OLPA
What is the OLPA?

The Optional Local Purpose Assessment (OLPA) is available in reading for students in grades 3–8 and 10 and in mathematics for students in grades 3–8. It provides a risk-free environment for students to familiarize themselves with online testing and provides teachers with information to target instruction before the reading and mathematics MCA tests used for accountability in the spring. The OLPA uses Minnesota-specific items.

The grades 3–8 and 10 Reading OLPA are fixed-form tests developed using the same test specifications used for the online Reading MCA. The online assessment contains traditional multiple-choice items along with technology-enhanced items where students use the capabilities of the computer to manipulate reading content, such as demonstrating a sequence of actions or events, making connections between a cause and its effect, and choosing supporting details of a main idea.

The grades 3–8 Mathematics OLPA uses the same adaptive algorithm used for the online Mathematics MCA. This means that the mathematics test adjusts to each student’s skills. Every time a student answers a question, the response helps to determine the next question that the student must answer. This testing method provides a more precise measure of students’ skills and knowledge. Although each student answers different test questions, the OLPA only assesses the standards for that subject and grade level. The online assessment contains traditional multiple-choice items along with technology-enhanced items where students use the capabilities of the computer to select one or more points on a graph, drag and drop an object from one location to another, or manipulate a graph.