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Iowa Test Scores | Understand Your Child’s Results

The ITBS and the Iowa Assessments are scored based on your child’s age as well as the current month and grade level when the test is administered.

Here are some of the scores you will see on your child’s Iowa score report:

Standard Score (SS) or National Standard Score (NSS). The raw scores for each subtest are converted to Standard Scores that range from 80 to 400. A Standard Score indicates each student’s placement along an achievement continuum. Students fall within one of three categories for each subject: Not Proficient (NP), Proficient (P) or Advanced (A).  CLICK HERE to see a report on standards scores and interpreting proficiency on the Iowa Assessments and the ITBS. The expectation for proficiency has remained the same from the old ITBS to the new Iowa Assessments.

Grade Equivalent (GE) or National Grade Equivalent (NGE). Grade Equivalent scores represent what the average student in the indicated level might score on the ITBS. Scores range from K.0 to 13+, with the first letter or number indicating current grade (K = Kindergarten, 1 = 1st grade, etc.) and the following decimal indicating a particular month in that school year. Example: 1.7 means the seventh month of 1st grade. The Grade Equivalent scores help administrators compare each child’s learning progress over time.

National Percentile Rank (NPR). Each student’s National Percentile Rank score is calculated by comparing test performance against others within the same age range and grade level. A score in the 90th percentile means your child scored better than 90% of students on the Iowa test. Percentile rankings range from 1-99; the average rank in the U.S. is 50th percentile.

ITBS Test Scoring

The ITBS uses a norm-referenced scoring system, meaning student performance is compared to that of a representative sample of students (norm group) of the same grade level across the country. This norm group represents a wide range of student abilities, ensuring a fair comparison.

Raw Scores

The initial step in ITBS scoring involves converting the number of correct responses on the test into raw scores. A raw score simply represents the total number of questions a student answered correctly.

Standard Scores

Raw scores are then converted into standard scores, which allow for comparison with the norm group. Standard scores typically have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. For instance, a standard score of 100 would represent average performance for the student’s grade level.

Percentile Rank

Percentile Rank (PR) is another key component of ITBS scoring. PR ranges from 1 to 99 and shows the percentage of students in the norm group who scored lower than a particular student. For example, a PR of 85 means the student scored better than 85% of students in the norm group.

Grade Equivalent Scores

Another crucial score is the Grade Equivalent (GE) score, representing the grade level at which a student’s performance corresponds. A GE score of 4.6, for example, would mean the student’s score is equivalent to what an average fourth-grade student would likely achieve in the sixth month of school.

The ITBS Score Report

The ITBS Score Report provides a detailed breakdown of a student’s performance across the various domains tested. This report offers a wealth of information, which can be divided into three main sections:

  1. Overall Performance: This section provides a high-level view of a student’s performance. It includes the total raw score, standard score, percentile rank, and grade equivalent.
  2. Domain-level Scores: The report breaks down the student’s performance in each domain (such as reading, math, and science). For each domain, it provides the raw score, standard score, percentile rank, and grade equivalent. This detailed breakdown allows parents and educators to identify specific strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Growth Information: This section typically contains growth information, providing a way to track the student’s academic growth from one year to the next. It shows whether the student’s performance improved, declined, or remained the same across the different domains.

Interpreting the ITBS Score Report

Interpreting the ITBS Score Report requires understanding what each score represents:

  1. Standard Scores: These scores allow parents and educators to compare a student’s performance with the average performance of students in the same grade level nationwide.
  2. Percentile Ranks: These provide a clear way to see how a student’s performance stacks up against their peers across the country. It helps in identifying the areas where a student is ahead or may need additional support.
  3. Grade Equivalent Scores: While these can give a general sense of how a student is performing relative to an average student at different grade levels, they should be interpreted with caution. A high GE doesn’t necessarily mean a student is ready for work at that grade level.

Understanding the ITBS Score Report can empower parents and educators to support students more effectively, tailoring instruction and intervention based on each student’s unique needs. It provides a comprehensive view of a student

CLICK HERE to see an explanation of the information on your child’s Iowa Assessments score report.

To get started with all of the ITBS and Iowa testing material offered by Testing Mom, check out our 100 Free Questions.

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Tell us about your experiences

20 Responses

These seem a bit hard for third grade.


I am glad for the iowa test
I will get a hundred on the test
Thank you


In your example to explain the IOWA Assessments score report, you used 7th grader. However, the report shows grade 8. Does it mean you need to take a 8th grade for a 7th grader?


Hey…is there anywhere we can see a chart that converts raw scores into grade level equivalency? It seems from looking at some sample tests that every 2 points on the raw score equals about .3 (or 3 months) on the GE score. Am I right? (That was based on a 7th grader’s raw reading score of 230, which ranked at 7.0 GE, up to a score of 244 which translates to a GE of 8.3. I’m extrapolating from there.)

Our prep and the scores your child may score on our practice questions and tests cannot be verified as 100% accurate or verifiable to a certain grade level or ability. Due to the unknowns including test environment and administration, we cannot convert these scores in that manner.
These results and correlations can only be provided by a trained education professional and we would be irresponsible to say that scores on our prep would directly correlate to placement as the standards for grade level placement can vary significantly from State to State depending on the subject and state standards.

When will be scores for 2018 test out?


I remember taking these. I scored a 16.4 grade score equivalent for vocabulary and language skills and like a 10.1 grade score equivalent for mathematics in like 3rd grade.

I’m just assuming a 16.4 is the beginning of the second quarter of a 4th year college student?




I have a friend who’s 3rd grader just got tested and the psychologist only provided the Standard Score and Percentile ranking (no age equivalent or grade equivalent) – how can we convert these scores so the parent has a clear understanding of what these numbers mean?

Hi Kristi,

I do apologize we do not interpret testing scores here but I do recommend reaching out to the psychologist who tested the child to help you with any questions in regards to the scores.




I was given this test back in the late 1940’s and came out with a rating of approx 147….was this
a possible score, or is my memory inaccurate

Hi Sandra –

This is very possible! The Iowa Test of Basic Skills was first developed and administered in 1935 by the University of Iowa.

All the best,



What is the point in the testing.? How does this help any kid?

Testing is a screening process most gifted programs use as the point of entry or as part of the entry criteria into the gifted program.


What is the point of the Iowa testing? I think my last question was deleted. I feel like these test try to define who a kid is. When we have teachers that can’t even teach kids anymore cause it’s to hard for them. So again what is the point in these state tests? Other than to make you money

ITBS (aka Iowa Test) is an achievement test to assess what kids have learned in school. It’s not a cognitive or IQ test.


Do you know what IOWA english language means?
What does a score of 90 and 28 mean

Hi Monica,

Please email us at and we can help you decipher the IOWA test scores.


Hello Team,

Thank you for this site.

The links to the explanation of the information on the child’s Iowa Assessments score report take one to the school landing page; no helpful inform could be found on interpretation of the scores. Would be most grateful if you could kindly share the right link.

Thank you so much


Thank you for this explanation! When you say “A GE score of 4.6, for example, would mean the student’s score is equivalent to what an average fourth-grade student would likely achieve in the sixth month of school.” … does “average fourth-grade student” mean 50th percentile 4th grade student? In other words the mean? What exactly do they mean by “average”? Thank you so much!

Average is a single number or value that best represents a set of data. The type of average taken as most typically representative of a list of numbers, is the arithmetic mean – the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in the list.

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