In April students will take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). NMS students will be tested in Math, Reading, and Science to measure their academic progress. These tests are high stakes as they are used to evaluate individual students as well as the performance of our school as a whole. It is of utmost importance that students do their best on these tests. There are a few tips to help students succeed on these examinations. Students should remember to get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. They should also be sure to eat breakfast on the morning of the test (breakfast is available at the school). Students should also do their best to remain relaxed when they test. All of these are proven strategies that help students perform better on this and any other test.
Again this year, we are providing links to study guide materials to help students prepare for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, with practice tests in reading for students in grades 3-8 and 10, and in math, for students in grades 3-8 and 11.
Click on the links below for detailed help and information.
• Newspapers in Education St. Paul Pioneer Press
• Newspapers in Education Minneapolis StarTribune
• Click here to download sample tests from the MDE, the Pioneer Press and various other math and reading resources.
• MDE - Student and Family Portal
• Minnesota Parent Center
• Minnesota Assessments Item Sampler
Preparing for the MCA's
1. Familiarize students with the test directions and format. For most Minnesota Assessments, you can download Item Samplers from the MDE website.
2. Encourage students to answer all test questions.
3. Encourage students to participate in practice sessions at school and home.
4. Have students get a good night's sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test.
5. Provide students with a study area.
6. Encourage students to practice good study habits. Students should set aside time every day for homework.
1. Read to students and encourage them to read to you.
2. Have students try crossword puzzles and news quizzes in your local newspaper.
3. Encourage students to read the daily newspaper and general interest magazines.
4. Discuss the events and stories you read about in the newspaper.
1. Encourage students to use mathematics every day. They can practice by creating a grocery budget, explaining charts and graphs from newspaper and magazine articles, dividing food portions, using rulers to measure objects, measuring a recipe or adding prices on a shopping trip.
2. Play games that involve numbers or computation.
3. Encourage students to connect what they are learning in math class to their hobbies, other classes and everyday life.
1. Share your enthusiasm and interest in science with your children.
2. Use science articles from news publications to show that science is an ongoing, active process.
3. Have students use inquiry skills by participating in science competitions, fairs and other activities.
4. Explore science outside the classroom - nature centers, zoos and science museums.
1. Have students practice writing essays that:
◦ describe, narrate or explain observations of human events or situations,
◦ analyze patterns and relationships of ideas, topics or themes,
◦ construct support for a position, argument, plan or idea and
◦ evaluate an idea, topic or theme based on specific critea
2. Have students keep a journal or write letters