Assessment Details

 

This page contains information from the Procedures Manual and Test Specifications, by grade and subject, giving teachers quick access to assessment details relevant to their work. Information about test design and question types from the MCA is also included.

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Reading MCA-III Details

Online Test and Data Entry

March 4 – May 3, 2019

Assessment Format

The Reading MCA-III is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). Each student begins the test with a passage set of average difficulty. A passage set is a passage and a series of predetermined test items associated with the passage. The student then answers the test items associated with the passage. The CAT algorithm scores the set as a whole and selects a slightly easier or more difficult passage set based on the student’s responses to the first set.

To learn more about the navigation, tools, and item types students will encounter on the Reading MCA-III, visit the PearsonAccess Next Student Tutorial page. 

Mathematics MCA-III Details

Online Test and Data Entry

March 4 – May 3, 2019

Assessment Format

The Mathematics MCA-III is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). Each student will begin the test with a test item of average difficulty. The student answers the item, and the response is scored. If the response is incorrect, the CAT algorithm selects a slightly easier question for the student to answer next. If the response is correct, the CAT algorithm selects a slightly more difficult question for the student to answer next.

 To learn more about the navigation, tools, and item types students will encounter on the Mathematics MCA-III, visit the PearsonAccess Next Student Tutorial page.

Science MCA-III Details

Online Test and Data Entry

March 4 – May 10, 2019

Assessment Format

The Science MCA is an online fixed form test, which means the content of the test is pre-determined. There are several forms, or versions, of the test that use different scenarios and questions, but all are of equal difficulty.

A fixed form test uses the same scenarios and items for all students. However, each student’s performance on the test will result in a unique score.

To learn more about the navigation, tools, and item types students will encounter on the Science MCA-III, visit the PearsonAccess Next Student Tutorial page.

MCA-III Item Details

There are three types of items on the MCA. The Reading and Mathematics tests will have operational, field test, and off-grade items. Science tests include operational and field test items. To learn more about the various item types, review the Minnesota Test Development Life Cycle Course in Pearson's Training Management System

MCA Item TypesDefinitions
Operational Items

All assessments have operational items that will count toward the MCA score.

Field Test ItemsField test items will not count toward the MCA score. These items are placed on the test to determine if the items are viable options for future operational administrations.
Off-Grade Items

Off-grade (CCR) items are only on the Reading and Mathematics MCA and do not count toward the MCA score. They count toward the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Score. These items can span two grades before or after the tested grade. The blueprint for this portion of the test will be a proportional extension of the on-grade accountability blueprint.

To meet state legislative requirements, the online grades 3–8 Reading and Mathematics MCA include off-grade items to provide additional information about student achievement. Only on-grade items are used for accountability calculations; additional information about how off-grade items are used in the calculation of the progress score is in Chapter 10. Any off-grade items will be no more than two grade levels above or below a student’s grade. For grade 3, students may see on-grade items or above grade items; there are no below grade items. For grade 8, students may see on-grade items or below grade items; there are no above grade items (Procedures Manual, pp. 22 & 23).

 

 

Grade Level Assessment Details

Reading Mathematics Science

Grade 3

Grade 3

N/A

Grade 4

Grade 4

N/A

Grade 5

Grade 5

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 6

N/A

Grade 7

Grade 7

N/A

Grade 8

Grade 8

Grade 8

High School

High School

High School