Understanding Placement Test Functionality

myON includes a placement test so that it can recommend books based on students' current reading ability; it also uses Star scores for placement when they are available. Based on your subscription, your version of myON may use either the myON placement test and Star scores or the Lexile®* exam (most subscriptions include the myON placement test and Star scores). Note: If you use Fastbridge, Renaissance can import your scores, and they can be shown to students and teachers; see Fastbridge Scores for more information.

Feature myON placement test and Star scores Lexile® exam
Required for all students or optional? In the building settings, the Building Administrator can choose whether and how often the myON placement test is required. Making the test optional (the default setting) allows students to start reading right away, without needing to test first. Required upon first login after the student finishes the interest inventory. After 14 days have passed and a student has either read 5 books or has read for 3 hours, the student will see a purple envelope in the top left corner and may be asked to take an exam after finishing a book. The teacher may use a project task to require a new benchmark to be taken. For more information, see myON Reader Lexile® Assessments.
Grade levels Chosen by the Building Administrator in the settings. The myON placement test is intended for grades 2 and up (the default setting). All grades.
Works with Star Reading? Yes. If your district has Star Reading or Star Early Literacy, students' latest Star scores can be used instead of a myON placement score. No. Only the Lexile® placement exam and Lexile® benchmark exams are used to determine students' levels in myON.
Monitors progress? Yes, if the building settings allow retests periodically. New Star tests are also shown in myON. Yes. Students are given a new benchmark after meeting criteria (time passed and reading in myON).
How long does it take? Most tests take about 10 minutes. Tests generally take 10-15 minutes. The test is ended after 25 minutes if the student isn't finished.
Is the test adaptive? Yes; items are chosen based on the student's correct and incorrect answers. See "About the myON Placement Test" below for more information. No. The Lexile® placement assessment questions are based on grade level, and Lexile® benchmark assessments are based on students' current Lexile® levels.
What scores will I and my students see? Star score (the Scaled Score) and ATOS Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Lexile® score.
Can the student take the test over? Faculty may select Retake to remove a student's most recent myON placement score and allow the student to take the assessment again. The Retake option is available for assessments that were taken in the past 90 days. You may assign a Lexile® assessment task to a student in a project to require the student to take a new assessment.

For more about the Lexile® assessments, see myON Reader Lexile® Assessments.

For more about the myON placement test and how it works with Star® assessments, see the information below.

About the myON Placement Test

The myON placement test is a 25-item, multiple-choice fill-in-the blank test powered by Star Reading. It is a computer-adaptive test that measures student achievement on reading skills. As a student takes the assessment, the software selects items based on the student's previous responses. If a student answers an item correctly, the software increases the difficulty of the next item. If the student answers incorrectly, the software lowers the difficulty of the next item. Because it continually adjusts the difficulty of an item to what the student has shown they can or cannot do, the assessment is tailored to accurately measure each student’s level of achievement.

In the building settings, the Building Administrator controls how the myON placement test is used in your school, including the following:

  • whether to make the myON placement test available to students
  • if the test is available, whether it is optional (students can choose to take it) or mandatory
  • if mandatory, whether only the first test is mandatory or all retests as well (if restests are allowed)
  • whether to allow retests and how often (in days)

How the Test Works

If the test is required, when the student logs in for the first time and completes the interest inventory, the student will see a message like this. The student selects Yes to continue.

select Yes to take the test

If the test is optional, the student will see a message like the one shown below at the top of the main myON page. The student selects Finish Setup. After that, the student will see a message similar to the one shown above, but the student will also have a "No" option and can choose Yes to start the test or No to go back.

select Finish Setup to take the test

Next, the student will be asked to start the test. The student selects Start.

select Start

First the student will be asked a few simple practice questions to make sure the student knows how to answer questions for the test. The student can use the mouse to select an answer or press the number on the keyboard for the answer (1, 2, 3, or 4); on a tablet, the student can tap the answer. The answer that the student chooses will appear in the blank. The student selects Next to continue.

example of a practice question

The student must answer at least 3 practice questions correctly to go on. After that, the student will be given 25 test questions. If the student answers 7 practice questions without getting 3 correct, the student will not go on to the test questions and will be told to ask the test monitor for help. The student can try taking the test again later by selecting Finish Setup on the top of the student's main myON page.

Each question has a time limit. For grades K-2, the time limit is 60 seconds for each question; for grades 3-12, the time limit is 45 seconds for questions 1-20 and 90 seconds for questions 21-25. 15 seconds before time is up, the student will see a flashing clock above the question to remind the student to choose an answer soon. If the student does not choose an answer in time, the program will tell the student that time has run out and then go to the next question; that question will be marked incorrect unless the student had chosen the correct answer but had not selected Next yet.

a clock appears when time is almost up for a question

a message tells you when time is up for a question

After the last question, the student will see the message below. The student selects OK.

select OK when you see the test complete message

The student will go back to the main myON page, where they will see their Star Score and the ATOS Zone of Proximal Development. (The Building Administrator can use the Displayed Metrics section of the building settings to choose which scores the student will see.)

example of scores

Progress Monitoring

Retests allow you to monitor your students' progress to see how much students' scores improve over time.

