Understanding the ISTEP+

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The Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) is Indiana’s newest state testing program to assess student learning and academic progress. According to Indiana’s Department of Education website, “the purpose of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) program is to measure student achievement in the subject areas of English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.”

ISTEP+ is administered in two parts. The first, Part I, is given in March and is a combination of pen/paper and online questions. The purpose of Part I is to assess applied skills. This portion of the assessment program will ask students to manage Open-Ended question and explain their reasoning. The second part of the assessment, part 2, will be a combination of multiple choice and gridded response questions. This portion will be administered in the months of April and May; it will be an online assessment.

Calculators are permitted in certain grades and in certain sections of the Math portion of theassessment. Unless noted in as an accommodation in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), students in grades 3 – 5 will not be able to use calculators on their assessments; all mathematical computations will be completed by hand. For grades 6 – 8, students will be able to use calculators in Part I and in certain portions of Part 2.

Testing times have been shortened for the 2015-2016 school year, from over eight hours to a maximum of five hours and forty-five minutes. Social Studies (Grades 5 and 7) will take approximately 33 minutes, and Science (Grades 4 and 6) will take 32 minutes. Testing times for Math and English Language Arts are given below:


More information on the ISTEP+ assessment program can be found here on the ISTEP+ page of theDepartment of Education’s website.

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