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Area students prepping for ISTEP+ testing

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's every student's worst nightmare.

The time has come for the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus exam (ISTEP+).

Students in classes all across the state have been reviewing subjects from last year to prepare.

One major difference in this year's schedule is students in Indiana are transitioning from a fall exam schedule to a spring schedule.

"The fall test is for the students to show that they have learned everything up to that point," Clay City Elementary Principal Jon Russell told The Brazil Times. "When the students are tested in the spring, it will be to show that they have learned everything during the year."

For instance, a fifth-grade student who is tested in the fall will be tested over everything that they should know from their fourth-grade year and before.

In the spring, when the same student takes the test, it will also cover everything that is included from their current academic year.

After this school year Indiana students will only be tested in the spring.

"The spring testing will be more beneficial to the students," North Clay Middle School Director of Guidance Jan Schoate told The Brazil Times.

"It will provide a better assessment of what the students have learned instead of waiting until the start of the following school year."

The Fall 2008 ISTEP+ includes multiple choice questions, short answer and essay questions that cover English/Language Arts and mathematics from third-eighth grades.

Science will also be in the fifth-seventh-grade tests.

The Spring 2009 ISTEP+ includes questions on English and math for third-eighth-grade students.

Science will be included for fourth- and sixth-grade students and social studies for fifth- and seventh-grade students.

Other changes have also been made to the Indiana's Graduation Qualifying Exam (GQE).

The GQE is taken by sophomore (10th-grade) high school students to show that they have the reading, writing and math skills that are required upon graduation.

The Indiana Department of Education website states that the class of 2011, the GQE will still be one large test, with the class of 2012 the new GQE will be administered.

The new GQE will be given at various times during the year, but it depends on when the student completes Algebra 1 and English 10 because this is the basis of the testing.

For many students the optimum time will be in the spring.

Like the original GQE, students will have various opportunities to retake the exams.

"We, like everyone else in the corporation, have high expectations for the results of the testing," Russell said.

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