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Iowa Test and ITBS Test (Iowa Test of Basic Skills)

What is the Iowa Test?

The Iowa Tests are achievement tests published by the University of Iowa and are part of the “The Iowa Testing Programs.” The two most commonly-given Iowa Tests are the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Iowa Assessments. Both are achievement tests meaning they assess a child’s knowledge of what they have learned in school and are not cognitive or IQ tests. Despite the name, many states and private schools administer Iowa Tests. TestingMom.com offers a variety of prep materials for the Iowa Tests.

What are the Iowa Tests Used for?

The Iowa Assessments are frequently used to test for admissions into gifted and talented or accelerated learning programs. They are often used in conjunction with cognitive tests, like the NNAT or CogAT, to get a complete picture of a student’s accomplishments and potential. Schools may also give a creativity test, such as the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.

Even smart kids can struggle to show what they know on standardized tests like the Iowa assessments. Prepping for these exams will increase your child’s familiarity with the format and the types of questions they’ll see, boosting confidence on Test Day.

TestingMom.com members get access to hundreds of practice questions for each grade level, a Parent Success Team who’s standing by to help with your questions, plus 40+ Skill Building Academy games to build math, ELA, social studies and science skills.

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What is the difference between the Iowa Assessments and ITBS Test?

In the 2011-2012 school year Houghton Mifflin Harcourt replaced the Iowa test of basic skills (ITBS) and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development with the newly designed Iowa Assessments. The new design was implemented to more closely follow the Common Core State Standards.

The Iowa Assessments can be given via paper/pencil where the student will either answer in separate booklet or directly on the test. The test can also be administered online. The method of administration varies from school to school. Be sure to check with your child’s school to find out how they will be giving the test.

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills are not aligned with Common Core and only go through the 8th grade (level 14). Even though there have been no updated versions of the ITBS released since approximately 2011, the test is still being published and is in use today by many school districts across the country.

Both the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Iowa Assessments are designed to assess what a student has learned in school. The Iowa Assessments are aligned with Common Core standards, but the ITBS is not. Despite this, the ITBS is still frequently used as an admissions test for Gifted and Talented programs across the US.

Iowa Test levels 5-8 are administered to students from Kindergarten through 2nd grade, while levels 9-14 are given to students from 3rd to 8th grade. Each Iowa Test level consists of a series of subtests that are administered in sections by content.

History of the ITBS and Iowa Test

The ITBS was the original Iowa Achievement Test. It was developed in 1935 and was originally called “Iowa Every Pupil Test of Basic Skills.” Over 80 years later, more-recent editions of the ITBS are still being used today as a tool to monitor and track student progress over time.

There were several people involved in the development of the Iowa:

  • Everett Franklin Lindquist
  • Harry Greene
  • Ernest Horn
  • Maude McBroom
  • Herbert Spitzer

Homeschooling and the Iowa Assessments

Homeschooling families can also use the Iowa Assessments and the ITBS to confirm a child’s learning progress, since the test is sufficient to meet state homeschooling requirements.

What Material is on the Iowa Test and ITBS?

The tests are written in levels 5-14. You will see below that there is some overlap between the different levels of the test.

  • Level 5 covers K.1 – Grade 1.5
  • Level 6 covers K.7 – Grade 1.9
  • Level 7 covers Grade 1.7 – 2.4
  • Level 8 covers Grade 2.5 – 3.5
  • Level 9 covers grade 3
  • Level 10 covers grade 4
  • Level 11 covers grade 5
  • Level 12 covers grade 6
  • Level 13 covers grade 7
  • Level 14 covers grade 8

Each test level within the ITBS consists of a series of subtests administered in content sections. Sections in the ITBS test for kindergarten to 2nd grade (levels 5-8) include:

  • Vocabulary test
  • Word Analysis test
  • Reading Comprehension test
  • Listening test
  • Language test
  • Mathematics test
  • Social Studies test (Levels 7/8)
  • Science test (Levels 7/8)
  • Computation test (Levels 7/8)

Sections for 3rd grade to 8th grade (levels 9-14) include:

  • Vocabulary test
  • Word Analysis (3rd grade, level 9 only)
  • Listening (3rd grade, level 9 only)
  • Reading/ Reading Comprehension
  • Spelling, Capitalization, Punctuation, Usage and Expression
  • Mathematics Concepts and Estimation, Problem Solving, Data Interpretation, Computation
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Sources of Information (Maps, Diagrams, Reference Materials)

Want to give your children the resources they need to meet all the sections of the Iowa Assessment with confidence? We have hundreds of questions for each grade level to help your child build comfort and familiarity for Test Day. Plus, you’ll also get access to the 40+ games in our Skill Building Academy to develop your child’s math, ELA, science and social studies skills.

