This page contains information about the types
of questions (called items) students are asked to interact with on the MCA, and how they affect their score. The information below is from the Procedures Manual
and Test Specifications
, and is organized by grade and subject, so teachers have quick access to assessment details relevant to their work.
There are three types of items on the MCA that differ in terms of how they are scored. 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, and numbers of items on tests according to benchmark, review the tables and resources below, or watch the Minnesota Test Development Life Cycle Course Modules in Pearson's Training Management System
Types of items that appear on the MCA
Operational items are test questions that are scored and calculated toward a student's final MCA score.
Field Test Item
Field test items do not
count toward a student's MCA score. These items are questions and passages which are currently under review, and are added to the MCA in order to collect data that will help determine if they will be viable options for future assessments. Learn more about the field testing process here
Off-grade (CCR) items appear 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 structure for this portion of the test will be a proportional extension of the on-grade accountability blueprint.
Student Tutorial Resources - The online student tutorial is one type of student resource used to familiarize students and educators with the general functionality of the online test, tools, and all test item types. The online student tutorial contains three components: navigation, tools, and item types.
- Purpose of Student Resources- The Minnesota Department of Education requires districts to ensure that all students are familiar with the test they will be taking and are able to successfully navigate, use the online tools and accessibility features, and respond to different item types. This document explains the available student resources and their purposes. Which resources students need to review will be determined by the school, based on familiarity and experience with the test. Decisions may vary by school, grade, or student.
- Item Types Teacher Guide - This guide provides additional details for educators about the functionality students will experience in the online Student Tutorial.