assessments

The ACT Plus Writing Practice Resources
ACT offers practice resources for the ACT Plus Writing test. ACT provides five sets of questions for the English and Mathematics section: four sets are available for Reading and seven sets are available for Science.

To prepare for the Writing Test portion and for ordering alternate format practice materials at no charge, please visit the Test Prep page of the ACT Student website and select Practice Questions.

View the Practice Questions on the Test Prep page of the ACT Student website ( > Test Prep > Practice Questions) 

For other Test Prep information click the link to find testing tips, test descriptions, sample writing prompt and more.  ACT Plus Writing Test Prep

Graduation Assessments
Based on legislation enacted in 2015, the graduation assessment requirements have changed.

• Students first enrolled in grade 8 in 2011–2012 and earlier have a number of options to meet graduation assessment requirements in reading, mathematics, and writing.
• Districts have a number of requirements to fulfill for students’ career and college planning, but students first enrolled in grade 8 in 2012–2013 and later are not required to achieve a specified score on an assessment in order to graduate or meet graduation assessment requirements.
• Graduation Assessment Requirements Parent Fact Sheet

ELIZABETH HARNER   |  Director of Adult Learning & Professional Development
(952) 567-8107