International Schools Assessments

International School’s Assessment (ISA) was introduced in the year 2001 by the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) to bring international school students from different countries that are linguistically and culturally different under one evaluation system. The international schools can get the benchmark, scope for improving learning methodologies and quality as well as comparison of students with peers of relevant population. It was administered to over 64 000 students in 312 international schools in 2012–13.

ISA is an external achievement test for international schools from Grades 3 to 10 that has been specially developed to measure skills in mathematical literacy, reading and writing of students in international schools.

International School’s Assessments: Users

International schools and schools with an international focus, whose language of instruction is English makes use of International School’s Assessment.

The main ISA is widely used by International Schools for reading, mathematical literacy and writing assessment for Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

International School’s Assessment: Format

The format of the tests is very simple.  The content of the test focuses in the area of individual competencies achieved in reading, mathematical literacy and writing relating to practical applications and skills. Following are the sub-components of achievement in three broad testing areas:

a. Reading
  • Retrieving information
  • Interpreting
  • Reflecting and evaluating
b. Mathematical literacy
  • Quantity (related to number and measurement)
  • Space and shape (related to geometry)
  • Uncertainty (related to estimation, data and probability)
  • Change and Relationships (related to algebra and functional relationships)
c. Writing (Narrative and Exposition)
  • Content
  • Structure
  • Language (with attention to ESOL/ESL characteristics)
  • Spelling
d. Scientific Literacy (New in 2013)
  • Scientific Literacy: Online

International Schools’ Assessment: Eligibility and Dates

Schools have the option of administering the ISA in either October-February. There are two Mathematical Literacy sessions, one Reading session and two Writing sessions which are administered in the classroom under the supervision of school teachers.

ISA is a two days test within the two-week testing window.

Eligibility: International schools students from Grades 3 to 10 are eligible for International Schools’ Assessment.

Fees: ACER charges nominal fees for administering the Test from the schools. There is variation in fees based on number of students participating from a school, if the number of students are less than 20 the fees is more and if the number of students more than 20 then the fees is less, schools with more than 500 participating students are entitled for discounts.

Besides administration, cost of the test includes- test material and test booklet, courier charges for test material to school, report generation and analysis and online services provided by ACER.

Cancellation of Registration

Cancelation fee of AUD8 (as on 2013-14) and freight charges (if any) are charged per student. If cancellation is prior to the deadline as mentioned below then there is no cancellation fee.
  • August 31 (October administration)
  • December 21 (February administration)
Customised Reports: There is option of customised reports on request with additional cost.

Scale Scores
All the schools receive individual, class and school reports. The “ISA Scale” score is different to the “raw score” results that you would get by adding up the number of score points for correct answers on each part of the assessment. Each learning area or domain has a scale and raw scores calibrated onto the scale are converted to scale scores. The ISA scales for mathematical literacy and reading are based on those developed for the OECD PISA.
Registration and Contact Details

The schools can register online before:
  • 30 June  (October  administration)
  • 31 October 2013 (February  administration)
Contact Details:
Australian Council for Educational Research
19 Prospect Hill Rd,
Camberwell, VIC 3124, Australia
T: 613 9277 5555
F: 613 9277 5757
E: isa@acer.edu.au
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