All About the ISTEP+

Published: Sept. 10, 2018, 2:23 p.m.

What we learn in each grade can differ across states. To guarantee that all schools in the same state meet certain requirements, there are academic standards. In the state of Indiana, the Indiana State Board of Education has created and implemented the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus (ISTEP+) for grade 10.

Requirement for Graduation

The ISTEP+ exams are so important for consistency across the state that the Indiana Department of Education has made the passing of the Grade 10 ISTEP+ in English/Language Arts and Mathematics a requirement for those graduating in 2019 and on. Of course, there are additional requirements that can be used in place of this, but the ISTEP+ exams are possibly the least complicated option.

Test Structure

There are technically three exam subjects broken down for ISTEP+ Grade 10. As mentioned before, Language Arts and Math are given to tenth-grade classes. The other subject is science. Originally, the ISTEP+ exams were given for grades 3-8 and 10 (including a social studies subject exam). However, beginning in the spring of 2018, Indiana has moved the younger grades over to the ILEARN exams. For the tenth graders, the ISTEP+ exams are broken down into two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 consists of open-ended questions, where you’ll be asked to fill in the answers. The other part of the exam, Part 2, includes selected-response questions and those that can be answered through technology manipulation, such as graphing.


The ISTEP+ exams are a bit tricky for grading because they are graded based on a pattern scale of correctly answered questions and difficulty of questions. The test scores range from 100-400, but each subject matter has differing minimum passing scores.

For instance, the ELA exam has a minimum passing score of 244 (292 for Pass+), but the science score is a minimum of 248 (281 for Pass+) and math has a minimum passing score of 271 (339 for Pass+).  

Test Prep

Though most of the information you need for the exams will be learned throughout your education at school, you may find that you want to study a bit for the exams beforehand. There are many options available out there for refreshers and practice exams.

Some websites offer refresher courses and practice exams. This website offers an in-depth look at topics that are covered on each of the exams, all available online 24/7.

For Parents

As a parent, you’re likely worried about the test scores and graduation status of your Indiana student. 

You can also keep track of your students’ activities and test scores through the Parent Portal. Simply receive an access code from the DOE and submit your child’s information. Through the Parent Portal, you can even take a look at the questions and your student’s response to each of those questions. This will allow you to keep track of what they need to work on and study for future exams or retests.