Getting the Most Out of the IXL Continuous Diagnostic

September 26, 2017


In the Classroom, For Admins

We recently told you about the new IXL Continuous Diagnostic, which captures up-to-the-minute student insights and outlines clear next steps to help learners improve. 

Now, we’re sharing some tips and tricks for how to incorporate the Continuous Diagnostic into your instruction to help your students succeed!






Explore recommended skills from the Diagnostic Arena

Help your students improve from where they are with personalized skill recommendations from the IXL Continuous Diagnostic. Students will discover these suggestions as they practice in the Diagnostic arena, and they can click on skill recommendations from their Diagnostic stats page to start practicing immediately. Encourage students to dive into their recommendations if they finish classwork early, or have students work on them during lab time.

Leverage the Diagnostic Strand Analysis

Easily plan for small group instruction with the Diagnostic Strand Analysis! This report groups students with similar levels of proficiency on each strand and shows you the most common skill recommendations for each group. With these insights, you can identify and target potential knowledge gaps early on. Use the report to pull students into small groups where you can spend a few minutes working through their top skill recommendations. Then, have students practice those skills on their own as you supervise their progress.

Keep diagnostic stats up to date

With students completing regular IXL skill practice, it only takes a handful of diagnostic questions each week to keep levels current. To ensure you always have timely insights and recommendations available, have your students visit the Diagnostic arena for a few minutes each day as bell work or assign diagnostic questions as part of a station rotation model.

What features from the IXL Continuous Diagnostic are you most excited to try out? Share with us in the comments below!

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All Comments (41)

Karen Peterson November 20, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Do you have this for Language Arts?


The IXL Team November 21, 2017 at 10:57 am

Hi Karen–We are working on making it available for language arts in our U.S. edition! We’ll be sure to announce any news here and on our social media pages.


Lisa VanScoter December 1, 2017 at 6:27 am

LOVE the new Diagnostic Tool can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon.


The IXL Team December 1, 2017 at 10:13 am

We’re glad you’re enjoying the Continuous Diagnostic, Lisa!


Jennie January 9, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Two questions:
1- Why do many of my student’s Diagnostic Reports not have ANY recommendations for Alg/Alg Thinking even when it is the area where they scored the lowest?
2- Is it typical for students (in SpEd) in the upper elementary grades to have Algebra & Algebraic Thinking scores that lag far behind their Numbers & Ops scores on the Diagnostic Assessment?

I really like the Diagnostic for many reasons, but there seem to be some glitches to sort out, including the recommendation for one of my 4th graders that he work on a Level M skill : )


The IXL Team January 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Hi Jennie–Thanks for your feedback on the Continuous Diagnostic! One reason that your students may not have Algebra recommendations is if their diagnostic levels are not up to date. Levels are up to date when you see numeric levels (circles) rather than a range (bars), and if a student does not continue to diagnose regularly, the numeric levels will revert back to ranges. The Continuous Diagonstic finds scores first, to let you know where a student stands overall, before it finds pinpointed recommendations for that student. If your students diagnose more, they should then receive their recommendations.

As for your second question, it’s not unusual for Algebra scores to lag behind Numbers & Ops. One common reason is that some students can do computations but struggle with solving word problems–their diagnostic levels will reflect knowledge gaps in each of these strands.

We love hearing from teachers who are actively using the Continuous Diagnostic and would be happy to chat with you more or answer any other questions you may have! Please feel free to contact us at


Sally January 12, 2018 at 9:33 am

We love the diagnostic tool! However, we can’t see the Kindergarteners can do it on the IPad. Am I not seeing it?


The IXL Team January 12, 2018 at 10:55 am

Hi Sally–We’re glad to hear you’re loving the Continuous Diagnostic! It is not currently available through our iPad app, though students can still access it through on the iPad’s web browser.


Stacy January 31, 2018 at 1:34 pm

A student has a score of 570-650 on the diagnostic. What does this mean? Is there a grade level that this correlates to?


The IXL Team February 1, 2018 at 11:06 am

Hi Stacy–When you see a single number as a student’s diagnostic score, that indicates the student’s working grade level. For example, a level of 500 indicates readiness to work on fifth grade level skills. When their score appears as a range like 570-650, it means that the Diagnostic does not yet have enough information to pinpoint a student’s level. If you have any other questions about how best to use the Diagnostic, we’d be happy to help! Feel free to get in touch at or (855) 255-8800.


