News

For Immediate Release
March 3, 2008

360,000 online sample tests taken as nearly 1 million students prepare for annual ISAT testing


Nearly 3,000 tests per hour being accessed during the school day

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that more than 360,000 interactive Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) practice tests have been accessed online as students get ready for statewide testing. The ISAT tests will be administered during the next few weeks in schools throughout Illinois and the interactive tests can be found online at http://metacat2.com/iltestlinks.html.

“The interactive tests provide parents and students with an idea of the type of questions to expect on the ISAT, which will, hopefully, relieve some test anxiety and help students to be more confident as they prepare to take the tests,” said State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch. “I think the amount of interest in the website demonstrates the emphasis No Child Left Behind has placed on state testing.”

For the next few weeks, through Friday, March 21st, about 940,000 students in third – eighth grades will take the ISAT in reading and mathematics. In addition to the reading and math tests students in fourth and seventh grades will be tested in science and students in the fifth, sixth and eighth grades will be tested in writing.

Since the practice, interactive multiple choice tests were made available on February 4 – four weeks prior to state testing – the website has been averaging 3,000 tests being accessed per hour during regular school hours and 100 tests per hour during evenings and weekends. After completing the sample test, each student is shown the number of correct and incorrect answers, as well as the percentage of correct answers. The sample test summary also highlights the correct answer in green and the student’s answer in red, if it is incorrect.

The sample questions in the interactive tests are the same questions in the ISAT Sample Books that were posted online in November and mailed to each school in January. The sample books are available online at http://www.isbe.net/assessment/htmls/sample_books.htm.

Other ISAT testing facts:

Results from the 2008 state testing will be released this fall in the annual school, district and state Report Card. The Report Card offers a wealth of useful and important information for students, schools and districts, as well as parents and community members including overall student performance; performance on state assessments; student demographics; and financial information.

In addition to student performance, attendance rates and graduation rates from the 2007-2008 school year will be used to determine if schools and districts met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The federal law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), requires all states to measure each public school’s and district’s achievements and establish annual achievement targets for the state. The overreaching goal is for all students to meet or exceed standards in reading and mathematics by 2014.

In April, students in 11th grade take the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), which tests students in math, reading, science and writing.