The Minnesota Assessments System has three purposes:
- To measure achievement towards meeting the Minnesota Academic Standards
- To measure the academic progress of students over time.
- To provide Minnesota graduates information related to career and college readiness.
The primary purpose of the Standards-Based Accountability Assessments is to measure achievement on the Minnesota Academic Standards. Districts and schools use the results to inform curricular decisions. Parents use the results to monitor the academic progress of their children over the years. Minnesota public districts and schools, including charter schools, are required to assess all students in the required grades who are enrolled in the district during the state’s accountability window. Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet the MTAS eligibility criteria may take the MTAS. View the MDE website for further information (MDE>Students and Families>Statewide testing)
The ACCESS is an English language proficiency assessment based on the Minnesota Standards for English Language Development, developed by the WIDA Consortium. There are four language domains assessed by the ACCESS: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test is available in six grade-level clusters: grades K, 1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, and 9–12. While the Kindergarten ACCESS remains paper-based, the ACCESS is administered online. View the WIDA website for further information, including resources technology requirements (WIDA > Assessment > ACCESS for ELLs 2.0).
State law limits the amount of time per year students may spend taking school- and district-wide assessments to no more than 10 hours for grades 1 through 6, or 11 hours for grades 7 through 12.