MN Tests Defined

Minnesota State Tests Defined

Optional Local Purpose Assessment (OLPA)
OLPA testing provides a risk-free environment for students to familiarize themselves with online testing and provides teachers with information to target instruction before the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) tests used for accountability in the spring.  OLPA testing simulates a MCA testing environment but does not count towards any accountability on student or school records. OLPA testing is administered online.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA)
MCAs are state tests that help districts measure student progress towardMinnesota’s academic standards and also meet the requirements of theElementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Most students take onetest in each subject.  In 2015-16, all MCA testing is administered online unless specific special education accommodations call for paper versions.  Down below are what grades/subjects participate in MCA testing:
     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 ofsubject area tests in English, Math, Science, Reading and Writing.  In 2015-16, the Minnesota Department of Education made the ACT a graduation requirement and 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 (aslong 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 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 provides 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.