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Standardized Test Prep in Illinois

Standardized Test Prep in Illinois
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Many states are overhauling their standardized tests, Illinois included. Keeping up with these changes is daunting, both for homeschoolers and parents of traditionally-educated children. Deciding what’s best for your child means staying informed and acting as your child’s advocate.

On this page, you’ll learn about the standardized tests administered in Illinois, what grades are targeted, testing dates and more! You’ll also discover how Time4Learning can be an invaluable test prep tool to help your child succeed in Illinois standardized tests.

What State Tests Are Available in Illinois?

In accordance with the federally-supported Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), public school students in Illinois are tested annually for English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science.

Illinois heavily relied on the oft-criticized PARCC tests (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). They are looking at replacing PARCC, but are using the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) which includes most of the same PARCC content for reading and math. The test is given to students from third to eighth grades each spring.

Below are the current Illinois state test offerings for public school students.

  • IAR – All Illinois public school students in grades 3-8 are given the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) test. The test assesses English Language Arts and math skills.
  • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) – DLM are meant for students, grades 3-11 with significant cognitive disabilities, testing for skills in math, language arts, and science.
  • The Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) – Students in grades 5, 8 and 11 are required to take the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) test. Students are evaluated on their basic knowledge of science.
  • ACCESS for ELLS – This assessment is designed for students in grades K-12 whose  primary language is not English. Students are assessed in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Once students receive a composite score of 4.8, they are no longer required to take this assessment.

Students in Illinois cannot opt out of standardized testing. Accommodations are available for students with individualized educational plans (IEP). Check with your local school district for further information.

When is Standardized Testing in Illinois?

Standardized testing dates in Illinois are provided by the ISBE annually. For approximate dates around Illinois’ standardized testing, see below.

  • IAR – Spring
  • DLM – Spring
  • ISA – Spring
  • ACCESS for ELLS – Testing is usually done in January and February.

Do Homeschoolers Have To Take Standardized Tests in Illinois?

Participating in standardized tests is not required by Illinois homeschooling laws. Some parents, however, are interested in measuring a homeschooled student’s performance each year. These families use standardized tests as a benchmark of their child’s progress as well as a tool to point out academic gaps.

While public schools can include homeschoolers on their standardized testing dates, the Illinois Standards Achievement test is not considered suitable for homeschooled students. Check with your local school district to find out what solutions are available to homeschoolers in your area. Parents also have a variety of testing options through private companies to choose from.

How Time4Learning Can Help With Illinois Test Prep

Time4Learning’s extensive online lessons covers all the basics children need to succeed in their academic life and beyond! Helping your child with Illinois test prep can be a breeze with our award-winning curriculum.

Many families in Illinois use Time4Learning as an afterschool supplement to help their students with the Illinois high school standardized tests, and all other grade levels.

Below are just a few reasons why many parents of students in Illinois consistently choose Time4Learning:

  • Our comprehensive math curriculum includes dozens of lessons to help students prepare for the IAR math test.
  • Our online curriculum includes state assessment simulations in grades 3-8 which gives students actual practice in what it’s like to take a normed test.
  • Time4Learning’s online language arts curriculum helps students master ELA concepts that are tested in the IAR English Language Arts assessment.
  • Our curriculum has been recognized as a Certified Autism Resource by IBCCES, making it an ideal solution for students with different learning abilities.
  • Many families use Time4Learning as an ESL supplement to help them refine and practice the skills addressed in the ACCESS for ELLS.
  • Elementary students can prepare for math testing by practicing crucial math facts with Time4MathFacts, included with the Time4Learning membership.
  • Making sure your students understand scientific information and build long terms skills that are tested in the Illinois Science Assessment is fun with our online science curriculum.

Through preparation and practice, your child can achieve successful results when taking standardized tests in Illinois. In addition, skill-building programs like Time4Learning can prepare your child and build their confidence before they walk in the door.

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