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Testing Calendar
MCA Information & Links


The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The reading and mathematics tests are used to determine whether schools and districts have made adequate yearly progress (AYP). Science tests are required by ESEA but are not included in AYP calculations.


Reading and mathematics tests are given to students in grades 3–8, 10 and 11. Science tests are given to students in grades 5 and 8 and in the year in high school when students complete a life science course.

Link to: Parent Resources




English Learners Proficiency Assessments

The ACCESS for ELLs 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, but English learners who received special education services and meet the participation guidelines may take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.

ACT & Pre-ACT Testing Information

Students in grade 11 & 12 are offered the opportunity to take the ACT plus writing during the school day. Students in grade 11 will participate in ACT prep activities throughout the year.


Students in grade 10 will take the Pre-ACT assessment.


More information will be shared throughout the year as these assessments are implemented.

Graduation Requirements Information


Test requirements for students are based on when the student was first enrolled in grade 8. You child’s school counselor can provide guidance on the requirement options for your child.


Link to: Graduation Requirements 


Opt Out Information

Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.31, subdivision 4a. Student Participation requires 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 below; it must be returned to your student's principal. 

First page of the PDF file: AssessmentsParentGuardianParticipationGuideRefusal-EnglishformRE110822