Principal Mary Mackbee

275 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

(651) 744-4900 | Get Directions

Principal/School Name

360 Colborne Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55102

651-767-8100 | Get Directions

# Test Prep

• MCA (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment) and
PREP

#### What's Included on the MCA High School Test

Reading MCA: You'll read both fiction and nonfiction such aspoems, short stories or informational passages. To pass the readingtest, you must show your ability to read and understand Englishpassages that you'll run across when you're an adult. You must read apassage, such as a newspaper article, and then be able to:

• identify the main idea and purpose
• recognize supporting details
• identify the meaning of words and phrases
• recognize the author's point of view
• draw logical conclusions
• distinguish between fact and opinion

Math MCA: You must be able to solve mathematical problems derived from typical situations in life, including how to:

• solve problems involving whole numbers, fractions, decimals and integers
• solve problems involving percents, rates, ratios and proportions
• use concepts of number sense, placevalue and number relationships to compare, order and determineequivalence of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents and integers
• use estimation in problem solving
• apply measurement concepts
• read, interpret and use tables, charts, maps and graphs to analyze data, identify patterns and make predictions
• use elementary concepts of probability and statistics
• apply geometric and spatial relationships

Science MCA: You must know the basics of life science and the history and nature of science, including how to:

• understand the nature of scientific ways of thinking and that scientific knowledge changes and accumulates over time
• design and conduct a scientific investigation
• understand the relationship between science and technology and how both are used
• recognize the historical and cultural context of scientific endeavors and how they influence each other
• comprehend that all living things arecomposed of cells, and that the life processes in a cell are based onmolecular interactions
• classify, compare and contrast the diversity of organisms on Earth
• describe how the environment andinteractions between organisms can affect the number of species and thediversity of species in an ecosystem
• explain how inherited characteristics are encoded by genes
• understand how biological evolution provides a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life forms
• describe and explain the cycling of matter and flow of energy through an ecosystem's living and non-living components
• understand how all organ systems, including the nervous system, interact to maintain a state of equilibrium

Written Composition MCA: You must write a clear message in English for an adult reader. Successful compositions must have:

• a clearly stated message
• supporting ideas related to the message
• a clear connection among ideas
• a logical beginning, middle and end
• correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation

A passing paper is well organized and may only have minor mechanicalor spelling errors. Results are based on the overall quality of thecomposition. A set of criteria (scoring rules) is used to determine ifthe composition meets the passing score.

The scoring criteria focus on the following five characteristics of written composition:

• clarity of central idea
• coherent focus
• organization
• detail support or elaboration of ideas
• language conventions (sentence formation, vocabulary, word order and other language mechanics)

TEST PREP FOR MCA and GRAD TESTS

1. MCA grade 11 math practice test in PDF format from SPPS: http://rea.spps.org/sites/ce5895f7-8898-484d-a56b-b4d0bee502e6/uploads/Gr11_mca_math_practice_test.pdf

2. MCA interactive math item sampler answer checker from Andover schools: http://www.mathme.com/andovermath/mcasamplerchecker.htm

3. MCA test prep and skill building in reading and math grades 3-11 in PDF format.  Select items from left column under "Testing": http://communityed.stma.k12.mn.us/curriculum/testing/

4. Minnesota Department of Education’s main MCA site.  Provides information about each part of the test in PDF format:  http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Accountability_Programs/Assessment_and_Testing/Assessments/MCA/index.html

5. Minnesota Department of Education MCA reading and math samplers grades 3-11 in PDF format: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Accountability_Programs/Assessment_and_Testing/Assessments/MCA/Samplers/index.html

6. Pearson’s Perspectives provides MCA resources and practice tests in both interactive and PDF formats:             http://perspective.pearsonaccess.com/perspective/appmanager/mn/educator/

7. Podcasts (video) for MCA Math prep from Andover High School:  http://www.anoka.k12.mn.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=269290&

8. Slideshow for MCA Math prep from Andover High School: http://www.anoka.k12.mn.us/education/components/album/default.php?sectiondetailid=269385&

10. Minnesota Department of Education’s GRAD written composition sampler in PDF format: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Accountability_Programs/Assessment_and_Testing/Assessments/GRAD/Item_Samplers/index.html

11. Tips for Improving Skills on the MCA and GRAD tests from South Washington Schools:  http://www.sowashco.k12.mn.us/Departments/REA/resources.asp

12. Woodbury High School’s test prep webpage provides MCA high schoolreading and math test samples and GRAD writing samples in PDF formatfrom Newspapers in Education, as well as tips for succeeding:  http://www.sowashco.k12.mn.us/WHS/pages/Student%20Achievement%20Specialist/Student%20Achievement%20Specialist.asp

TEST PREP for VARIETY of STANDARDIZED TESTS:

Even though all states don’t administer the MCA, they do administer similar tests.  Therefore, the following sites could be used to prepare our students for the MCA since the components are very similar:

13.  Arizona Dept. of Education - math, reading, writing interactive samples grades 3-12:  http://aims1.ideal.asu.edu/

14.  California High School Exit Exam  - HS Tutorials.net – interactive math, reading, writing samples:  http://www.hstutorials.net/index.html

