• Assessment Descriptions

    ACCESS for ELLS: The ACCESS for ELLs test is an English language proficiency assessment given annually to students in kindergarten through grade twelve who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). The test helps the school district monitor the English language development of students.  It measures students’ abilities to understand and produce English used in school settings.  The four sections of the test are Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing.  The approximate test administration time for reading is 35 minutes, listening is 40 minutes, speaking is 30 minutes and writing is 65 minutes.

    American College Testing (ACT): American College Testing (ACT) is a college admissions test, measuring what you learn in high school to determine your academic readiness for college. ACT is a content-based test that includes English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing.  The approximate administration time is 3 hours.

    Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT):  Each spring, all second graders are screened using the CogAT to determine potential eligibility for gifted and talented programming.  The assessment measures students’ verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal reasoning skills.  Students who are newly enrolled in grades 3-5 at Willmar Public Schools or who are referred by a teacher or parent make also take the CogAT screener.  The approximate administration time is 30-45 minutes.

    Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA): As required by law, Minnesota assesses student progress toward meeting state academic standards in reading, math, and science using standardized tests. Public schools administer the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) reading and math tests in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school and the science test in grades 5 and 8 and once in high school.  The approximate test administration time for reading is 1.0-2.5 hours, math is 1.0-2.5 hours, and science is 0.5-1.5 hours.

    Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS): Most students take the MCAs, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility requirements may take this alternate assessment.  The approximate test administration time for reading is 45-90 minutes, math is 30-60 minutes, and science is 30-60 minutes.

    Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT): The preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test is a practice test for the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

    Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): The Scholastic Aptitude Test is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the US. It is a content-based test that includes Reading, Math, Language, and an Essay section.