In the building settings, in addition to choosing whether the first myON placement test is required, the Building Administrator can choose whether retests are allowed, whether they are optional or mandatory, and how often students will be asked to retest. If retests are mandatory, after the set number of days, the student will be asked to take a test after logging in.

the placement test settings availble in the building settings

If retests are not mandatory, the student will see the message below after the set number of days. The student selects Let's find out to start the test.

example of the message students see when it's time to test again

The flowcharts linked below show you how myON placement works when the test is optional all the time, mandatory for the first test and optional for retests, or mandatory for the first test and retests:

Optional assessments all the time

Mandatory first test only, optional retests

Mandatory first test and all retests

Star Tests and myON

If your district has Star Reading or Star Early Literacy, and your myON subscription includes the myON placement test, myON will also recognize the Star Reading and Star Early Literacy tests that your student has taken.

If you access myON from the Renaissance Home page, your students' Star scores are automatically shown in myON the next time each student opens myON, just as myON placement scores would be. If you access myON a different way, your students may need to link their Star scores to myON if that is allowed by the building settings. For more information, see Linking Star Scores to Student Records in myON.

myON will show students whichever score is most recent - myON placement or a Star score. (Students can also view their past scores as described below.) Note that for Star tests, students will see a Lexile® score in addition to the Star score and ATOS ZPD (if Lexile® is selected in the building settings).

Your Star subscriptions and usage may affect the choices that the Building Administrator makes in the myON building settings:

  • If you have Star Reading and/or Star Early Literacy, and you prefer to have students take only Star tests, the Building Administrator can remove the check mark next to Use myON placement test so that the myON placement test is never used.
  • If you access myON through the Renaissance Home page, students don't need to link their Star Reading or Star Early Literacy tests manually, so "Ask students to connect Star with myON" should not be checked.

Frequently Asked Questions

What grades is the test for?

The myON placement test is recommended for grades 2 and up. In the building settings, the Building Administrator can choose which grades have the test available.

How long is the test?

The myON placement test is 25 questions long and typically takes about 10 minutes.

How do students see their scores and progress?

Once students have taken a myON placement test, their latest Star score and ATOS ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) are shown at the top of the main myON page that they see after logging in.

example of a student's scores

To see all of their myON placement and Star scores for the past two years, students can select See more under the scores.

The student will see a graph that shows their Star scores over time (including myON placement Star scores). They will also see their days with reading and minutes read each day. Star Early Literacy scores have empty circles ; Star Reading scores and myON placement scores have solid orange circles . (Students who have taken both Star Early Literacy and Star Reading tests will see the scores for the test type they took most recently - Star Early Literacy or Star Reading.) Using the options in the top left corner of the graph, the student can choose to see ATOS ZPDs or Lexile® scores instead of Star scores. Students can select Pause Animations under the graph to pause the animations on the graph.

example of the graph of a student's Star scores over time

How do teachers and administrators see students' scores and progress?

There are two ways for teachers and administrators to see students' scores:

  • They may select a student in a roster, user list, or search results, then select Assessments on the student's page. Note: If the student can take a test now, either because they haven't taken one or because it's time for a retest based on the building settings, you'll see "A new assessment is available for this student" under the student's name.
  • select the assessments icon

  • Teachers can see placement scores on their dashboard page. When Reading Placement is selected, teachers see the date of each student's latest test and the Star Score and Zone of Proximal Development from that test. (Note: For students who have not yet taken a test, you'll see "Grade Equivalent" in the "Placement type" column because the student's grade is used to recommend books until the student takes a test.) Teachers also see whether each student can take a placement test right now (Placement waiting), either because they haven't taken one or because it's time for a retest based on the building settings.
  • example of a teacher dashboard with placement score information

  • Teachers and Building Administrators can see students' scores in the myON with Star report. That report will identify whether each test score is a Star Reading score (SR), a Star Early Literacy score (SEL), or a myON placement score (M). (The report is not available to District Administrators.)
  • the myON with Star report tile

Can I turn off the myON placement test?

In the building settings, the Building Administrator can uncheck Use myON placement test if you don't want students to take the tests. The Building Administrator can also choose to make the tests optional, to turn off retests after the initial placement test, or to increase the amount of time between retests. The test can also be made available to specific grades.

Can I assign a test to a student?

No, but if the myON placement test is optional, you can tell students to select Finish Setup or Let's find out in myON when the test is available. If you have Star Reading or Star Early Literacy, you can tell students to log in to Renaissance and take the test.

Can a student take a myON placement test over?

If the student needs to take the test over because of extenuating circumstances (such as illness or adverse conditions during the test), Faculty can view the student's score, then select Retake to delete the score and allow the student to take a new test. The Retake option is only available for assessments taken in the past 90 days. For more information, see Allowing Students to Retake myON Placement Assessments.

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