Juniors test with SAT instead of ISTEP

Students+sit+and+test+silently+in+one+of+their+classrooms.+When+taking+the+SAT+juniors+will+put+separated+into+rooms+and+take+the+test+alongside+other+juniors.+

Students sit and test silently in one of their classrooms. When taking the SAT juniors will put separated into rooms and take the test alongside other juniors.

Johnny Marshall

Beginning this year, the SAT will now be the primary standardized test to measure students’ learning abilities, replacing ISTEP. Statewide standardized testing is in place to obtain a measure of students abilities and to make sure that state standards are being met. Historically, ISTEP, or Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress has been the standardized test for this measurement. In recent years, the Indiana Board of Education has discussed the idea of making the SAT the primary standardized evaluation test. 

The SAT is typically the test for juniors or seniors to take when applying to colleges. Now, the SAT will be a requirement for all juniors to take, as it will not only be used for college applications, but will also be a reflection of that student’s learning abilities. SAT scores will also be used to determine whether the student is meeting state learning standards. 

Counseling department chair, Kimberly Dickerson, provides information about the transition from ISTEP to the SAT. 

“This decision has been in the works for several years; the decision to move away from ISTEP started about six years ago,” Dickerson said. Though the transition progress has taken years, this spring will be the first time juniors will be required by the state to take the test. 

“We didn’t know that it was going to be the SAT until last year,” Dickerson said, referring to the state’s decision to transition away from ISTEP and replace it with another test. 

In previous years, ISTEP was given during the sophomore year for students, but now with the SAT, juniors will be testing. 

“[The state] wants to see how prepared students are when they leave high school,” Dickerson said.  

The SAT and ISTEP also provide different data from one another, the SAT provides a broader range of data. 

“They measure different things… The SAT is a broader test; Collegeboard has been around for a long time and the SAT is used internationally,” Dickerson said. Due to Collegeboard’s long-lasting presence and the SAT’s broadness, there is a substantial amount of historic SAT data, which helps with the transfer away from ISTEP.