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ISASP Practice Test & Info

What is the ISASP Test?

The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) is a standardized test administered to students in Iowa from grades 3 through high school. This assessment measures student proficiency in core subjects such as Mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA), and Science, aligning with the Iowa Core standards to evaluate educational progress and ensure students meet academic expectations.

How to Study for the ISASP Test?

Studying for the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) test requires a focused approach to ensure you cover all the necessary content and develop the skills to perform well. Here are specific tips to help you gain a competitive edge:

Understanding the Test Format

  1. Familiarize Yourself with Test Sections:

    • English Language Arts (ELA): Includes reading comprehension, writing, and language conventions.

    • Mathematics: Covers number operations, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

    • Science (if applicable): Focuses on life sciences, physical sciences, and earth/space sciences.

  2. Review Sample Questions: Access sample questions and practice tests available on the official ISASP website. Understanding the types of questions can help you prepare more effectively.

Study Strategies for Each Section

English Language Arts (ELA)

  1. Reading Comprehension: Practice reading passages from various genres (fiction, non-fiction, poetry).Summarize paragraphs to ensure you understand the main ideas and details.Practice answering questions that require making inferences and drawing conclusions.

  2. Writing: Work on essay prompts to practice organizing your thoughts and developing arguments. Focus on clarity, coherence, and grammar. Use transition words to improve the flow of your writing.

  3. Language Conventions: Review grammar rules, punctuation, and sentence structure.Practice editing and revising sentences and paragraphs for grammatical correctness.


  1. Number Operations and Algebra: Solve problems involving basic arithmetic, fractions, and decimals. Practice algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities. Understand functions and their representations.

  2. Geometry: Study properties of shapes, angles, and geometric formulas. Practice problems involving perimeter, area, volume, and surface area.

  3. Data Analysis: Work on interpreting graphs, charts, and tables. Understand mean, median, mode, and probability concepts.


  1. Life Sciences: Review topics related to biology, such as cell structure, ecosystems, and genetics.

  2. Physical Sciences: Study concepts in chemistry and physics, including matter, energy, and forces.

  3. Earth/Space Sciences: Focus on topics like weather, geology, and the solar system.

How Is the ISASP Scored?

The ISASP is scored using scaled scores and performance levels, which vary by grade level:

  1. Grades 3-8:

    • Scale Scores: Range from 1000 to 2000.

    • Performance Levels:

      • Beginning: 1000-1249

      • Developing: 1250-1499

      • Proficient: 1500-1749

      • Advanced: 1750-2000

  2. High School:

    • Scale Scores: Range from 400 to 800.

    • Performance Levels:

      • Below Standard: 400-499

      • Meets Standard: 500-699

      • Exceeds Standard: 700-800


These scores help determine students' proficiency in each subject area.

Check Out the ISASP Cut Score Ranges for Performance Levels

What Subjects and Grades are Included in the ISASP?

The ISASP provides critical data for:

Students and Parents: Tracking academic progress and identifying areas needing improvement.

Teachers and Schools: Evaluating instructional effectiveness and targeting resources.

State Education Officials: Monitoring overall educational performance and informing policy decisions.

Sample ISASP Questions

English Language Arts (ELA) - Reading Comprehension

Question 1:

Read the following passage and answer the question:

"The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids as monumental tombs for their pharaohs. These massive structures were constructed from limestone blocks, each weighing several tons. The construction of a pyramid required thousands of workers and took many years to complete. The pyramids were not only tombs but also served as symbols of the pharaohs' power and their connection to the gods."

What was the primary purpose of the pyramids according to the passage? a) To serve as residential buildings b) To act as monumental tombs for pharaohs c) To store grain and other supplies d) To serve as places of worship


Answer and Explanation:


  • Answer: b) To act as monumental tombs for pharaohs

  • Explanation: The passage clearly states that the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids as monumental tombs for their pharaohs. It emphasizes the pyramids' role in serving as tombs and symbols of power, making option b the correct answer.

English Language Arts (ELA) - Writing

Question 2:

Identify and correct the error in the following sentence:

"She went to the store to buy groceries, but forgot her wallet at home."

Answer and Explanation:

  • Corrected Sentence: She went to the store to buy groceries but forgot her wallet at home.

  • Explanation: The comma before "but" is unnecessary in this sentence. Coordinating conjunctions like "but" do not always require a comma unless they are separating two independent clauses. Here, "but forgot her wallet at home" is not an independent clause.


Question 3:

Solve the following equation for x:


Answer and Explanation:

  • Solution: 3x+5=203x+5=20 3x=20−53x=20−5 3x=153x=15 x=153x=315​ x=5x=5

  • Explanation: To solve for x, subtract 5 from both sides of the equation to get 3x=153x=15. Then, divide both sides by 3 to find x=5x=5.


Question 4:

A rectangle has a length of 10 cm and a width of 4 cm. Calculate the area of the rectangle.

Answer and Explanation:

  • Solution: Area=Length×WidthArea=Length×Width Area=10 cm×4 cmArea=10cm×4cm Area=40 cm2Area=40cm2

  • Explanation: The area of a rectangle is calculated by multiplying its length by its width. Here, multiplying 10 cm by 4 cm gives an area of 40 square centimeters.


Question 5:

Which of the following best describes the process of photosynthesis? a) The process by which plants use sunlight to produce carbon dioxide and water b) The process by which plants use sunlight to produce glucose and oxygen c) The process by which plants use glucose to produce sunlight and oxygen d) The process by which plants use oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and glucose


Answer and Explanation:

  • Answer: b) The process by which plants use sunlight to produce glucose and oxygen

  • Explanation: Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into glucose and oxygen. This process occurs in the chloroplasts of plant cells, making option b the correct answer.

These sample questions cover different aspects of the ISASP test, providing a well-rounded practice experience.

Online Resources for ISASP Preparation

Several online platforms offer practice tests, study guides, and interactive learning tools tailored to the ISASP:

Lumos Learning: Provides grade-specific practice tests and questions aligned with Iowa Core standards.

Official ISASP Resources: Available through the Iowa Department of Education.

ISASP Test Administration

The ISASP is typically administered in the spring. Registration is managed through schools, and the exact dates differ by district.

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