Illinois Assessment of Readiness

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    Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) - formerly PARCC

    The Illinois State Board of Education requires all Illinois public school students in grades 3-8 to participate in state-administered testing in reading and math. The Illinois state achievement test is called the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and it replaces PARCC. See below for more information about the IAR.


    What happened to the PARCC exam?

    The Illinois Assessment of Readiness replaced the PARCC exam in 2019. As the IAR uses the same test content and format as the PARCC exam, there will be no noticeable changes for students this year. This is somewhat advantageous as it will allow districts to continue tracking year-to-year student performance.


    What is the Illinois Assessment of Readiness?

    The Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) is the Illinois state achievement test given in the spring to all public school students in grades 3 through 8. The test measures a student’s general math and English language arts skills. District 47 typically schedules the IAR in mid-March through late April. (To view the specific administration dates for the IAR, click on the District’s assessment calendar.) The IAR is fully aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards and uses the same test questions from its predecessor, the PARCC exam. The IAR is taken on a computer and is designed to provide information about student progress toward the long-term goal of college and career readiness.


    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has a section of its website devoted to the IAR. You can access the ISBE website clicking ISBE IAR Resources.The National PTA has also posted information for parents about state assessments on its website.


    What does the IAR test look like?

    The IAR uses the same test items and questions as the PARCC exam, including practice tests that mirror the actual student tests. Please note that students test in both math and English language arts.


    Is IAR testing mandated?

    Federal law—specifically, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires each state to give a state achievement test to its students. Participation rates will affect a school’s overall accountability score on the Illinois School Report Card.


    How can parents help to prepare their children for the IAR test?

    The IAR/PARCC website offers some suggestions to parents:

    • Read a combination of fiction and non-fiction aloud or with your child. Look for subjects of interest—from sports heroes to dinosaurs.
    • Discuss and “do” real-life math with your child. Help him/her know basic math facts.
    • Discuss the new tests with your child. Try to ensure he/she is not scared or anxious about the new tests.
    • Explain to your child that the tests will initially be more challenging. Tell your child to do his/her best on the test and that you are there to help every step of the way.
    • After the test, review the results with your child. Bring the teacher into the discussion as needed.
    • Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home and make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before a test.
    • Above all, be positive and encouraging about the tests.