Understanding the Placement and Benchmark tests in Imagine Español


This article includes information on the brand-new Imagine Español (IE) Benchmark, which will automatically be administered to IE students in Grades K–5 starting August 1, 2024. 

The content below provides more detail about the Placement and the Benchmark assessments in Imagine Español and highlights the similarities and differences between the two assessments.

The Placement test: 

  • Is a one-time, adaptive test for new students that determines students’ proficiency in key skill areas and then places students in their personalized starting point in the Imagine Español curriculum. It ensures that students receive the "just-right" sequence of instructional content and activities to match their skill level. 

The Benchmark tests: 

  • Are a series of 3 fixed-form grade-level assessments per year designed to show evidence of student growth over time. Administrators and Teachers can compare the latest student Benchmark test results with other Benchmark test results within the same school year. 
Characteristic Placement Test Benchmark Test
Purpose of test Place student in their appropriate learning path in Imagine Español. Compare students' knowledge against grade-level Spanish Language Arts (SLA) literacy skills. The Benchmark does not determine or refine a student's learning path.
Domains tested
  • Decoding
  • Identifying Syllables
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Literature
  • Informational Text
  • Foundational Skills
  • Language
When administered

The testing window for the Placement test is open 365 days a year. If a Benchmark window is also currently open, brand-new students will receive the Benchmark prior to the Placement.

If a Benchmark window is NOT also currently open, brand-new students (first-time users) will receive the Placement test upon their initial login.

Students only ever take the Placement test one time in their entire Imagine Español tenure (unless their account is deleted and re-created).

When brand-new students log in during a testing window, they receive the Benchmark first, followed by the Placement. Returning students only take the Benchmark. 

The Benchmarks happen 3 times per school year. The testing windows are:

  • August 1–October 31 (BOY)
  • December 1–February 28 (MOY)
  • April 1–June 30 (EOY)
When students log in during a Benchmark window, the test for their rostered grade level is automatically delivered to them, and students must finish it before working on their learning path.

Administered to New students in Grades 1 and above. Students in PreK automatically begin with the Kindergarten curriculum. Students in Kindergarten take the Benchmark test first and then automatically begin with the Kindergarten curriculum. New and returning students in Grades K through 5. Students in PreK do not take the IE Benchmark test, nor does any student with a rostered grade higher than Grade 5. 
Automatically enabled? Yes, and cannot be disabled. Yes, and cannot be disabled.
Can tests be reassigned? No.  No. 
Do tests expire? No. Students can take as long as they need to finish the test.  Yes, students must finish the test within 28 calendar days or the test will expire. If the student logs in again during the same testing window after 28 days have passed, they will automatically restart their Benchmark. However, if the student does not finish a Benchmark for a particular testing window, no score will be generated for the applicable testing window.
Scores Not reported. Reported in the Imagine Español Growth report as an overall proficiency level and an overall % correct; growth between Benchmarks is shown as a change in the % correct.
Type of test

Adaptive; the number and difficulty of the questions varies based on student performance. Students in the same grade can receive different numbers and types of questions.

When students begin the test, they initially receive test questions that are on or below their rostered grade level. Students in Grade 1 begin with kindergarten content, and students in Grades 2–5 begin with Grade 1 content. As students work through the test, it adapts to their knowledge and skill level, which means the students will see test questions at various levels of difficulty. Students will be placed based on the level of mastery they demonstrate in the test; however, students will not receive an initial placement that is beyond their rostered grade level. For students who need enrichment, the adaptivity of Imagine Español ensures that students can skip through content they already know, when appropriate.

Fixed-form; the number of questions and the questions themselves are the same for every student within the rostered grade. However, there are 3 versions of each test for each grade level—Azul, Verde, and Naranja. The label in the top left corner of each student's screen displays the version the student is taking. By the end of the school year, each student will have taken all 3 versions of the test. 
Number of questions Depends on each student and how well they're performing on the test. 

Grades K and 1: 35 items

Grades 2–5: 47 items


Since this is the first year of implementation, tests are long in order to field-test items to calibrate the assessment and provide advanced statistical measures (such as scaled scores) in the future. We anticipate being able to reduce the number of questions in later years.

Length of test 10–45 minutes; we recommend planning at least 25 minutes. Approximately 45–60 minutes. 


Plan on administering the test in 2–3 20-minute sessions to reduce student testing fatigue. Students' work will be saved and they can pick up where they left off.

Student experience

Students earn Booster Bits while completing the test and the test is gamified.

Learn more about the student experience in the IE Placement test.

Students do not earn Booster Bits while completing the test and the test is not gamified.

Learn more about the student experience in the IE Benchmark tests: Grades K–2 | Grades 3–5