State Assessments & Study Resources
Schools in School District U-46 will be administering important state assessments to students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades on April 14 and April 15, 2020. You can find a detailed testing schedule here. Below you will find descriptions of each of the exams as well as sites to visit for more information and study resources. Questions should be directed to your child's high school counselor.
All high school students should have an active College Board account. Parents should have an account to view their children’s college-related test scores. Free accounts can be created at www.collegeboard.org, and results are released quickest online. The collegeboard.org website also offers resources for preparing for the tests, applying for scholarships, and sending scores to colleges.
The PSAT 8/9 and the PSAT 10 are state-required, preminary SAT exams for freshmen (the 8/9) and sophomores (10) that are given to students in the spring at school. They are an assessment of verbal, math, and writing skills with an emphasis on reasoning and logic skills. Scholarship programs use the PSAT 10 exams to find students. Here's info on understanding your PSAT 8/9 scores, and this page explains how your PSAT 10 score reports should be viewed as roadmaps to point you in the direction of what you need to work on to get ready for the SAT, and what you're already doing well.
Those who take the PSAT as a junior might qualify for academic recognition because it serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). Top performing juniors nationally may be eligible for money through National Merit, National Achievement, or National Hispanic Scholarship funds.
The SAT is the state-required exam that all students take during their junior year and is one tool that is used to measure a student’s knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and mathematics - subjects that are taught every day in high school classes.
This assessment is a requirement to graduate in the state of Illinois. Taking the SAT separately on a Saturday does not fulfill the state graduation requirements; it must be taken on a school day to meet the state requirement.
While students are required to take the SAT during their junior year, they have the opportunity to take it a second time in the fall of their senior year before college application deadlines.
The SAT exam tests knowledge in these areas:
- In the reading section, students demonstrate their comprehension skills by reading fiction and non-fiction passages and answering multiple-choice questions.
- In the writing and language section, students identify errors and improve grammar and usage via multiple-choice questions.
- In the math section, students demonstrate their knowledge of algebra, geometry, problem-solving, and modeling via multiple choice and short answer questions.
- In the essay portion, students will read and evaluate a passage under 750 words and then write an essay analyzing the author's argument
The Illinois Science Assessment, or ISA, is state required and administered to students in 11th grade. It is a comprehensive exam that includes life, physical, Earth and space sciences with engineering and technological design features embedded in the other science domains. It has three test sessions, and the estimated student time on task per session is 40 minutes, although students may continue to work past the estimated 40 minutes, as long as they do not leave the test session.
The ISA aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Illinois Learning Standards for Science. More info can be found via the Illinois State Board of Education, and details on the 2020 test are found here.