Civics PRACTICE TESTS on Illuminate

A variety of PRACTICE TESTS to prepare students for the AZ Civics Exam have now been created within the Illuminate system.  These are short (20 question) tests which cover concepts aligned with the categories created within the Civics Review Course in Sunnyside LEARN (American History, Principles of Democracy, and System of Government).

There are several advantages to having students use these PRACTICE TESTS as a way to prepare for the actual exam they will be taking next month.

  • The test replicates the same testing environment and procedures which students will experience during the actual exam
  • They will provide teachers with actionable data on what P.O.s students most need to focus on for the purpose of review.
  • The PRACTICE TESTS provide students with immediate feedback on their performance and what concepts they need to review.
  • The tests will provide us with information on how long it is taking students to complete the 20 question test. This will allow you to better design a sufficient testing window for the 100 question exam which begins next month.
  • Have students test in Illuminate will allow your site coaches and leadership to confirm that teachers assigned to review the information with students are taking them through the testing process.

These PRACTICE TESTS can be located within the Illuminate Dashboard by clicking on the Assessments tab and then searching for History-Social Science as the subject (see below).

Once you have located the PRACTICE TESTS you can follow the directions in the Illuminate Tutorial (linked here) to roster this test for your teachers.  Because these are simply practice tests and all of this same information is available publicly on both the ADE and INS webpages, there is no need to set normal test security measures such as passwords.  You may elect to either roster the test for your teachers to instruct them to set the PRACTICE TEST rosters on their own.

NOTE:  When setting the testing windows for the practice tests, please DO NOT overlap the window for the practice test beyond the planned START DATE for the ACTUAL (100 question) civics test as we do not want any of the practice tests to be visible to students when they begin their real AZ Civics Exam to insure that students are launching the correct test.

Thanks for helping to make our inaugural Civics Test a success for our students and please let us know if you have any questions or concerns,

ADE Civics Test Procedures

ADE Civics Test Procedures

2015-2016 School Year

In 2015, the Arizona legislature passed the American Civics Act (House Bill 2064). This bill will require students, beginning with the graduating class of 2017, to pass a 100 item civics test based on the United States Immigration and Naturalization civics questions. Students will be required to score 60% or higher in order to graduate from high school or obtain a high school equivalency certificate. The complete text of the statute is available at

Which Grades Take the Test in SUSD?

During the 2015-2016 school year, the Civics Test will be administered to 8th grade middle school students and high school students in grades 9-12.

All students in grade 8 will be provided by their school with an opportunity to take the Civics Test prior to the end of Q3.  Any additional opportunities for students to test in grade 8 are left to the discretion of  site leadership.

Test Administration Schedule

Middle School students will test November 28th through December 22nd.  ELD students in the 4-hour block will prepare and test during their ELA period and other students will test in social studies classes.

High School students will may test at any time during the course of the academic year.   Sites will have the option of testing students EITHER in their social studies class or in their ECCAP class period. 

Test Administration Method

The ADE versions of the 100 Civics Test items should be delivered using the Illuminate Data and Assessment Management System™ and will be archived and duplicated each time the test is administered. The online test consists of 99 multiple choice questions and one open ended response.

Preparing for Testing

The official list of 100 civics questions included on the naturalization test and free study materials are posted on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website:

SUSD Instructional Technology Coaches have created a civics course for student review in Sunnyside LEARN which can be accessed via the link below.

Short practice tests will be available in Illuminate prior to October 30th  and should be used before the administration of the actual test to ensure that students are able to log into the system and allow students to become familiar with the test format.

Testing Environment

A quiet and comfortable testing environment, with as few distractions as possible, is ideal for the administration of this test. Students should be seated so that they cannot easily see the responses of other students. Visual aids displayed in the testing room that could assist students while testing should be removed or covered completely.



Students who use accommodations in classroom assessments should be offered the same or similar accommodations for the Civics Test. Contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator for any questions regarding testing accommodations.

Testing Procedures

Illuminate rosters for each testing window will be created and maintained by district personnel. The test will only be available during certain hours based on the time the school is actually administering the test. Each window will have a different version of the Civics Test that is protected with a different password each day. Sites will be provided with the name of the test and a list of the daily passwords before the start of the testing window. Passwords are not to be given to students prior to testing.

At the beginning of the testing session, the test administrator will facilitate each student logging into the Illuminate Data and Assessment Management System™, and guide them to the appropriate test, and provide the test’s password.

It is expected that ethics and professionalism regarding test administration shall be upheld by test administrators at all times. During the session, test administrators may answer student questions regarding the test directions, but may not answer questions about test content.

Test administrators may not influence students’ responses by any method including making any kind of gestures (for example, pointing to items, holding up fingers to signify item numbers or answer options). Test administrators may not instruct students to go back and reread/redo responses after they have completed testing.