Alex February 2, 2018 at 10:36 am

Hi IXL Team,
Loving the diagnostic so far! Can you guys tell me what a overall level of 900 would correspond to for grade level? Thanks!


The IXL Team February 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Hi Alex–We’re glad you’re loving the Diagnostic! When you see a single number as a student’s diagnostic score, that indicates the student’s working grade level. So, a level of 900 indicates readiness to work on ninth grade level skills. If you have any other questions about how best to use the Diagnostic, we’d be happy to help! Feel free to get in touch at or (855) 255-8800.


Holly March 4, 2018 at 11:53 am

I am unable to access Diagnostic with use of the IXL app. I also am unable to sign in to the IXL site. When I try, I am automatically signed in to the app instead.



The IXL Team March 6, 2018 at 9:36 am

Hi Holly, We certainly want to help you get signed in! If you contact us at or (855) 255-6676, we’d be happy to look into this for you. In the meantime, the Continuous Diagnostic is currently available only on the IXL website. You can always access it on your mobile device through your device’s web browser!


Jennifer April 3, 2018 at 9:04 am

Is there a diagnostic assessment for ELA yet?


The IXL Team April 3, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Hi Jennifer–Thanks for your interest in our ELA Diagnostic! We are actively working on making the Continuous Diagnostic available for ELA in the U.S. edition by this summer.


Cindy August 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm

How can I use the diagnostic for math only. Last year I used and it was great. Now when my students log in to do the diagnostic they are asked questions on everything. Very annoying and wasting valuable math time. Please tell me how to turn off the other questions.


The IXL Team August 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Hi Cindy — The Continuous Diagnostic now features integrated math and ELA questions to create a seamless and engaging experience for students (that also keeps their Diagnostic levels up to date!). If you’d like your students to focus on math Diagnostic questions only, they can filter within the Diagnostic Arena by toggling the math icon — it appears in a drop-down menu on the right-hand side. If you have further questions, feel free to contact and our team would be happy to help!


Heidi October 4, 2018 at 12:58 pm

This is a great help. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do the same: limit the diagnostic to math only for my limited time with my small group math students. Thank you!


antwan jones August 28, 2018 at 8:38 am

does it end?


The IXL Team August 28, 2018 at 10:00 am

Hi Antwan — The Diagnostic is designed to continuously update based on your current learning level, so in that sense it does not ‘end.’ When it has pinpointed your current level in each strand, you’ll know that your results are up-to-date! But you can enter and exit the Diagnostic arena whenever you’d like, and all your results will be recorded.


zack September 8, 2018 at 10:29 am

hi i have a diagnostic of 690 and then it has a second number on the other side that says 910 what grade level am i and what number do i look at because there are two numbers on is on the right side and there is another number on the left of my overall math level


The IXL Team September 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

Hi Zack — Thanks for writing in! It sounds like your diagnostic levels are still showing a large range, which means the Continuous Diagnostic is working to find your current level. The more you spend time diagnosing and practicing, the more precise your diagnostic levels will be – when the Diagnostic has enough information to pinpoint your level, it will appear as a single number!


Michele September 10, 2018 at 9:26 am

How do I turn off Diagnostic Breaks? I identified students that needed help with adding integers, so I just wanted those students to practice adding integers and suddenly it throws them a “diagnostic break” question about graphing lines, which they haven’t learned yet and is not what I wanted them to practice. I saw that I can pause diagnostic breaks, but only for one hour. Can I turn them off indefinitely until I want to turn them back on?


The IXL Team September 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

Hi Michele — Thanks for reaching out! At this time, Diagnostic breaks can only be paused for an hour at a time. We’ll pass your feedback along to our team, and if you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to!


Stephanie September 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Please make it so that Diagnostic breaks can be turned off. They are very confusing to my K-2 students and makes it difficult to focus on the skills that we want them to practice.


The IXL Team September 10, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Hi Stephanie — Thanks for your feedback! You can pause Diagnostic breaks for one hour at a time. Simply sign in to, open the Welcome menu in the upper-right, and click Profile & settings. Scroll to the bottom to find the row marked Pause diagnostic breaks. Click the link, and your students will forgo diagnostic breaks for the next hour! If you have further questions, please reach out to and our team would be happy to help.


