Test-taking might not be a student's favorite school activity, but Illinois kids gear up for a whole week's worth of it. Standardized testing begins Monday. Area teachers and administrators help kids prepare inside and outside of the classroom.
The Illinois Standard Achievement Test, or ISAT, is the state's measure of how well 3rd through 8th graders grasp material and how the state compares other schools in Illinois, but areas tested aren't always the easiest subjects for kids.
"Reading comprehension, vocabulary, those types of skills in reading. In math, depending on the grade level, there's anywhere from geometry, to algebra, obviously multiplication, division, story problems and also some comprehension math questions as well." -says Gregory Elementary School Principal Matt Zediker.
Plus, this year, the state expects more effort for better results.
"The cut scores were made more difficult for the ISAT test, in other words, the questions are the same, but the grading scale got more difficult and it's going to be harder to meet and exceed than it was in previous years." -explains Belvidere School District Assistant Superintendent Matt Zickert.
Another change to this year's ISAT, there are more common core reading and math questions, meaning questions that are being asked on standardized tests nationwide.
Aside from preparing all year long with everyday curriculum, teachers and students could also turn to the web.
"There are online resources that the Illinois State Board of Education provided. Some of the schools encourage kids to do those online tests, some of them print out the online test and have the kids do practice tests." -says Zickert.
Also, school administrators are sending letters home to get mom and dad involved.
"There are tips for parents, for example, like make sure your children get plenty of rest and make sure they eat healthy meals." -Zickert adds.
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