During the administration of the Civics Test, test administrators must actively monitor the room at all times. Test administrators should move unobtrusively about the room to ensure that students are using only appropriate testing materials and to check that students are progressing through the test. This includes confirming that no additional tabs or applications are running on student devices during testing. Students may not use the computer for non-testing activities or have access to their cell phones or other electronic devices until the end of the test session.

At the end of the testing session, the test administrator is to ensure that each student has submitted the test and logged out the Illuminate Data and Assessment Management System™. In the event a student is unable to complete the Civics Test during the assigned period, the test administrator must ensure that the student pauses the test and logs out so the student may  continue testing at the soonest available opportunity.

Testing Incidents

In the event of a testing incident, test administrators should immediately report the event to their site’s testing coordinator. Testing incidents include, but are not limited to, technical difficulties, improper test administration, improper test accommodations, or cheating. Site testing coordinators will then contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator for procedural incidents or Frank McCormick, Instructional Technologies Coordinator, for technical issues.



To receive a passing score, students must correctly answer at least 60 of the 100 questions on the Civics Test. A report of students who score 59% will be generated in order to review the constructed response question for scoring and point assignment. A correct response will then be applied to the student’s overall total score to provide for a passing grade.  



Student who do not score 60% or higher will be required to retest. Students receiving special education services are exempt from obtaining a passing score unless otherwise required by an IEP.

Each student may retake the test as many times as necessary to ensure a passing score. Eighth grade students are not required to retest until their freshman year.  However, if middle school sites elect to offer grade eight students a second opportunity, a testing window can be established by request in quarter 4.  

HS students who do not meet a score of at least 60% may be moved into civics specific ECCAP classes for review. New testing windows will be established quarterly and students will have the opportunity to test at least during each nine-week quarter of the school year.

Reporting Results

Civics Test results will be available in the Illuminate Data and Assessment Management System™ immediately upon test completion and will be available to any staff member with system access to the student(s).

Final results will be posted to PowerSchool the week following the close of the assessment window and will permit reporting of students who have not met the Civics Test graduation requirement.

Beginning the 2015-2016 school year, high school transcripts will list the date and passing grade for students who have met the Civics Test Graduation Requirement. Students who pass the Civics Test in 8th grade will have results posted on their high school transcripts beginning their freshman year.


School personnel should first contact their site testing coordinators with any questions regarding the Civics Test. Site testing coordinators may contact Hans Schot, District Testing Coordinator for procedural questions or Frank McCormick, Instructional Technologies Coordinator, for technical questions.

Illuminate Issues (Rostering, Log-in Problems…etc).

Just a reminder, to everyone that the fastest way to get a response concerning any of you Illuminate related issues it to go through the Sunnyside HelpDesk at 

From the HelpDesk homepage, select Digital Curriculum…

Within the Digital Curriculum Page select the option for Illuminate  in the drop-down menu.  REMEMBER:  Include specific information about the student name, username, metric number and the precise nature of the problem in order to insure faster service.

Illuminate: Finding Students who have Not Tested

As you work at getting students who may have been absent to complete their make-up test, you can follow this method to locate students who still need to test.

1. From the Illuminate Dashboard click on Assessments along the top of the page and select the test you’re looking for.

2. From the assessment dashboard click on Administration and then Enter/Edit.

3. Make sure that you have selected your school under the Site filter.

4.  Filter out non-grade level students by clicking on the blue Additional Filters link along the bottom of the page.

5.   Under Additional Filters change the drop down menu to View and then click on Find Students

6.  You will now see a list of students who have not yet taken the test.  By clicking on the Student ID column, you can locate the teacher’s name to locate the student to pull for a make-up.

How to Find Out if Teacher Have Graded the Constructed Response Items

Remember that teachers need to have the constructed response items within their ELA tests graded by the end of the week in order to allow us effectively review the data points.  You can follow the steps below to confirm that teachers have completed the grading of these items.

  1. Follow steps 1-3 posted above to get into the dashboard.
  2. Click on the Additional Filters link along the bottom of the page.

3. Enter the grade level into the filter fields.  Remember change the filter for View to Students With Data to filter out any students who have not yet answered ANY of the questions.

4.  Click on the Sort Columns arrows within the header row to sort results for each of the constructed response columns for that specific grade level test (e.g. in the grade 4 ELA assessment shown below, the constructed response items are number 8 & 10).

5. By double clicking on the sort arrow, you can now see a list of all students who have not had that particular question graded.  As with the directions above, by clicking on the Student ID Number you will be able to see the teacher who has yet to complete the grading for that question.

You can also search for JUST the teachers who will grading by using the Teacher filter on the search page and selecting those teachers by name.