15. CT4me.net - "Harnessing the Power of Educational Technology for theStandards Movement" - provides a rich list of test prep sites fromacross the nation.  Many PDF and online versions of test samples. Covers mainly math, but within most sites you can also find reading,writing and science samples:  http://www.ct4me.net/standardized_test_preparation.htm

17.  LearningExpress Library Interactive Tests Prep (all levels) - you need to register using your public library card number: http://www.learnatest.com/LEL/index.cfm/general

18. National Center for Education Statistics - U.S. Dept. of EducationInteractive tests in many areas.  Reading and math samples for grades 4and 8.  Science, civics, U.S. History cover grades 4, 8 and 12. Economics, music and visual arts no grade given:  http://nationsreportcard.gov/testyourself.asp

19.  New York Regents Exam Interactive Test Prep Center :  http://www.regentsprep.org/

20. Ohio Graduation Test - Reality Math - "What's the Problem" produced byOhio University students parodies reality tv shows and presentscritical thinking/problem solving math problems in 10-12 minuteepisodes for grades 8-10: http://www.woub.org/wtp/amazing_chase/index.htm

21. Texas Education Agency Interactive Test Prep - interactive onlineversions of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) –covers math, reading, writing and science questions for grades 3-12.   http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=3264&menu_id3=793

22.  Virginia State Standards of Learning Science, Math and Technology samples grades 3-12 – interactive tests:  http://education.jlab.org/solquiz/index.html

23. Washington Assessment of Student Learning - math questions &answers provided for grades K-12 covering number sense, measurement,geometry, algebraic sense, probability and statistics, logic, andproblem solving strategies. Students expected to write out how theyarrived at the answers:  http://www.pasd.wednet.edu/school/mathWASL/

SKILLS BUILDERS – LANGUAGE ARTS

1. Chompchomp - interactive grammar practice:  http://www.chompchomp.com/

1. Free Technology for Teachers - 10 Grammar Games and Lesson Resources -k-12 interactive and printable grammar lessons and quizzes: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/08/ten-grammar-games-and-lesson-resources.html

1. Superkids Vocabulary Builders - PSAT, SAT and more and Math exercises - elementary through high school. Select "vocabulary builders" or "math worksheets" in left columnhttp://www.superkids.combr />
1. Vocabsushi - builds skills for vocabulary portions of standardized andcollege entrance tests - available in interactive or printable form -for JH & HS - need to sign up but it's free:   VocabSushi.com

1. Vocabtest.com - interactive vocabulary tests for grades 6 - pre-college: http://www.vocabtest.com/

1. Vocabulary.com - interactive lessons in root words, thematic puzzles, word lists and test prep vocabulary: http://www.vocabulary.com/

1. UnivSource.com - interactive vocabulary builder for pre-college: http://www.univsource.com/vbbeta.php

SKILLS BUILDERS – MATH

1. Algebrahelp.com - interactive algebra worksheets: http://www.algebrahelp.com/worksheets/

2. Amug.org - long list of interactive math exercises/games that includes a variety of math topics and is for all grades: http://www.amug.org/~jbpratt/education/math/onlineact.html

3. Cut the Knot - Interactive math exercises: http://www.cut-the-knot.org/

4. Gamequarium.com - geometry interactive games: http://www.gamequarium.com/geometry.html

5. That Quiz - K-12 students can select math practice tests (customizedfor their needs) with varying degrees of difficulty using integers,fractions, concepts (time, money, measurement, place value, graphs),geometry, algebra, calculus, probability,  and more.  Some areinteractive and offer manipulatives (e.g., ruler, protractor).  Selectto view in Spanish, if needed: http://www.thatquiz.org/

TEST PREP FOR SAT AND ACT TESTS:

36.  ACT Test website – interactive practice tests for English, math, reading, science and writing sections of the ACT: http://www.actstudent.org/sampletest/index.html

37.  Number2.com -  interactive tutorials for the ACT and SAT, including vocabulary – need to sign up, but it’s freehttp://www.number2.com/

38.  Peterson’s College Prep – interactive practice samples for many tests including the ACT and SAT.  Select the test you want on the left and “Free Practice Test” in the beige box.  You will need to register where it says “New User.”  Central's access code is:    http://www.petersons.com/testprep/default.asp?id=877&path=ug.pft.sat

39.  Study Guide Zone - practice segments (tests with answers) for the ACT and SAT, as well as many other tests: http://www.studyguidezone.com/

40.  Test Prep Review - practice segments (tests with answers) for the ACT and SAT, as well as many other  http://www.testprepreview.com/

41.  Vocabulary.com "Test Prep/Assessment" segment - interactive format that builds skills for vocabulary found in SAT/ACT tests: http://www.vocabulary.com/index.php?dir=test_prep&file=test_inf

42.  Yahoo! Education – interactive test prep exercises for the ACT, SAT, PSAT and more:  http://education.yahoo.com/college/essentials/practice_tests/;_ylt=AnMNVhjkRbpvHW_OoSwrsmZtL8EF

CLOSE