ISAT Reading Performance Definitions
Grade 5

Exceeds StandardsMeets StandardsBelow StandardsAcademic Warning


Students who exceed standards demonstrate a strong comprehension of text beyond their grade level. They use structural and context clues from across an entire passage to determine vocabulary meaning and accurately apply knowledge of synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms and to interpret idioms and analogies.

Students demonstrate an understanding of text by identifying explicit and implicit main ideas and key details, and they consistently make connections between information found in several points in a passage. They use evidence implicit in the text and prior knowledge to accurately draw inferences and conclusions and to extract concepts. They reach conclusions about character traits and how they influence events, and they understand complex or subtle themes or messages. They examine content and structure to determine author’s purpose.

Students make accurate predictions about outcomes based on information in a passage. They distinguish fact and opinion, understand cause and effect, and analyze elements of text that indicate persuasion. They analyze the function and impact of literary devices and figurative language. They can differentiate genres through analysis of text.

Students use information from multiple locations in the text to interpret charts, diagrams, and graphs. They efficiently locate information and follow multi-step directions.

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Students who meet standards demonstrate an overall comprehension of grade-level text. They use context clues within sentences to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary. They recognize words used as synonyms and antonyms and use context to determine the meaning of idioms and analogies.

Students recognize explicit main ideas and details and can identify supporting statements. They draw inferences and conclusions using textual support and prior knowledge. They use clues to determine primary character traits and how these traits motivate actions. They infer the author’s purpose based on information directly stated in the text. They can identify the correct sequence of events and recognize events that affect later actions. They understand important themes.

Students at this level make predictions about outcomes. They understand fact and opinion, cause and effect, and elements of persuasion. They examine the purpose of literary devices and figurative language and differentiate literary genres.

Students use text features to interpret charts, diagrams, and graphs to reach logical conclusions. They locate information and follow directions.

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Students at the below standards level demonstrate an incomplete understanding of grade-level text.

They inconsistently use context clues to understand unfamiliar vocabulary, struggling when the context involves subtlety.

Students are generally unable to differentiate main ideas from developmental details. They struggle to draw inferences and conclusions. They can identify facts about characters but are seldom able to analyze character traits. While they can identify plot elements in text, they may be unable to connect events to future actions. They do not generally understand themes.

Students may make obvious predictions but struggle with subtle clues. They focus more on literal statements, failing to grasp implicit ideas. They can identify obvious facts and opinions and cause/effect relationships, but they only occasionally recognize elements of persuasion. They recognize the use of literary devices but lack the skills to realize their impact. They seldom differentiate literary genres.

Students find information when it is directly stated but are unable to use parts of a chart, diagram, or graph to form a conclusion. They struggle to follow directions.

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Students at the academic warning level have a limited comprehension of grade-level text. Due to a weak understanding of grade-level vocabulary, they cannot determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Students often confuse main ideas with supporting details. They are generally unable to draw inferences and conclusions. They have few insights into aspects of characterization, and a lack of comprehension prevents them from following a sequence of events and from understanding general themes.

Students are unable to make predictions accurately. They may be able to identify an author’s broad purpose, but there is little or no recognition of the use of opinions, of cause/effect, or the presence of persuasion. There is little familiarity with literary devices or genres.

Students misuse or ignore headings, bold print, and numbering to decipher text. They are generally unable to follow simple directions.

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