Illuminate Assessments: Pulling Student Completion Rates

In order to list which students have completed an interim assessment in Illuminate, you can follow these steps.

1. From the Illuminate dashboard, click on Assessments to locate your interim.  Click on the test once you have found it.

2.  Under Summary click on the student count total (in blue).

3.  The student assessment status will now list along the bottom of the page.  You can reduce the size of the list by adding specific filters to you search such as teacher or class.  

Please remember to remind students that although their test scores will be displayed as soon as they have submitted, they should be concerned about “failing” since the cut scores are still being set.

Conceptua Math Back Online

Please note the following information from the vendor (Conceptua) regarding the outage this morning.
The Conceptua Math website is back in operation as of 1:05 eastern time today. As suspected, an error occurred in a server (a high-performance computer) that is operated by one of our hosting contractors.

We do business with highly-respected companies that have strong track records. One of them had a scheduled maintenance last night, during which a staff member in their shop made a mistake. The part of Conceptua Math that hosts student and teacher logins became disconnected from our home page, and you were unable to log in.

I am personally grateful to work with a team of engineers who are both technically competent and are great communicators. While this outage was very upsetting, they handled matters in an effective way.

We are very sorry for this outage. We care about your success with our product – every day. We hope this outage did not cause too much harm for you, your students, and your co-workers.

Interim Assessment Test Integrity

We are aware that many of our teachers are currently working with students to prepare them for taking the first quarter Illuminate interim assessments, however please remind your staff that it is NEVER ACCEPTABLE under any circumstances to share the actual questions from either the assessment or item bank with your students prior to taking the test.

All assessment items are associated with a specific learning target or standard.  Teachers are free to use these targets to locate resources to support these instructional objectives within their curriculum, however they can NOT use the actual question as a learning tool or instructional aid.

If you have questions regarding this process, please contact Hans Schot for additional clarification.

Illuminate Q1: How to Administer Make-Up Tests

In order to maintain testing security for the delivery of the assessments in Illuminate it is important that the testing coordinator (ITC, PF, Data Mentor…etc) at your site follow these steps when completing make-ups.

1. Only the testing coordinator at your site should ever re-roster an assessment once the original testing window has closed.

2. To re-roster an existing assessment within the Illuminate dashboard, click on Administration and then Online Testing along the top of the page.

3. Click on the Add Roster button along the upper-right hand corner of the page.  REMEMBER that you will need to add a roster for EACH BENCHMARK within the various grade levels that you will be testing (e.g. Math Interim Q1 Grade 4, ELA Interim Q1 Grade 5…etc).

Please DO NOT roster a student testing window until the student present in your class and ready to test.

4.  When setting up your roster, you will need to filter by the User (ne: Teacher) in order to pull up a list of students to retest.   You can select MULTIPLE students from the list by holding down the ctrl button.

5. In order to set testing security for the assessment, click on Administration Settings and click on the Daily Window option.

6. Adding a Daily Start Time and Daily End Time option will prevent students from being able to enter back in to the test if they have not completed the test within school hours.

Following these steps will help to insure the integrity of the assessment during the district testing window.

Illuminate Interim Assessments: Even more FAQs

Q: How can I roster an assessment for a teacher who may be experiencing problems, absent…etc.?

A:  The best way to roster an assessment for a teacher is to switch your role in the Illuminate dashboard to Become Another User and then follow the steps as normal to roster the test.

1. Switch your log-in role within your Illuminate dashboard

2. Search for the teacher user using the Find a User option and then click on the blue Become User button.

3.  Set the assessment roster and then return to your normal log-in role when you are finished by clicking on the Control Panel tab and logging back in as yourself.

Q:  How can I roster an assessment for a group of students who are not associated with a single teacher section in PowerSchool (e.g. SPED pull-out group, make-ups…etc.)?

A:  As long as you have a role in Illuminate which provides you with access to all students at your site (e.g. Coach, Principal…etc) you can set up a custom roster for any group of students you wish within the Online Testing- Assessment Roster page.  Please NOTE however that in order to access a list of students to select from, you will first need to pick a User from page filter.

You can continue to add students to your Assessment Roster as many times as you need to in order to complete your student list.

Q:  Are there any potential problems if a student has an assessment rostered to them multiple times from different teachers.

A: No.  The assessment will only appear on the student dashboard once even if it has been rostered to the student multiple times.  Once the student has completed the assessment, it will move from the Pending Assessments table to Recent Assessments table on the student dashboard.

Q:  Can an assessment be re-opened once the testing window has passed?

A: Yes.  You can reopen a test for a student who has not taken the assessment by creating a new roster for that student (or group of students).

Please remember that you can even more “A’s” to all of your pressing “Q’s” by using the support chart listed below.