Students across the city and state are finally putting all their test prep to work as Monday marked the start of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, or more commonly known as ISATs.

Most schools have conducted a variety of test-prep activities for their students, focusing on everything from skill-building to mnemonic devices to relaxation tips, all with the hope of helping their students succeed.

Children in grades 3rd-8th are tested in reading and math, and students in 4th and 8th grade take an additional science test. Each year, students are tested on a set of skills based on the Illinois Learning Standards and individual students, as well as schools, receive an overall rating which is published on the Illinois Interactive Report Card.

Everyone can help a child succeed during the ISATs! Whether you’re getting your own child ready for the test or encouraging others, just a few simple tips can help ensure great results:

  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat a well-rounded breakfast that includes both protein and carbohydrates (think eggs and toast) to ensure long-lasting attention. Don’t forget to send a healthy snack for ISAT breaks as well!
  • Remind students of the test prep skills they’ve learned over the past few months: ‘skip-return-check’ if unsure of an answer, ask questions if needed, use the process of elimination, and trust your first answer! Find more great test tips and practice activities on the Paul Cuffe Academy website.
  • Encourage students before school with positive reinforcements: write a good-luck card, pack their favorite special pencils (#2!), or give a big hug to remind students that you’re proud of them.

Find more information about the ISATS on either the Illinois State Board of Education or the Chicago Public Schools website. Support Chicago students all year-round by searching for education opportunities on our Volunteer Opportunity Calendar.

Todays post is from Senior Education Coordinator, Emily Collins.