Common Questions from Educators and Parents about i-Ready

“Is i-Ready dangerous?” “Is i-Ready bad for student achievement?” “Does i-Ready replace teachers?” We hear some of these concerns every now and then from educators and parents before they become familiar with i-Ready. This page will help you learn more about i-Ready, answer some of those questions, and point you to additional resources to learn more.

What is i-Ready?

i-Ready was invented in 2011 as a combination of the i-Ready Diagnostic (i.e., i-Ready test) and an online instruction program, i-Ready Personalized Instruction. i-Ready Personalized Instruction is a research-based program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade with an individualized plan for instruction based on each student’s performance on the i-Ready Diagnostic test. Once students complete the Diagnostic, i-Ready builds a unique lesson plan with a starting point for each learner based on their individual results. i-Ready gives teachers the flexibility to add lessons or adjust the lesson sequence based on their own knowledge of their students.

What is the purpose of i-Ready?

The purpose of i-Ready is to provide personalized instruction and support the needs of all learners. i-Ready supports teachers as they plan instruction, set goals with students, and assess learner progress. The i-Ready Diagnostic test is designed to help educators by providing meaningful data about the instructional needs of their students and connecting them to i-Ready math and reading instruction that is proven to raise student achievement.

Who invented i-Ready?

i-Ready was invented in 2011 by Curriculum Associates to make equitable learning a reality for all students. With the careful input of educators, the i-Ready Assessment and instructional tools were designed to pinpoint student needs and support teachers in delivering personalized instruction. The data provided by Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment is trusted by teachers because it’s based on the industry’s most current and rigorous research. More than 10 million students nationwide use i-Ready Personalized Instruction to build their skills for grade-level success. Curriculum Associates’ research shows that i-Ready Personalized Instruction improves students’ reading and mathematics achievement on state tests. We are constantly improving our programs based on the latest research, expert educator evaluation, and customer feedback to make sure we are serving the needs of teachers and students.

Is i-Ready a waste of time?

No, i-Ready is not a waste of time. The i-Ready Diagnostic provides valuable information to teachers, including sophisticated data and actionable insights to help them address students’ individual needs and support meaningful progress. We know classroom learning time is precious, and we believe technology use should be reserved for high-quality, engaging, and productive learning experiences that are proven to help students grow. We conduct rigorous research to understand the relationship between time spent in i-Ready and student growth. This insight informs the research-backed guidance we offer schools about the amount of time students should spend using the program to get the greatest gains and avoid overuse.

Why is i-Ready so bad?

"Why is i-Ready so bad?", ask some reviewers who are not familiar with its benefits. Among the many good reasons to use the i-Ready Diagnostic, it saves time for both teachers and students and helps identify areas of learning opportunity. Classroom learning time is precious, and technology use should be reserved for high-quality, engaging, and productive learning experiences that are proven to benefit student growth. There are many rigorous research studies demonstrating the relationship between time spent in i-Ready and student gains in reading and mathematics. This insight informs the research-backed guidance we offer schools about the amount of time students should spend using the program to get the greatest gains and avoid overuse.

Is i-Ready bad for student achievement?

No. The i-Ready test and i-Ready Personalized Instruction are both grounded in research and proven to work. The i-Ready test supports educators by accurately evaluating students so teachers can provide the individualized instruction needed to help with student achievement. No dangerous or adverse side effects of the i-Ready testing tools have been found. Research on the impact of i-Ready shows that it has a positive effect on elementary and middle school students’ reading and math achievement, including students with disabilities, English Learners, students with socioeconomic disadvantages, and students of color.

What is the i-Ready Diagnostic test?

The i-Ready Diagnostic is a test designed to help teachers support each student and create a path of personalized instruction for every learner. The adaptive test adjusts its questions to suit each student’s needs. Each item a student sees is individualized based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier questions. Students will find the test difficult, but that is OK. Think of it like a vision test: the blurry letters and incorrect answers help the eye doctor find the correct glasses for you. The i-Ready Diagnostic gets harder until a student answers an item incorrectly and then narrows in on exactly where a student needs support. Learn more about how i-Ready works.

How does i-Ready work to provide targeted instruction to students?

i-Ready works by supporting students and teachers all year long with assessments and instruction. The first Diagnostic of the school year assists teachers in charting a course for their instruction and drives i-Ready Personalized Instruction paths for each student. A midyear and end-of-year Diagnostic helps students and teachers measure growth and have constructive data chats about progress and goals. Teacher-led and personalized instruction continue throughout the year, addressing class and individual needs, while i-Ready Standards Mastery helps teachers determine students’ mastery of grade-level standards. See i-Ready in action in classrooms, and take a tour to learn more.

What’s the research behind i-Ready?

Our assessment and instructional products are grounded in research and designed by experts to deliver rigorous instruction and comprehensive support to help students at all levels from all backgrounds. Every program we create starts with an extensive research base and is followed by a continual cycle of research, review, and improvement. i-Ready Personalized Instruction has been studied by numerous third-party and independent organizations, as well as Curriculum Associates’ own Research team, in partnership with educators throughout the country. This growing body of research demonstrates how i-Ready Personalized Instruction improves the reading and mathematics skills of students across the country in Grades K–8.

Has i-Ready received awards or reviews from independent organizations?

i-Ready has been honored with multiple industry awards, including the prestigious CODiE Award for Best Student Assessment Solution. i-Ready has also received high ratings from the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII), a nationally recognized technical assistance center that reviews available educational tools on the market. The prestigious Buros Center for Testing has also conducted an independent review of i-Ready Diagnostic and has praised the quality of the questions in the assessment. Independent experts at numerous state departments of education have determined that i-Ready is a high-quality assessment and instruction tool, and it has been approved to inform decision-making at the district level.

Can you use i-Ready at home?

Yes. The teacher–student relationship is at the center of the way i-Ready is designed. Recently, that relationship has been taking many forms. With remote and hybrid learning models, more and more students are taking their i-Ready tests at home and working through i-Ready lessons online. With the help of the resources found in the Family Support center, teachers and families can work together to ensure results from remote testing are reliable and that students are supported during instruction.

Can homeschoolers use i-Ready?

Many students across the country are learning remotely this year and using i-Ready at home with the guidance of their teachers and caregivers. While the i-Ready program is purchased by school districts or schools and not by individual families, it can be used at home through district- or school-issued logins.

Does i-Ready replace teachers?

No. i-Ready is designed to support the active role of classroom teachers by equipping them with accurate, actionable, and easily accessible data that provides rich insight into student learning, as well as tools to inform their small group instruction and differentiation. i-Ready helps teachers save valuable time they can use to develop meaningful relationships with students.

How does i-Ready support equity in the classroom?

i-Ready strives to help every learner access grade-level work and ultimately succeed at grade level. By providing high-quality, engaging, culturally relevant, and inclusive content along with assessment tools for setting high expectations, i-Ready can help schools create a learning environment in which every student succeeds.

Seeing Is Believing

From the assessments suite to the practical, actionable data and personalized instruction for each student, get a quick overview of what i-Ready is all about.