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A parent’s guide to i-Ready

To give parents a greater understanding of i-Ready, Central Valley School District has assembled this list of frequently asked questions.

If you have additional questions about the administration of these tests after reviewing the information below, please contact the your child’s school.

What is i-Ready?

i-Ready is a computer based assessment that helps determine each student’s competency on math and reading skills.  It helps teachers identify a student’s strengths and needs within specific domains or skill areas. Teachers can then tailor their instruction to meet the needs of each child.

What makes i-Ready different from other “tests?”

Unlike paper tests which deliver the same question to each child, i-Ready is adaptive. That means that it adjusts the rigor of the questions based on the student’s response. If a student correctly answers a few questions at one level, the next questions will test a deeper understanding of the concepts or skills. The questions become increasing difficult until a student’s answers show that he or she lacks understanding.

Why does Central Valley use i-Ready?

Central Valley chose this assessment to provide teachers with immediate access to data that identifies individual student’s strengths and weaknesses With that information, teachers can plan appropriate instruction for each child.

How is the data from i-Ready used?

i-Ready is not used to grade students but rather to determine individual strengths and weaknesses and then drive instruction, remediation, enrichment and monitor overall progress.

How is i-Ready administered?

The i-Ready assessments are taken on a computer in either the computer lab or on netbooks/laptops in the classroom.

Is i-Ready a timed test?

i-Ready consists of two tests (mathematics and reading) which take approximately 45 minutes each, however they are not timed.  Students may start and stop the assessment at any time as long as it is completed within the testing block set by the District.

How often do students take the i-Ready assessment?

Students in grades 1-8 take full assessments called benchmarks are taken three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring).  Kindergarten is assessed twice a year in November and May.  Some students may also be administered brief mini-assessments in reading and/or math for monitoring progress.

How is each test personalized?

The test is designed to find a child’s appropriate skill level.  After successfully or unsuccessfully answering several questions, the test adjusts, offering a more or less challenging problem based on the child’s response.  The process continues until the student’s instructional level is determined.
Why are students seeing content that might be new?The diagnostic assessment adapts and is based upon what students should know according to the Common Core Standards.  At the beginning of the year students have not yet been fully exposed to all the concepts being assessed.  Additionally, our District continues to align our curriculum to the Common Core Standards.

Does i-Ready replace Smarter Balanced?

i-Ready does not replace the current annual State of New Hampshire assessment, Smarter Balanced Assessment – SBAC.  i-Ready is a formative, diagnostic assessment that helps to guide instruction.  Smarter Balanced is a summative assessment, which determines what the student retained from the previous grade level.
What accommodations are available for students with special needs?i-Ready has audio support (read – aloud) available during certain sections of the test.  Students can repeat the audio portion as many times as they need to.

What materials can parents access?A parent report on each assessment is available through the child’s classroom teacher.  The parent report highlights what the student can do and gives suggestions for next steps.  There are also sample accounts that you can use from the website listed below.

How can I learn more about i-Ready

Additional information is available at

Glossary of Terms:

Adaptive: Computer-adaptive tests are designed to adjust their level of difficulty—based on the responses provided—to match the knowledge and ability of a test taker. If a student gives a wrong answer, the computer follows up with an easier question; if the student answers correctly, the next question will be more difficult.

Diagnostic Assessment: Diagnostic assessments allow teachers and educators to evaluate their student’s learning through tests and measurements. The results from the tests give teachers an opportunity to change or alter curriculum as needed.

Formative: Assessments that are given prior to or during the instructional sequence to provide students and teachers with feedback, but which are typically not used for grading.

Summative: Assessments given after instruction to determine students’ success with respect to achieving course academic goals.  Summative assessments contribute to a student’s grade (with the exception of NECAP).

Remediation: Providing additional instructional supports for learning deficiencies

Enrichment: Additional resources and learning opportunities provided to students

Smarter Balanced: A computer adaptive test that replaced the NECAP standardized test in Language Arts and Mathematics. This test is based on the Common Core State Standards.

Common Core: In 2010 New Hampshire adopted a new set of educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  New Hampshire is one of 45 states to voluntarily adopt these new state standards, developed through several national organizations representing governors and state commissioners of education.

NECAP: This is a paper- based standardized test. Students in Grades 3-8, and 11 continue to take the NECAP test in Science.

Domains (Areas) assessed in i-ReadyLanguage Arts

Foundational Skills: (Early Elementary)

Phonological Awareness

High Frequency words
Reading Comprehension -Literature
Reading Comprehension- Informational Texts


Numbers & Operations
Algebra & Algebraic Thinking
Measurement & Data