Minnesota Tests

Minnesota Assessments include the standards-based accountability assessments and the English language proficiency accountability assessments. Districts are also required to offer a college entrance exam to students in grades 11 and 12.

Testing information for parents and guardians.

Standards-Based Accountability Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and alternate assessment, Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), are the statewide tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCAs, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MTAS. Download the MTAS Eligibility Requirements.

Pearson provides Minnesota's standards-based accountability assessments. Resources for District Assessment Coordinators are available on PearsonAccess Next.

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, the alternate assessment participation rate in each state may not exceed 1% of all students tested in any subject. To learn more about the federal regulations, Minnesota’s current participation rates, and what MDE has done to support districts, read the Overview of the 1 Percent Cap and Alternate Assessment Participation in Minnesota.

English Language Proficiency Assessments
The ACCESS 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 the WIDA English Language Development Standards adopted by Minnesota. 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. Participation criteria for the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are located in the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs section of the WIDA website.

Career and College Readiness
Districts have a number of requirements for career and college planning for their students. These requirements include offering students in grades 11 and 12 an opportunity to participate in a nationally recognized college entrance exam (ACT or SAT) on a school day. These students are not required to achieve a specified score on an assessment to graduate or meet graduation assessment requirements.

Comments and Suggestions
Comments, suggestions, and feedback for improvements for the Minnesota assessments are valuable to the growth and effectiveness of the testing program. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and our service providers continually work to improve testing procedures for future administrations. Send feedback for improvements to

Two Students On Math Test Day
District Assessment Coordinator Resources for Administering Minnesota Tests

Related MDE resources:

Related offsite resources: