I-STEP gets refurbished

Hannah Long, Photography Editor

It’s that time of year again, when teachers are handing out review worksheets to prepare students for the upcoming I-STEP test. Gibson Southern sophomores are anxiously waiting for their turn to take the standardized test this week. However, I-STEP has undergone a few changes, more specifically a new look.

A new vendor has taken over ownership of the standardized test in 2020. I-STEP was previously run by a company called Pearson for four years, but is now overseen by the American Institutes of  Research (AIR). 

This year, the test will still be over the same subjects, mathematics and English, and it will still have the same testing format. For now, the only thing that has changed is the design of the login screen. 

“When students would login, they would look for the TESTNAV app,” guidance counselor Kelley Asay said. “However, this year the format itself is the same, but the setup, because it’s a new company that has put the test together, is what’s different.”

The new layout came with some new requirements for anyone who will be administering I-STEP this year. Every teacher or counselor was required to take some form of training to prepare them for the test. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) offered face-to-face or online training; which ones administrators took was mostly based on their experience and comfort with overseeing the standardized test. Corporation Test Coordinators (CTC), after taking the required training, were responsible for helping teach other administrators in their respective buildings how to operate the new system. Teachers who have never administered under the new setup gave a practice test to the sophomores this past week; this was designed to help the teachers and students get experience with the test.  

“I have sat through a couple online training sessions with IDOE that they have put out for us,” Asay said. “It’s then my responsibility as a CTC to make sure anybody else that will be giving the test and who oversees it in each building know how to operate things.”

AIR has also created a new standardized test called I-Learn. I-Learn is only administered to elementary and freshmen biology students. I-STEP is no longer given to those students, however, sophomores are still required to take it for graduation eligibility.