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What does grades 1.7 or 1.9 mean?

The ITBS or Iowa Assessments Test is a test that is written in levels and these levels overlap some grades. The chart shows this overlap and what grades fall into each level. Level 7 for example is written for grades 1 and 7 months to grade 2 and 4 months in the school year.

What Time of Year is Each Level Given and to What Grade Levels?

GRADEFALLMIDYEARSPRING
K55-5/6
15/65/6-77
2789
38-999
4101010
5111111
6121212
7131313
8141414
914-1514-1514-15
10161616
1117/1817/1817/18
1217/1817/1817/18

 

Test Timing Per Section – Level 5

 

TestNumber of ItemsApproximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary2320
Word Analysis2920
Listening2330
Language2725
Math2725
Reading1730
TOTALS – COMPLETE1462 hr. 30 min.

 

Test Timing Per Section – Level 6

 

TestNumber of ItemsApproximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary2720
Word Analysis3320
Listening2730
Language3125
Math3525
Reading (Part 1)1720
Reading (Part 2)1720
TOTALS – COMPLETE1872 hr. 40 min.

 

Test Timing Per Section – Level 7

 

TestNumber of ItemsApproximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary2615
Word Analysis3215
Reading (Part 1)1720
Reading (Part 2)1825
Listening2725
Language3425
Math (Part 1)2625
Math (Part 2)1525
Computation2525
Social Studies2925
Science2925
TOTALS – COMPLETE2784 hr. 10 min.
TOTALS – CORE2203 hr. 20 min.

 

Test Timing Per Section – Level 8

 

TestNumber of ItemsApproximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary2615
Word Analysis3315
Reading (Part 1)1820
Reading (Part 2)2025
Listening2725
Language4225
Math (Part 1)2625
Math (Part 2)2025
Computation2725
Social Studies2925
Science2925
TOTALS – COMPLETE2974 hr. 10 min.
TOTALS – CORE2393 hr. 20 min.

Looking for more resources to help your child approach their Iowa Assessment with confidence? TestingMom.com can help with:

  • Hundreds of questions that build the skills needed for confidence when taking the Iowa Assessments, for every grade level.
  • A customizable program based on your child’s grade level and upcoming tests, so you can target your child’s prep for maximum improvement.
  • Interactive practice with 40+ games from top educational publishers to strengthen your child’s overall skills like math, language arts, science, social studies and more.
  • A Parent Success Team to help you if you need a little advice or if you get stuck.
  • Over 100,000 practice questions for the most popular tests for Pre-K to 8th Grade, including gifted and talented, private school admissions, state tests and more—all for one low price.
  • Parent resources to help you easily navigate your child’s testing process.

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Tell us about your experiences

7 Responses

RuthAnn

Hi, the father of a student who attends gymnastics school in Dallas has asked me (a retired certified teacher) to administer the ITBS to his daughter. Do you know if I’m able to do this? And how I would go about getting a copy of the test. The child is not homeschooled; she attends school w/ 1 teacher and 7 other gymnasts on the floor above the gymnasium where she practices 7 hours a day.

TestingMom.com

Hello – you would want to contact the publisher of the test to see if you are eligible to purchase a license of the test since you are a retired teacher. Here’s their contact page: https://backtoschool.hmhco.com/contact-us/

Deborah

Is the math section of 3rd grade ITBS based on common core?

Kim

What is word analysis?

rshantala

Hi,

For second grade level 8 Iowa test should we also be preparing on third grade iowa test materials since there is a overlap of grades in this level?

Shana

Torey

I think it’s great, but, I think you should add a level 12 test timing per section part, I would really like to know how long my son will be taking the test for.

Carol O'Bryan

I have twins whom my mother and are homeschooling using BJU curriculum. I called yesterday to set up a time to take the Iowa assessment. We are required (according to their rules) to send a copy of college diploma for BS or BA degree. Neither of us remember where that piece of paper is – in our records (We have moved several times and didn’t think it necessary to keep up with that piece a paper as the BS was not a terminal degree). We both have a M. S. degree; but BJU will not accept that diploma. Their response is, “it is your requirement.” I am attempting to prevent myself a hassle. Can I not do the documentation with a M.S. diploma? Thanks Can e-mail me or call me a response. I will be in meetings. a text would be fine 423-710-5412. Thank you!

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