2021-2022 ZED Testing Information

  • All public schools in Minnesota are responsible for meeting the educational needs of all students. Therefore all students are required to participate in the statewide assessment program to see that these needs are being met. Students in grades 3-8, 10, and 11 are required to take the MCA (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment) or the MTAS (Minnesota Test of Academic Skills). Test results will be released on the following schedule:

    • Public release of final assessment results          August 27, 2021
    • Student reports arrive in the district                   August 26, 2021
    • Reports sent to parents                                      Prior to Fall conferences

    Required Tests

    MCA - These tests are administered once per year to see how well schools have instructed students in reading, mathematics, and science. These tests are given online or available with accommodations (paper/pencil).

    Students in:

    • Grades 3-4 - Reading and Mathematics
    • Grade 5 - Reading, Mathematics, and Science
    • Grades 6-7 - Reading, Mathematics
    • Grade 8 - Reading, Mathematics, and Science
    • Grade 9 - No tests will be given
    • Grade 10 - Reading - Science (if they are taking the biology/life science course)
    • Grade 11 - Mathematics - Science (taking the biology/life science course)

    MTAS - This is an alternate assessment and given to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities as stated in their IEPs. It measures reading, mathematics, and science skills but these tests are considerably less difficult than the items on the MCAs. They are given once per year and in the same grades as listed above. These are administered in a one-on-one setting. Tasks may be read aloud and presented with pictures, symbols, and/or objects to make them accessible to students who need such support.

    Optional Tests

    ACT+Writing - College entrance test. This test is available at the school on a regularly scheduled school day. They are usually offered in winter or early sprig on one set day with a make-up day also scheduled. They are available to students in grades 10 and 11. Twelfth graders can also take the test if they have not taken it in prior years.

    ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) - It is offered to high school students as part of the ASVAB Career Exploration Program. This program provides tools to help students learn more about career exploration and planning in both the civilian and military areas of work.

    Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.31, subdivision 4a requires that districts include a form for parents/guardians to complete if they do not want to have their child participate in state-required assessments. Click below for the Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing form. This form must be completed each year.

    Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing Form

     Purpose and Rationale of Statewide Assessments

    TestMCA and MTAS
    Purpose:  To measure achievement on the Minnesota Academic Standards
    Rationale:  Minnesota Statutes, Section 120.30 and ESA
    Source of the Requirement:  Minnesota Statutes 120B.30

    Test:  College Entrance Exams--ACT+Writing
    Purpose:  To provide Minnesota students information related to career and college readiness
    Rationale:  Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.30
    Source of the Requirement:  Minnesota Statutes 120B.30

    TestACCESS and Alternate ACCESS
    Purpose:  To annually assess English language proficiency of all English learners
    Rationale:  ESEA
    Source of the Requirement:  ESEA

    TestASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery)
    Purpose:  To provide Minnesota students an opportunity to identify which Army jobs (Military Occupational Specialties) would be best for them
    Rationale:  Provide a look at possible jobs and career paths that fit an individual's goals and explore options
    Source of the Requirement:  Not a requirement but provide another option for possible careers

    Estimated Testing Times for MCA and MTAS

    Estimated Test Administration Times for Online Reading MCA
    Grades and Test                              Typical Range
    Grades 3-8, 10 Reading                   1-2.5 hours*

    Estimated Test Administration Times for Online Math MCA
    Grades and Test                              Typical Range
    Grades 3-8, 11 Math                        1-2.5 hours*

    Estimated Test Administration Times for Online Science MCA
    Grades and Test                              Typical Range
    Grades 5, 8, & HS Science                0.5-1.5 hours*

    *Times may vary if students need to be in individual or small group settings or test over multiple days

    MCA Paper Test Administrations

    Estimated Test Administration Times for Paper Reading MCA
    Grades and Test                              Total Test Administration
    Grades 3-8, 10 Reading                   1-2.5 hours*

    Estimated Test Administration Times for Paper Mathematics MCA
    Grades and Test                              Total Test Administration
    Grades 3-8, 11 Math                        1-2.5 hours*

    Estimated Test Administration Times for Paper Science MCA
    Grades and Test                              Total Test Administration
    Grades 5, 8, & HS Science                0.5-1.5 hours*

    *For students using paper test materials, testing can be schedule by segment or by time and may vary for each student.

    Scheduling Reading, Math, and Science MTAS Asministrations

    Estimated Test Administration Times for MTAS*
    Subject and Test                              Estimated Time
    Reading MTAS                                  45-90 minutes
    Mathematics MTAS                           30-60 minutes
    Science MTAS                                  30-60 minutes

    *The entire testing window may be used to administer the MTAS and enter student scores. Test administration times will vary for each student.

    ACCESS Administration

    Testing Times for Grades 1-12 ACCESS
    Test                                                 Minutes per Test (student work only)
    Listening                                          Up to 40  minutes
    Reading                                           Up to 35 minutes
    Speaking                                         Up to 30 minutes
    Writing Tier A                                   45-60 minutes
    Writing Tier B/C                                60-65 minutes

    Testing Times for Alternate ACCESS
    Test                         Tasks                Minutes per Test (student work only)
    Listening                    9                    20 minutes
    Reading                      9                   20 minutes
    Speaking                    8                   20 minutes
    Writing                      10                  20 minutes