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What are the Iowa Assessments® & the Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS®)?

Both the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Iowa Assessments (see our overview page for the differences between these and what they are used for) 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.

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 2011, the test is still being published and is in use today by many school districts across the country.

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.

What Material is on the Iowa Assessments 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)

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

GRADE FALL MIDYEAR SPRING
K 5 5-5/6
1 5/6 5/6-7 7
2 7 8 9
3 8-9 9 9
4 10 10 10
5 11 11 11
6 12 12 12
7 13 13 13
8 14 14 14
9 14-15 14-15 14-15
10 16 16 16
11 17/18 17/18 17/18
12 17/18 17/18 17/18

Test Timing Per Section – Level 5

Test Number of Items Approximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary 23 20
Word Analysis 29 20
Listening 23 30
Language 27 25
Math 27 25
Reading 17 30
TOTALS – COMPLETE 146 2 hr. 30 min.

Test Timing Per Section – Level 6

Test Number of Items Approximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary 27 20
Word Analysis 33 20
Listening 27 30
Language 31 25
Math 35 25
Reading (Part 1) 17 20
Reading (Part 2) 17 20
TOTALS – COMPLETE 187 2 hr. 40 min.

Test Timing Per Section – Level 7

Test Number of Items Approximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary 26 15
Word Analysis 32 15
Reading (Part 1) 17 20
Reading (Part 2) 18 25
Listening 27 25
Language 34 25
Math (Part 1) 26 25
Math (Part 2) 15 25
Computation 25 25
Social Studies 29 25
Science 29 25
TOTALS – COMPLETE 278 4 hr. 10 min.
TOTALS – CORE 220 3 hr. 20 min.

Test Timing Per Section – Level 8

Test Number of Items Approximate Working Time (minutes)
Vocabulary 26 15
Word Analysis 33 15
Reading (Part 1) 18 20
Reading (Part 2) 20 25
Listening 27 25
Language 42 25
Math (Part 1) 26 25
Math (Part 2) 20 25
Computation 27 25
Social Studies 29 25
Science 29 25
TOTALS – COMPLETE 297 4 hr. 10 min.
TOTALS – CORE 239 3 hr. 20 min.

Iowa Tests of Basic Skills® (ITBS®) is a registered trademark of Riverside Publishing, a Houghton Mifflin Company, or their affiliate(s), or their licensors. TestingMom.com is not affiliated with nor related to Houghton Mifflin Company or its affiliates (“Houghton Mifflin”). Houghton Mifflin does not sponsor or endorse any TestingMom.com product, nor have TestingMom.com products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Houghton Mifflin. Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by TestingMom.com for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.

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Pranav says:

I want to get better at reading comprehension

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