Islamic Studies Standardized Tests
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Islamic Studies Standardized Tests           

About ISST

The Islamic Studies Standardized Tests (ISST) is a criterion referenced instrument designed to provide schools with data on students (grades 2 – 8) ability to master concepts within four major subjects:


The ISST is a testing program unique to the Muslim community. Public school educators have long before developed and enforced standardized objectives and assessments to make clear to student, parent, and teacher the criteria for success in every school.  Until now there have been no set standards for Islamic Studies curricula.  Responsively, IQRA’ International Educational Foundation recognized the need for Islamic Educators in the west to work together to clearly communicate what is expected of a Muslim student at each grade level. 

Test Criteria
Dr. Tasneema Ghazi heads the National ISST Committee comprised of Islamic scholars, professors, and certified teachers and principals working within the Islamic school sector. Since 2010, the committee has diligently worked to help teachers determine what is important and appropriate for children to know at each grade level (from grades 2 - 8). A task of this magnitude was completed in three phases:

  1. Phase 1:  Research several Islamic Studies textbooks and chart the commonalities

  2. Phase 2:  Collect, analyze and chart the commonalities in curricula of major Islamic schools across North America.

  3. Phase 3:  Establish nationally accepted standards and competencies for Islamic studies subjects National Islamic Studies Standards (NISS)

Test Development

In order to assess a student’s mastery of concepts committee members collaborated with Strategic Measurement and Evaluation, Inc, a partner of Riverside Publishing (creators of IOWA standardized tests), to design the first of its kind standardized assessment for Islamic studies subjects. This instrument will allow teachers to be better equipped in establishing individualized benchmarks to enhance student learning.  Learn more about ISST benefits for school stakeholders.

Test Validity

The ISST has been adopted by 35+ schools in over 20 states within the first five years of its inception. The assessment is immensely successful due to the validity of its content. Test items have been evaluated by Dr. John Wick and Dr. Denis Jarvinen. Items also went under extensive religious review to ensure questions are authentic and unbiased, focusing only on the basic tenets of Islam. Tests were then nationally piloted in Islamic day schools across America.

2010, ISST First Edition Pilot, Illinois:

Al-Aqsa School

Bridgeview, IL

Islamic Foundation School

Villa Park, IL

College Preparatory School of America

Lombard, IL

MCC Full Time School

Morton Grove, IL

Furqaan Academy

Bolingbrook, IL

Universal School

Bridgeview, IL

2013, ISST Second Edition Pilot, Illinois:

Al-Iman School

Raleigh, North Carolina

MCC Full Time School

Morton Grove, Illinois

Islamic School of Irving

Irving, Texas

Universal School

Bridgeview, Illinois

Test Data

Participating schools will receive three essential reports that provide data in terms of:

    √ Percent Correct

    √ Percentile Ranking

    √ National Average

Stakeholders can analyze how students perform: individually, as a class, and against other schools across the nation. Data generated from the ISST assessment will service teachers by pinpointing areas in which students need enrichment or remediation.  Data will assist administrators in making decisions about resources as well as aid in the transferability of students between Islamic schools.  In addition, standardized data can be used as a tool to help schools achieve accreditation within Islamic studies programs alongside secular education.      

Makers of the ISST believe that Islamic schools working together can achieve the common goal of creating education excellence among our Muslim students.



Info: 847.673.4072 ext. 2223 or 2233


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