IXL Insights – Welcome to the Challenge Zone

September 26, 2013


IXL Insights

Practice on IXL is always exciting, but there’s something about that final stretch you just can’t beat. As soon as you reach a SmartScore of 90, you collect your third ribbon and the countdown begins…Welcome to the Challenge Zone!

The Challenge Zone, that stretch of questions between 90 and 100, gives students a chance to really show off their stuff. Any score above 90 is excellent, but for those who wish to push even further, hidden prizes and a deeper level of understanding await!

In the Challenge Zone, students will encounter some of the most difficult questions in that skill, so taking their time and double-checking answers is encouraged. At the same time, the pulsating glow of their SmartScore motivates them to keep up their momentum and finish strong.

When they reach that 100, they’ll know they really earned it!

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All Comments (42)

jake September 30, 2013 at 8:18 am

I think ixl is a really fun way to learn math and solve equations.


The IXL Blog September 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Thanks, Jake. We’re so glad you’re enjoying IXL!


A random person February 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm

IXL seems boring as it is just a digital workbook… I wish it was fun. Now it seems like the saying “IXL is a fun way to learn math” was a lie. It just seems like a workbook.

IXL language arts, however, is great. I like the topics and the content.


The IXL Blog February 19, 2014 at 9:36 am

Hi there. We’re so glad to hear that you’re enjoying IXL Language Arts! The awards, colorful visuals, and real-world examples do make IXL Math fun for many students as well, and we’re sorry to hear that you don’t feel that way. We will pass your comments along to our development team.


Eisa October 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm

How many problems must a student solve in order to receive a smart score of 100 on a 6th grade objective? (If they do not miss any along the way…)


The IXL Blog October 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi, Eisa. A student can master a 6th grade skill (meaning they earn a SmartScore of 100) by answering about 28 questions correctly without missing any.


lanaya October 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

i love doing it


Noah Earley December 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

HI IXL, the challenge zone is new to me and i don’t know what its per-pose is. Other then telling me im at mark 90 on my smart score.


The IXL Blog December 9, 2013 at 10:17 am

Hi, Noah. Once you reach a SmartScore of 90 and enter the Challenge Zone, you’re in the final stretch. This means the questions are more difficult, and you should take your time and double-check your answers. Once you clear the last hurdle of the Challenge Zone and reach 100, you can celebrate that you’ve mastered the skill (and maybe get a secret prize or an award)!


Cat January 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm

IXL? you say the same thing over and over again. When will you realize that the students don’t like the extreme point decrease and fix it. I mean I have a friend who when she’s 96 and gets dropped down to 85 from one missed answer and then 85 to 72. Two problems, 92-72, I’m sorry but that is unexplainable. She cries when this happens. Please do us all the favor and stop saying what you said above and start fixing it. Thx. Cat.


The IXL Team January 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Hi Cat, we’re sorry that you and your friend feel frustrated using IXL sometimes – we will pass your comments along to our development team.


Cat January 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Thank you!

Zap Len October 3, 2015 at 8:57 am

It’s okay, decimals tis he easiest to stay with, if you get what it means.

Noah Earley December 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

(just for ixl) how long does it take for you to answer
the blog questions?


The IXL Blog December 9, 2013 at 9:39 am

Hi, Noah. We get a lot of questions—on the blog and in other places—but we try to answer as soon as we can. If you ever have an urgent question about IXL, your parents can call us at (855) 255-8800 or e-mail us at support@ixl.com.


Noah Earley December 11, 2013 at 11:26 am

ahhh thanks!!!!\


EJ Shulman December 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm

143 goes into 1001 7 times


The IXL Blog December 16, 2013 at 10:03 am

That’s right! Good job!


Alex January 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I am in 4th grade.-7 x-7=49


The IXL Blog January 13, 2014 at 10:01 am

Awesome! That’s correct!


Ilhaam January 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I really love IXL,I mean it really helps me! It’s awesome.


The IXL Blog January 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

Thanks, Ilhaam. We’re so glad to hear that IXL is making a difference for you!


deirdre ferry February 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

ixl teaches my kidoes some great math my dauhters are eager to learn math now because of ixl


The IXL Blog February 11, 2014 at 4:50 am

That’s fantastic, Deirdre. Thanks for using IXL!


