Student experience in the Placement test in Imagine Español

As students in Grades 1 and up take the Placement test, they see screens and hear instructions that explain the testing process. Recognizing these screens and instructions helps Teachers and Administrators monitor when students start the assessment, identify which subtest a question comes from, and know when students earn Booster Bits for completing test items.  


  • The Placement test is enabled by default and cannot be disabled. However, PreK and Kindergarten students do not take the Placement test because they automatically begin with the Kindergarten curriculum. 
  • Students who take the Placement test at home should not receive any assistance while taking the test. Helping students during an assessment can cause students to be placed in an incorrect starting point in Imagine Español. For more information about using Imagine Español at home, see Using Imagine Español at home
  • If students have the Language Support: Español field set to English in their student profile, they will receive instructions for the Placement test in English.

Starting the Placement test

When new students log in to Imagine Español for the first time, they see the screen below and hear an introduction to the Placement test in either English or Spanish—whichever support language is set for them in their student account.  


Spanish introduction English translation
Hola. Hoy te toca contestar algunas preguntas importantes. Pero antes de empezar vamos a aprender cómo hacerlo. Primero, escucha cada pregunta y piensa muy bien antes de contestar. Cuando termines de contestar cada pregunta, presiona este botón (the Check Your Answer button flashes on the screen). Si quieres escuchar una pregunta otra vez, presiona este botón (the Repeat Instructions button flashes on the screen). Ahora, ya sabes. Presiona aquí cuando termines de contestar (the Check Your Answer button flashes on the screen). Presiona aquí si quieres escuchar la pregunta una vez más (repeat instructions button flashes). Y recuerda, piensa muy bien antes de contestar. ¿Listo para empezar? ¡Aquí vamos!  Hi. Today you get to answer a few important questions. But, before we start, let's learn how to do it. First, listen to each question carefully and think before you answer. Click this button (the Check Your Answer button flashes on the screen) when you finish answering each question. Click this button (the Repeat Instructions button flashes on the screen) if you want to hear a question one more time. Now you know how to answer. Click here (the Check Your Answer button flashes on the screen) when you are done answering. Click here to repeat a question (the Repeat Instructions button flashes on the screen). And remember to think before you answer. Ready to start? Here we go! 

Once students start the Placement test, the Imagine Español character Lulu displays in the bottom left corner of the screen with the test-in-progress indicator Examen en Curso. When students click the Lulu icon, they hear “Recuerda, esto es una prueba, así que debes responder por ti mismo.”


Understanding the Placement test subtests

The Placement test includes a common test which all students take first, and 6 subtests that are automatically assigned based on a student's performance in the common test. The common test includes 15 test items that provide a preliminary benchmark of students' skills in Letter Recognition, Phonological Awareness, Syllabic Analysis, Word Recognition, and Listening/Reading Comprehension.

Depending on how students perform on the common test items, they can be assigned up to 5 subsequent subtests. The Placement test evaluates students' performance and adapts to their skill level. This means that if students perform well in foundational skill areas, they will receive more difficult test items as the test progresses. To avoid test fatigue, students see songs and vocabulary-related activities in between each subtest. If students begin to struggle in a subtest that is too advanced for them, the Placement test ends and the students are placed in Imagine Español curriculum.

Letter Recognition student experience

For Letter Recognition test items, students identify the correct uppercase or lowercase letter after hearing a prompt asking them to press the button for a specific letter (for example, “Presiona la letra a”).


Phonological Awareness student experience

For Phonological Awareness test items, students drag and drop phonemes, sounds, or syllables to construct the correct word after they hear it (for example, “¿Qué sonidos escuchas en la palabra casasEscoge sólo los sonidos en la palabra casas y ponlos en el lugar correcto"). They also see a picture of the word.


Syllabic Analysis student experience

For Syllabic Analysis test items, student hear a word and are asked to identify the remainder of the word once a syllable has been removed (for example, "Si a corbata le quitamos la sílaba cor, ¿qué nos queda?"). They also see a picture of the word. For example, a test item may start with the word corbata. When the syllable cor- is removed, what is left? The correct answer is -bata.


Word Recognition student experience

For Word Recognition test items, students identify the correct word after they hear a prompt asking them to press the button for the correct word (for example, “Presiona la palabra resto”).

Listening/Reading Comprehension student experience

For Listening Comprehension test items, students listen to a short literary or informational text passage. Using picture prompts, students then recount the sequence of story events from the passage.


For Reading Comprehension test items, students read a short literary or informational text passage independently. Then they answer a series of literal and inferential reading comprehension questions.


Earning Booster Bits by completing test items

As students take the Placement test, they earn Booster Bits by answering the questions. Booster Bits are tokens students earn for correct answers, which they can redeem to customize their avatar or play games. Students earn different colored Booster Bits depending on how well they do on each question.