Administering Placement and Benchmark tests in Imagine Language & Literacy


This article applies only to students taking the embedded Imagine Language & Literacy Benchmark assessments. It does not apply to students taking the Imagine Galileo ELA Benchmark or the NWEA™ MAP® Growth Assessment. If you aren't sure which assessment your school is using, read Checking which assessment option your organization is using.

If your students are brand-new to Imagine Language & Literacy (IL&L) and your organization has chosen the IL&L embedded assessment option as the method of placing students in the IL&L curriculum, they will take the Placement assessment the first time they log in. If your students are returning students who have already begun their IL&L tenure in previous school years, they will take a Benchmark assessment instead. In cases where you have a mix of new and returning students in the same class, IL&L will deliver the appropriate test to the applicable students.


If your students log in to Imagine Language & Literacy and do not receive a Benchmark as expected:

  • Check with your District Administrator or School Administrator to make sure that the test is enabled for that test window. Benchmark tests are enabled by default but can be disabled by administrators.
  • In addition, at least 93 days must pass between when a student finishes the Placement test and begins the Benchmark.

Both Teachers and Administrators can administer assessments to students. Here's a list of what to do before students log in to Imagine Language & Literacy, how to introduce students to the tests, and how to monitor students during the test. If you run into problems during an assessment or need to reassign an expired test, check the Troubleshooting section for help.

The Placement test is always available to brand-new IL&L students, while the Benchmark tests can be administered during the three testing windows throughout the year.   

Assessment Test Window Dates

Beginning-of-Year Benchmark 

August 1 - October 31

Middle-of-Year Benchmark 

December 1 - February 28

End-of-Year Benchmark 

April 1 - June 30

Once students begin a Benchmark, they have 28 days to complete it, even if they begin the test on the last day of the test window. If your student does not finish a Benchmark within 28 days after starting it, the test's status changes to Expired. As long as the test window is still open, you can use the Reassign Test button on the student-level Growth report to reassign it. Once the test has been successfully reassigned, the student can retake the Benchmark the next time they log in.

There are no testing windows or time limitations with the Placement tests, and Placement tests do not expire.

Follow the tips below for a smooth test administration with your students.

Before students log in to Imagine Language & Literacy

  1. Prepare your device or laptop hardware. Students using Imagine Language & Literacy should be using devices with which they are familiar, if possible. Students will need headphones to complete the test, but a microphone will not be needed. For more information, see Imagine Language & Literacy System Requirements.
  2. Change students' support language, if necessary. By default, students hear the test in English. If you need to, you can change the support language so that a student hears instructions for the test in their first language. To learn how to change a student's support language, see Editing student account information. 

Introducing students to the tests

  1. Show students how to log in. For students who log in to the app or via Use a projector or smartboard to show students the Imagine Language & Literacy login screen and how to enter their username and password. Show students how to use the Show (mceclip0.png) icon above the Password field to see their password as they type it. Allow extra time to assist students who need help logging in.

    Once students log in, confirm that they can hear the audio. 

  2. Explain to students why they need to complete the test. The sample script may be useful and can be adapted to suit your specific situation.

    The next time you log in to Imagine Language & Literacy, you'll see a test. It will help me see how much you know. Keep your eyes on your own screen. If you don’t know the answer to a question, just try your best and go on to the next question. If you need help with the program buttons, raise your hand quietly and I will come to help you.

  3. Show students how to pause the test if they need to. If students need to close Imagine Language & Literacy before the session ends, show them how to use the Pause button in the lower left corner of the screen to exit the test. If students are still working on the test, they'll pick up where they left off the next time they log in.

During the tests

  1. Allow adequate time for students to complete the test. Because the Placement and Benchmark Tests are adaptive, students may take anywhere from 10-60 minutes to complete the test, depending on their skill level. We recommend planning on at least 25 minutes to administer the test.
  2. Monitor students as they take the test. Encourage students to stay on task and watch for students who are clicking through test questions without reading them. Encourage these students to read each item carefully and provide their best guess on a question even if they do not know the answer. Ensure that students do not receive help answering test questions. As you walk around the room, you'll be able to tell that students are working on the Benchmark or Placement test due to the Testing in Progress message in the bottom left corner of each student's screen.
    testing in progress.png


    Neither educators nor families who are monitoring students at home should help their students during testing. Students who receive help on a test may be placed incorrectly in the Imagine Language & Literacy curriculum. 

  3. Check student testing status. As students take the test, you can view student testing status.
  4. Allow students to continue their session once they finish a test. Some students may finish the test before their session is over. Allow these students to continue using Imagine Language & Literacy until they are automatically logged out when their session ends. 
  5. Check Benchmark and Placement test results. After students complete the test, you can view student test results


Here are some solutions to problems that you might encounter when administering a test.

My student doesn't hear any sound.

Check the volume settings to ensure that the volume is turned up. Make sure the student's headphones are plugged into the right jack or USB port.


My student lost internet connectivity during the test.

If your student loses internet connectivity during a test, have them reconnect their device. This may also require restarting the device. Once internet connectivity is restored, the student will automatically begin where they left off when the device lost its connection. 

The computer froze while my student was taking the test.

If your student's computer freezes during an assessment, close the current browser window and log in to Imagine Language & Literacy again. Your student will automatically begin where they left off when the computer froze.