L1am335 February 20, 2014 at 7:47 am

I really don’t like the challenge zone. It makes me lose much more than I get, and it adds a lot of time to what I’m doing. (EX: 4×4= 16c Score: 99 (BEFORE) Score: 90 (AFTER). Also, the Challenge Zone only gives you 1-2 points every question you get right, so it takes quite a while to get back your 9 points.


The IXL Blog February 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

Hi there. Any score of 90 or more is excellent, and shows that you have a good sense for the topic. The idea behind The Challenge Zone is that reaching a SmartScore 100 shows complete understanding of a skill. Of course this can be tricky, and we suggest that you speak to your teacher or parents if you are having trouble with a particular topic, or if you think it is taking you too long to get there.


Joanne February 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

I love IXL. I think it encourages my daughter to learn above and beyond what is expected in her classroom. She does get quite frustrated at how much the score drops when missing a problem – as opposed to how little is gained by answering a question correctly (especially near the 100 smart score). I wish that IXL was designed so that once a child reaches a score of 90, they never drop below a score of 90. I think that once they have reached the challenge zone it should keep them in the challenge zone.


The IXL Blog February 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Hi, Joanne. We’re so glad to hear that IXL is encouraging your daughter to go the extra mile!

The idea behind SmartScore is that when a student misses a question, they are brought to a level of difficulty where they can better understand the topic. As students practice, it is constantly assessing and responding to how well they doing, which is why a student who reaches 90 but is struggling may be brought to a more foundational level in that skill. Of course, it is up to parents or teachers exactly what level a student should reach before they are done practicing. A score of 90 shows excellent understanding of a skill, and a score of 100 is true mastery.

We are always working to improve IXL, and we appreciate you taking the time to let us know your thoughts. We will pass your comments along to our development team.


Jackie March 11, 2014 at 10:13 am

My 4-year-old has really been enjoying the IXL math questions and has completed most of them (he skipped some of the basic dot-counting questions which were too easy). I’m wondering if there is a way for him to start completely over on the Pre-K level (including the prizes for motivation), as I don’t think he’s quite ready to move on to KG just yet. I would like for him to get more practice with the Pre-K. Is there a way that we can clear everything so that he can start over?


The IXL Blog March 11, 2014 at 10:36 am

That’s fantastic, Jackie! Congratulations to your son on his hard work! Yes, we should be able to reset the data in your account. Someone from IXL technical support will reach out to you via email shortly to help with this.


SEan! July 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Thx for making ixl!Im in Summer,but i know this.-850*7434=6318900.


isaac February 5, 2015 at 7:31 am

Hello i would just like to say that i have a few problems. im a student and i was working on algebra 1 and when i wrote out an equation i wrote mx+b=y instead of y=mx+b and it was counted wrong. I just wish the program had a little more versatility>


The IXL Team February 5, 2015 at 11:21 am

Thanks Isaac, we appreciate you sharing your feedback!


I :) ixl July 28, 2015 at 10:18 am

All I have to say is it’s a wonderful experience for me but having hard time with the challenge zone but I hope we have ixl in the further ten times better It really helps me excel ! Keep up the good work:)


Zofia September 29, 2015 at 6:26 pm

I enjoy playing IXL for my schoolwork, but i just dont understand why on the challenge zone it deducts more points then needed to. otherwise i LOVE it!


The IXL Team September 30, 2015 at 10:09 am

Hi Zofia, we’re glad to hear that you enjoy IXL! In the challenge zone, you have to answer harder questions consistently and correctly to earn that score of 100 and prove you know your stuff! When the SmartScore decreases, it’s meant to give you more time to practice so you can reach mastery.


Spencer December 9, 2015 at 6:26 am

To me Ixl is boring, and the point drop is an awful issues. I reccomend changing your format to actual, fun games, like baseball or something kids actually like. Sorry, but irs true


The IXL Team December 9, 2015 at 10:07 am

Hi Spencer, thanks for your feedback! We’ll let our team know about your suggestion.


Spencer December 9, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Thank you,and the prizes are good, but use them on ela


The IXL Team December 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

Hi Spencer, thanks for letting us know! Our team is working to bring gameboards to ELA as well.


Toby Dinoop March 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

It’s awesome but I wish there were awards on english but…its cool seriously.
IXL is really helping me out because I used to be bad at mat but now I’m excellent at it.Thanks alot IXL.


The IXL Team March 21, 2016 at 11:14 am

Hi Toby, thanks for your feedback and we’re so glad to hear that IXL has helped you in math! Our team is working on creating gameboards for English, so stay tuned!


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