Test Specifications

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.

MCA-IV Draft Test Specifications for Science: Public Review Period through February 17, 2020

As a result of the 2019 revisions to the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Science, the Science Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-Series IV (Science MCA-IV) will begin assessing these standards in the spring of 2024. In collaboration with a committee of Minnesota educators, MDE has drafted the Science MCA-IV Test Specifications to assist with the development of the new assessments.

Members of the public are encouraged to review the proposed MCA-IV Draft Test Specifications for Science and provide feedback through the Science MCA-IV Test Specifications Feedback Survey. The survey will be open until February 17, 2020. Your feedback is important in creating the best assessment possible for all Minnesota students. A copy of the survey questions is available to review and discuss with colleagues before entering your individual or group survey responses.





Two Students On Math Test Day
Test Specifications Are Specific Rules and Characteristics That Guide the Development of a Test’s Content and Format