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Illinois Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for State Testing

Illinois Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for State Testing

Between making sure that you are staying on pace with curriculum guides, practicing test-taking procedures and strategies, and providing the targeted preparation and reinforcement individual students need, spring testing season can quickly begin to feel overwhelming for educators. The good news is that a little research and planning can go a long way toward ensuring that you’re able to provide the support students need to be successful on their IAR, ISA, PSAT, and SAT assessments. We’ve gathered all of the most useful, detailed, and relevant resources out there on the these required assessments to help put your mind at ease and arm you with an outstanding test-preparation program.

Assessment Resources from the Illinois State Board of Education
When it comes to the required state tests, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is the authority. And, the ISBE has a great collection of free resources for educators! We’ve done the legwork of combing through the ISBE library to find the best materials.

Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) – What’s Changing?
This year signals the first round of changes to the 3-8 math and ELA state assessments. What can you expect this year? This document takes a closer look at the evolution of these assessments as the state migrates to using a computer-adaptive model.

IAR Test Design Information
In the midst of all these changes, it’s still important to have a general understanding of what students will be assessed on. Check out the evidence tables for ELA and math assessments.

Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)
In a sea of changes, make sure all of your 5th, 8th, and 11th grade students are prepared for the new science assessments. Spring test details, blueprints, and FAQs can all be found here.

PSAT and SAT Resources
All grade 9 students must take the PSAT 8/9, while grade 10 students complete the PSAT 10, and grade 11 students are expected to complete the SAT in the state of Illinois. Established test dates, testing sites, and student guides can all be found here.

Assessment Preparation Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices for Classroom Teachers
Test prep doesn’t have to dominate your classroom agenda this spring. By getting started early, utilizing formative assessment strategies, and making the most of practice testing, teachers in the classroom can provide students with individualized support without sacrificing time from the standard curriculum (and of course, some fun!). Check out these resources to get started.

5 Proven Ways to Get the Most Out of Practice Testing
The old adage “practice makes perfect” is a familiar turn of phrase for a reason. Ensure that you’re getting the most out of every minute your students are spending on practice testing.

3 Ways Online Practice Can Support Your Test-Prep Program  
As you are considering different options to ensure that your students have achieved standards proficiency, it’s critical that you have a program that’s aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards. Consider this and other benefits of using an online program.

4 Best Practices to Use Midyear Benchmark Assessment Data
Like any assessment, midyear benchmarks are only as valuable as the strategies you employ using the data. Here are four ways to make these assessments a truly valuable exercise for you and your students.

Marzano-Validated Best Practices for Online Practice
The Edmentum research team was honored to have Marzano Research peer review a research project that we conducted for our classroom practice and assessment program, Study Island. Through that review, Marzano confirmed our findings about the effectiveness of Study Island, and we also uncovered four best practices to help students get the most out of online practice.

General Test-Prep and Test-Taking Tips for Educators
No matter the exact situation, testing is a stressful process. But, successful test taking, beyond content knowledge, is also a skill that can be taught, acquired, and mastered. Here are some of our best resources on general test prep and test taking to help the assessment process go smoothly at your school.

10 Classroom and School Tips to Improve Test Scores
Helping students achieve success is about much more than targeted practice in the classroom. Check out these 10 holistic tips to make sure that your students are ready for their assessments in all ways.

Preparing for the SAT Tests: 5 Tips for Educators to Help Students Through College Entrance Exams
With all Illinois high school students being required to complete respective SAT and PSAT exams, the pressure is on. Check out tips for before and after test day, leveraging some of the great resources not just available by the ISBE, but the College Board as well.

8 Last-Minute Steps Districts Can Take to Improve Test Scores
Administrators may not feel like they have a direct hand in making sure that students are well-prepared for Illinois assessments. But, there is no shortage of steps administrators can take to ensure that their teachers and students have what they need for a successful testing season—even when it comes down to the wire.

6 Tips for Teachers to Help Students Manage Stress
Testing season inevitably means classroom stress will hit a new high. So, how can you keep anxiety levels in check and help your students stay cool, calm, and collected when test day rolls around? Here are six tips for a low(er) stress testing season:

8 Tips for Parents to Help Your Child Prepare for High-Stakes Tests
Parents and other caregivers are critical to every student’s education journey. So, get them involved in the test-preparation process! Share these eight simple tips with parents to help them support their learners on testing days.

Ready to take your Illinois assessment preparation program to the next level? Check out Study Island, Edmentum’s online solution for classroom practice and assessment, and our extensive library of programs designed exclusively for Illinois educators and students. Start your FREE trial of Study Island today!

madison.michell's picture
Madison Michell

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.