Sophomores will take ISTEP March 3-6

Graduation Pathways will replace test for future classes


Ashlynn Bakemeyer

Counselor Mrs. Brittany Denny ’00 said she is glad that this is the last year students will have to take ISTEP.

Ashlynn Bakemeyer, Reporter

Starting with the Class of 2023, students will no longer take the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus. 

But for sophomores during the first week of March, they will once again take the ISTEP. 

School counselor Mrs. Brittany Denny ’00 said, “We’ve moved on from ISTEP and have gone to a new form of testing called Graduation Pathways.”

Graduation Pathways allows students to personalize their test-taking by choosing areas that meet their educational interests, goals and opportunities for the future. Denny said, “There are different areas you have to complete that are different than the ISTEP topics such as the service learning component.” 

One of the additional optional courses with Graduation Pathways is the Project-Based Learning Experience. Instead of a sit-down test, students will be able to participate in project designs. The grading system review at authenticity, reflection and inquiry.

Another topic option is the Work-Based Learning Experience. This course bases its grading system off of characteristics such as leadership, teamwork and self-confidence.

The areas of Graduation Pathways align with International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses. “So you have to take the test that goes along with your class level,” Denny said. 

Part 1 of ISTEP testing will take place March 3 through March 6.  “This round of ISTEP is only for first-time testers, so no retakes will take place,” Denny said.

Although this is the last year for ISTEP, Denny said it is still crucial for students to prepare for the test. Denny provided advice on how to get ready for the test by saying, “Review old notes. I think the most important thing is to take it seriously.”

The switch to Graduation Pathways comes from years of conflict with the ISTEP test. “I don’t feel like (ISTEP) is an appropriate way to measure what a student knows. Some people have testing anxiety. Just because students don’t do well on a test doesn’t mean they haven’t mastered the material. So I feel like ISTEP doesn’t measure mastery,” Denny said.

Another major difference between the two tests is the format. “Graduation Pathways is all electronic instead of paper like ISTEP. Personally, I feel like it might cause some discrepancy. It allows too much room for error,” Denny said.

While there are many contrasts between the two tests, Denny said she prefers the new Gradation Pathways test versus ISTEP. 

Denny said, “I’m so excited that it’s the last year for (ISTEP).”