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      ISAT testing with Common Core questions begins for QPS students

      Student at Berrian Elementary watch an assembly

      Some Quincy Public Schools students began important testing Tuesday.

      Every year, the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, or ISAT, is given to students at several different grade levels.

      But this year's test isn't like any other that's been given before.

      Testing this year is under new, rigorous performance levels implemented by the State Board of Education.

      That also means 100 percent of the questions for this year's ISAT were written to the Common Core Learning Standards.

      Elementary Academic Director Julie Stratman explained the benefit of having these new questions.

      "It's kind of like a dipstick for our kids," Stratman said. "We get to see like dip in, to see what our students are able to do with this new common core."

      Stratman said these questions won't be like ones from last year.

      "They're going to be harder, they're going to be higher level reading, higher level language in there," Stratman said. "We're going to be using more technical terms, which is different from in the past."

      An assembly at Berrian was held in an attempt to motivate the third graders with the incoming testing.

      "It really, really made you relax, it made me relax, I don't know about any other kids, but it made me relax more about the tests," third grader Ray-Ann Cook said.

      "I like taking tests, but I'm nervous about taking giant tests," Jonathon Fedler, third grader at Berrian said.

      While some are nervous about the testing, others are learning to not over think it.

      "I've been telling myself stay focused, don't get too nervous about it, it's just review, just review," Cook said.