State Testing Information

2019-20 State Testing Information

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 MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MTAS.

Test dates

The state’s test window is March 2 – May 8.  See MCA Schedule 2019 for school-specific dates (2020 dates not yet published).


Test Security Information for Students:

As part of a culture of academic integrity, we would like to remind families and students of the importance of test security and the expectation that students will keep test content secure and act with honesty and integrity during the administration of state assessments. The district expects students to do the following:

  • Students should do their own best work to show what they know and can do.

  • Students should not accept help finding answers to test items.

  • Students should not give answers to other students.

  • Students should not tell others what is on the test.

  • There may be consequences if students do not follow directions or if they behave dishonestly.

Cell Phones:
Students may NOT use cell phones, wearable technology (e.g., smart watches, fitness trackers) or any other electronic device (except the school owned device being used for testing) at any time during testing, including during breaks. Students are not to use these devices even when testing is completed. If school wide testing is scheduled for a block of time, devices should not be used during that block of time, even if that student has completed their testing.


Test monitors are expected to inform students that they cannot receive or view calls, texts, or alerts during test administration. If a student has a cell phone or other electronic device in a testing room, the following procedures will be followed:

  • Student must turn cell phone (or other device) OFF (not just silenced as personal alarms could still be active).

  • Student is given an envelope. The envelope must cover the contents of the phone (device) – it cannot be clear.

  • Student places phone (device) in envelope, seals the envelope and stores the envelope where it will be inaccessible during testing.

  • If a student receives a notification (e.g., ringtone, vibration) during testing, the students must hand the phone (device) (which should be in an envelope) to the Test Monitor.

Students also may not wear or access wearable technology during testing if the device can electronically send or receive information. If one of these devices is worn during testing, the student’s test must be invalidated because the device is visible and accessible, regardless of whether it was used or not.

Test Security Concerns

If you have any concerns about suspected incidents of cheating or other improper or unethical behavior on statewide assessments, you can report that information to your school principal, the district’s Research, Evaluation and Assessment department (rea@rdale.org or 763-504-8103), or by submitting the District Test Security Report.

Maintaining the integrity of tests and test items is of great importance to the Minnesota Department of Education. Improper or unethical behavior by students or educators undermines the validity of test score interpretation. Please report suspected incidents of cheating or piracy of test items using the Minnesota Statewide Test Security Tip Line or by contacting the Minnesota Department of Education (mde.testing@state.mn.us or 651-582-8674)

Frequently Asked Questions: Why Statewide Test Results Matter

Minnesota’s statewide tests are objective, standardized measures of student achievement on academic or proficiency standards. Students, families, teachers and administrators use statewide test results as part of a comprehensive system for evaluating learning. Answers to frequently asked questions explain the purpose for statewide testing and why it is important to ensure the integrity of test scores: Frequently Asked Questions: Why Statewide Test Results Matter.

Student Participation in Statewide Assessments
Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.31, subdivision 4a, requires the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to publish a form for parents/guardians to complete if they refuse to have their student participate in state-required standardized assessments. The Parent/Guardian Guide to Statewide Testing document provides some basic information to help parents/guardians make informed decisions that benefit their child and their school and community. The form to meet this legislative requirement is available at the link below; it must be returned to your student's school. Your student’s district may require additional information.
Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing Form