Testing begins next week 

Prepare your elementary students to take the ISAT exam.

February 23, 2009

Next week elementary students in grades 3-8 will begin taking the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The test will be administered from March 3 - March 13 at all CPS elementary schools. Year round schools are taking the ISAT now.


The Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) is a state test of academic achievement required by the “No Child Left Behind” law.  Results are used for state and district accountability systems (e.g. determining if schools made “adequate yearly progress,” or probation, for instance).  A portion of the test is also used for individual student accountability (promotion to the next grade level) and for determining student eligibility for various programs.


Students in grades 3-8 will be tested in reading and math, students in grades 4 and 7 will also be tested in science, and students in grades 5, 6, and 8 will also be tested in writing. For the first time, 3rd graders will also participate in the ISAT writing assessment. (One grade level is being added each year.)


There are new accommodations available for English Language Learner students to help them better be able to access the test material. (As of last year, the separate test that was available for ELL students was discontinued, and all students now take the ISAT unless they have severe cognitive disabilities.)


Results from ELL students who participated in last year’s ISAT are included in the state’s reports of CPS achievement.


Test-taking tips


Last-minute “cramming” for the ISAT won’t help. You can help your child do his or her best on the test by:


  • Having your child try sample problems before taking the test. This way your child will know what to expect before he or she takes the actual test. You can view sample problems on the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.
  • Talking with your child’s principal or teacher. They are the best resource for information about ISAT testing.
  • Making sure your child attends school on the days of testing and arrives at school promptly.
  • Making sure your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before testing.
  • Taking advantage of complimentary breakfasts, if offered at your child’s school, on the mornings of testing.
  • Encouraging your child to ask the teacher questions if he or she doesn’t understand the test directions.
  • Letting your child know that you have confidence in his or her ability to do his or her best.
  • Trying to keep distractions and disruptions at home to a minimum.


For more information contact your child’s school or visit the Illinois State Board of Education.