ISAT Reading Performance Definitions
Students who exceed standards demonstrate a strong comprehension of text beyond their grade level. They use contextual and structural clues to determine vocabulary meaning, analyzing idioms, analogies, figurative expressions, and etymologies. They verify word meanings using a variety of strategies.
Students accurately identify explicit and implicit main ideas and key, specific details. They use evidence implicit in the passage and prior knowledge to draw inferences and conclusions and to extract concepts. They can identify and explain the correct sequence of events in a story’s plot and recall important supporting details. They analyze evidence of the author’s beliefs about a subject and draw conclusions about character motivations and their impact on plot and/or theme. They reach insightful conclusions about the development of subtle or complex themes. They are able to determine author’s purpose as represented by choice of genre.
Students make and verify predictions based on prior knowledge and understanding of genres. They evaluate evidence used for support. They compare and contrast organizational patterns and examine the content and structure of text to analyze the effect of literary elements and devices, including point of view, setting, mood and tone, and the use of dialogue. They can explain dramatic irony.
They synthesize information found in a variety of formats to reach conclusions, including making connections between text and corresponding graphics.
Students who meet standards demonstrate an overall comprehension of grade-level text. They use contextual and structural clues to determine meaning of vocabulary. They can interpret idioms, analogies, figurative expressions, and etymologies. They use a variety of strategies to verify word meanings.
Students determine main ideas and supporting details. They use prior knowledge and textual support to draw inference and conclusions. They can identify the correct sequence of events and can recall supporting details. They identify actions and motives of characters that affect plot and/or theme and use evidence to determine themes. They examine content to determine author’s purpose, and they can identify the evidence used to support assertions.
Students make predictions about outcomes. They can contrast common themes. They examine content to identify the author’s use of literary elements and devices, including point of view and dialogue, and their impact on a passage’s effectiveness and tone or mood. They can identify dramatic irony.
Students synthesize information found in different formats to reach conclusions. They are proficient at following multi-step instructions.
Students at the below standards level demonstrate an incomplete understanding of grade-level text. They use immediate context to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary and tend to make literal interpretations of figurative language. They struggle with etymologies.
Students may be able to differentiate main ideas from supporting
details. They focus primarily on literal statements, struggling
to draw inferences and conclusions. They may be able to properly
sequence plot events. They can identify facts about characters
but are not proficient at analyzing actions or motivations or how
a character is used to introduce a theme. They can sometimes identify
a main purpose but struggle to recognize an article’s support.
Students may make obvious predictions but struggle with predictions when clues are subtle. They sometimes recognize the use of literary devices and figurative language but lack the skills to determine their impact on a story’s effectiveness, particularly in the areas of point of view and the use of dialogue. They cannot identify dramatic irony.
They may find information in practical text but are generally unable to synthesize information in diagrams, charts, and graphs. They struggle with directions.
Students at the academic warning level have a limited comprehension of grade-level text. They cannot determine the meaning of unfamiliar word due to a weak understanding of grade-level vocabulary.
Students cannot identify main idea and often confuse main idea and supporting details. They can seldom make inferences or draw conclusions. A lack of comprehension prevents them from following the sequence of events. They have few insights into character motivation or a story’s theme. They may identify an author’s broad purpose but there is little recognition of opinions or organizational features.
Students rarely make accurate predictions. An inability to comprehend literal statements prevents comprehension of inferred ideas. A lack of familiarity with literary devices and figurative language prevents any analysis of their use.
Students at this level misuse or ignore aspects of practical text such as headings and bold print.