Understanding Placement Test Functionality

myON includes a placement test so that it can recommend books based on students' current reading ability. Based on your subscription, you have either the myON placement test or the Lexile® exam (most subscriptions include the myON placement test).

Feature myON placement exam 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 read 5 books and has read for 3 hours, the student can choose to take a new benchmark exam. 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.
What scores will I and my students see? Star score (the Scaled Score) and ATOS Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Lexile® score.

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.

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.

Next, the student will see the Star Reading logo. The student selects 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.

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.

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

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.)

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.

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.

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, 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 view their past scores as well as described below.)

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 Star Reading or Star Early Literacy through the Renaissance Home page, students don't need to link their tests manually, so "Ask students to connect Star with myON" should not be checked.

If you need Lexile® scores based on Star tests, see the Star reports available through your Renaissance Home page.

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.

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 have solid orange circles . (Students who have taken both Star Early Literacy and Star Reading tests will no longer see the Star Early Literacy scores.) Using the options in the top left corner of the graph, the student can choose to see ATOS ZPDs instead of Star scores.

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

Teachers and 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).

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 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.