ISAT Test for 3rd Grade Students: Prep Information

The ISAT (Illinois Standards Achievement Test) is given to 3rd graders in Illinois every spring and measures the level of achievement of each individual student against the rest of the state. Keep reading to find out ways in which you can help your child get prepared.

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What Is the ISAT Test?

The 3rd grade ISAT test is given to students in Illinois to assess their reading and math skills. Third grade is the first year that Illinois students take a state standardized test, which means your child's teacher will probably devote a lot of time to in-class preparation. Since the questions on the ISAT are based on 3rd grade curriculum standards, your child will be well prepared for the test if he or she keeps up with the schoolwork. To help ensure that this happens, provide a positive, calm and uncluttered environment for your child throughout the school year so that he or she can be focused on learning.


Your child can do enrichment activities at home to prepare for the ISAT. Encourage him or her to read frequently. Then, ask your child questions about the books he or she is reading and discuss them during family time. Reading frequently will improve your child's reading fluency and the discussions will improve his or her comprehension. For tips on discussing literature with your child, consult with our child's teachers or go to a nearby public library.


A writing section is sometimes included on the 3rd grade ISAT. Your child can prepare by writing every day. One way to accomplish this is by encouraging your child to keep a journal. He or she doesn't need to write detailed entries; five or six sentences a day will do. This will keep your child in the habit of expressing his or herself through writing and can be very helpful when it's time for an exam such as the ISAT.


Practice math with your child by incorporating it into everyday activities. For example, if you're buying bagels for a meal and are planning to distribute two bagels per person for five people, let your child use multiplication to figure out how many bagels are needed. Little activities like this will strengthen his or her math and problem-solving skills.

Practice Questions

Instruction in the 3rd grade classroom throughout the year should prepare your child for the ISAT, but he or she may also benefit from completing additional practice problems in order to get a feel for the types of questions asked on the ISAT. The Illinois State Board of Education has many practice problems available to parents for free. When your 3rd grader is completing these problems, try to recreate a test environment by setting time limits and giving your child a quiet workspace. Since they will be very similar, you can also use standardized tests from other states for additional practice. When you correct the practice questions, figure out the areas where your child needs the most help and focus on them.

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