The Division of Statewide Testing provides test specifications for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) in reading, mathematics and science. Test specifications provide information on how the academic standards are addressed on a test and contain specific rules and characteristics that guide the development of a test’s content and format. The test specifications indicate which strands, sub-strands, standards and benchmarks will be assessed on the test and in what proportions.
Test specifications are excellent tools for gaining an in-depth understanding of the content and format of the tests. However, they are not meant to be used as the basis for curriculum and instruction. Some concepts in the academic standards can only be assessed in the classroom and not on a standardized statewide assessment.