ISAT Testing – March 4-15

Posted by Terri McHugh on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at 10:49 am

District 54 students in third through eighth grade will take the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) March 4 through 15.

This test measures individual student achievement relative to the Illinois Learning Standards.  The 2013 reading and mathematics ISATs will contain items written to the Common Core Standards. About 20 percent of the items on the test were written to the Common Core Standards.

The results give parents, teachers and schools one measure of student learning and school performance. It is required by law for all Illinois public school students. The state assessment scores are used to measure adequate yearly progress (AYP) for all public schools. Scores are published on the School Report Cards yearly.

The Illinois State Board of Education will increase the grading scale for the 2013 ISAT. This change will likely result in a smaller percentage of our students meeting or exceeding standards when the scores of this year’s test are reported in the fall. This does not mean that our students or teachers are any less capable than they were in previous years. Rather, Illinois is raising the bar. The adjustment is needed to better inform administrators, teachers, parents and students of students’ progress toward college- and career-readiness.

Click here for a copy of a letter sent to parents by Superintendent Ed Rafferty explaining this change: Superintendent Letter Regarding ISAT Score Change

Students at these grade levels take the following tests:

  • Third Grade – Reading, Math
  • Fourth Grade – Reading, Math, Science
  • Fifth Grade – Reading, Math
  • Sixth Grade – Reading, Math
  • Seventh Grade – Reading, Math, Science
  • Eighth Grade – Reading, Math

Throughout the school year students have been preparing for ISAT tests in their classes; however, test preparation is something that can also been done at home. The following are tips to help you prepare your child for tests of all kinds including the ISAT test.

  • Encourage, don’t pressure – You want to encourage your child to do his best but too much pressure may lead to test anxiety. Remember that standardized tests are just one way schools measure a child’s ability.
  • Give them “brain food” – A healthy breakfast the morning of the test can improve test results. However, foods high in fat or sugar do not provide the nutrients children need to do their best.
  • Put them to bed – Sleepy children have a tough time succeeding academically. It’s particularly important for your child to get a good night’s sleep the night before a big test.
  • Help them prepare – Make sure your child has the supplies needed for the test. These would include sharpened #2 pencils and a calculator.

In addition, help your child understand these important testing tips.

  • Pay attention – Stress that they need to listen to directions closely and to follow written directions exactly.
  • Don’t rush to finish – Make sure they use any extra time to check their answers and complete any questions they left blank.
  • Keep track of the “bubbles” – Remind them that it is very important to make sure they are at the right place on their answer sheet. They should double-check every five or 10 questions, making sure the proper bubbles are being filled in.
  • Skipping is OK – Remind them that they can skip a question and come back to it later.
  • Find the best answer – It’s tempting for children to choose the first answer that looks right. Make sure they understand that several of the answers may seem right, but that they need to choose the one best answer.
  • Aim high – Encourage them to do their best and help them believe that they will do well.