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Statewide Testing

Assessments are a way to gather information used for making educational decisions. Teachers and school districts use a variety of assessment types to guide instruction and support students. Minnesota students take statewide assessments to provide school districts and the public with information about equitable opportunities for all students to engage with high quality content in school.

In Minnesota, two types of statewide assessments are given to students each year to measure student learning: Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)

Each spring, Minnesota students take either the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) or the Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS).

Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility requirements take the MTAS instead. Both provide information about student learning of grade level content in Reading, Mathematics, and Science.

For more information:   Some of the benefits to taking the MCA tests in  high school include:

  • Gives the school a snapshot of how well we are teaching language arts, math and science standards. The data collected from the results helps us examine our curriculum and pedagogy. 
  • Practice for other standardized tests that students may encounter such as: ASVAB, ACT, Accuplacer, etc). 
  • Some 2 year schools can use MCA scores to determine program eligibility and/or course placement. This could mean that students would not need to take an additional placement test such as the accuplacer. 
  • Our results are included on the Minnesota report card. When a parent opts a student out of testing, it is equivalent to "does not meet". This can translate into misleading results on the report card for our school. 

What we ask of our students when taking the MCAs is for students to give their best effort!   To learn more about the benefits of taking the MCAs tests at Hawley Schools, please contact the building Principal.

    Parent/Guardian Participation Guide & Refusal Form

MCA Testing Schedule


Reading:  April 8-18

Math:  April 22-29

5th Science:  April 30 & May 1


High School

Reading (7/8/10):  April 15-26

Math (7/8):  April 29-May 3

Science 8:  May 6-10

Math (11):  April 30

Science (10):  April 30