Nate December 3, 2018 at 7:05 pm

Has there been any development with turning off Diagnostic breaks for longer than one hour? My students really find them frustrating – stopping them from practicing the skills they were working on. Also, often the “break” displays questions are far above student’s level and so students just guess or say I haven’t learned this yet, just to get it out of the way. If I had students spend longer on the Diagnostic, will this reduce the number of “breaks” that pop up?

I know I need to do a better job of encouraging my students to do their best on these, but am still curious if they can be turned off temporarily?

Kelly Allison September 21, 2018 at 9:40 am

Is it possible to see the diagnostic questions that my students have answered correctly? When we write IEPS, we include information on what skills the students were able to do as well as skills they need to work on. Thanks!


The IXL Team September 21, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Hi Kelly — Yes, IXL Analytics can help with this! IXL Analytics takes in data from all of a student’s work in IXL, including the curriculum and the Continuous Diagnostic, to uncover valuable insights into their strengths and areas for improvement. Head to and the Student Details and Student Progress reports would be a great place to start. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to and our team would be happy to assist!


Kris Marshall September 24, 2018 at 5:55 am

Is there a way to turn off the correct/incorrect feedback on the math diagnostic?


The IXL Team September 24, 2018 at 10:06 am

Hi Kris — Currently, the Continuous Diagnostic automatically provides feedback as it works to pinpoint a student’s current learning level. If you’d like to tell us a bit more about why you’d like to see this setting in the future, we’d love to hear it – simply fill out our feedback form at And if you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to!


Joh November 30, 2018 at 6:52 am

How can I see when my students login to the diagnostic test and what questions they are answering? When I go to the analytics student tab, I am only able to see when they complete lessons.


The IXL Team November 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

Hi Joh — There are three diagnostic reports in Analytics that you may find helpful! The Diagnostic Overview shows all of your students’ current levels at a glance. The Diagnostic Strand Analysis is a teacher favorite in creating small groups. Finally, the Student Action Plan can give you deeper insight into each student’s current levels. When a student’s diagnostic levels are still showing a large range, this means the Continuous Diagnostic is still working to find their current level. The more students spend time diagnosing and practicing, the more precise their diagnostic levels will be – when the Continuous Diagnostic has enough information to pinpoint their working level, it will appear as a single number. If you have further questions regarding the Continuous Diagnostic, please feel free to reach out to!


Monique Proteau-Never January 14, 2019 at 3:43 pm

I know that the diagnostic is continuous, but how can I see where my students started that school year and how much they have grown throughout the school year?


The IXL Team January 14, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Hi Monique — You’re right, the Continuous Diagnostic is meant to pinpoint students’ current level of understanding, so it is always updating as a student practices! While there isn’t currently a diagnostic report like what you describe, teachers can print out students’ diagnostic stats periodically to chart their development over time. (These stats can also be saved as PDFs!) If you have any further questions about using the Continuous Diagnostic or would like to chat about how to track growth, we’d be happy to help! Just contact us at


Janet Prior February 17, 2019 at 6:49 am

Is it possible to select the strands to use in the Diagostics? For example, for ELA, can I select Grammar, Vocab, and Writing Strategies – but leave out Reading Strategies?


The IXL Team February 19, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Hi Janet — The Continuous Diagnostic evaluates all strands together because each subject is an interconnected discipline in which skills build on one another. Student success in one strand often impacts their abilities in another, and we want to help students target the underlying causes of any trouble spots they may have! If you have further questions on how to use the Continuous Diagnostic in your classroom, feel free to reach out to


Janet Prior February 17, 2019 at 6:54 am

Will you be adding a section on mood (subjunctive, conditional, imperative, interrogative, and indicative) in 8th grade ELA – to align with Common Core?


The IXL Team February 19, 2019 at 2:20 pm

Hi Janet — We already have skills that meet these standards! See L.8.1.c on our common-core aligned skills page or our PDF. If you ever have a request for new skills you’d like to see, feel free to let us know at!


The IXL Team December 4, 2018 at 10:02 am

Hi Nate — Diagnostic breaks were designed to work seamlessly within the IXL curriculum to give students and teachers completely up-to-date diagnostic data. We have recently removed the diagnostic breaks, and at this time, we are no longer offering diagnostic questions during skill practice. If your students are still experiencing diagnostic breaks, or if you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to our tech support team at!


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