MN Tests Defined

Minnesota State Tests Defined

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)

MCAs are 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). Most students take one test in each subject.  Since the 2015-16 school year, all MCA testing has been administered online unless specific special education accommodations call for paper versions.  The following grades participate in MCA testing in the subjects noted:

- Reading - grades 3-8 and 10
- Math - grades 3-8 and 11
- Science - grades 5, 8 and high school (must have completed a Biology course)

ACT test (American College Testing)

The ACT test is a national college admissions exam that consists of subject area tests in English, Math, Science, Reading and Writing.  In 2015-16, the Minnesota Department of Education made the ACT a graduation requirement that will be attempted by all 11th graders.  All Minnesota juniors will be attempting the ACT test on the assigned testing day (during school) in order to satisfy graduation requirements.  These scores can also be college reportable as well (as long as the ACT company approves any accommodations).  For more information on the ACT test please visit

FAST testing

Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) - is a suite of highly efficient assessment tools designed for universal screening, progress monitoring, and program evaluation as part of a Response to Intervention (RtI) or Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model of service delivery.The universal screening of all students, several times a year, enables educators to identify which students are on track to reach end of year outcomes and which students may be at risk.  This practice helps to ensure that educators are identifying potential at-risk students as early as possible so effective preventative practices can be delivered in a timely fashion.  Furthermore, data from universal screening can assist educators in evaluating the health and well-being of their system as part of their Continuous Improvement decision-making.  The progress monitoring measures enable educators to collect data more frequently on at-risk students in order to make timely decisions regarding the effectiveness of the targeted/intensive instruction. 

AIMSWEB testing

AIMSWeb is the leading assessment and RTI solution in school today—a complete web-based solution for universal screening, progress monitoring, and data management for Grades K-12.  AIMSWeb provide the frameworkdata, and guidance that administrators and teachers need to efficiently allocate and evaluate core instruction and interventions, helping them improve outcomes for all students—based on accurate, continuous, and direct student assessment. For more information, please click on: