Admission Tests Preparation

Iowa Assessments and ITBS Practice

Prepare for the Iowa Assessments and ITBS tests. Learn about the tests, try free sample questions, and access expertly written practice material. With resources for parents, students, and teachers, preparing for gifted programs admissions tests and end-of-year exams has never been easier.
3rd Grade Iowa Assessment (ITBS) Practice Pack

Over 800 questions with answer explanations, including two full-length practice tests.


What Are the ITBS Tests?

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) is a series of standardized tests distributed by the College of Education of the University of Iowa. These tests are designed to assess student achievement and progress from kindergarten through grade 8. Don’t be confused by the name! The Iowa Test of Basic Skills are tests used throughout the United States to track student performance from early elementary school through junior high. Since the ITBS is an achievement test, it is important to practice for it. TestPrep-Online offers ITBS practice tests that will familiarize your child with the test's structure and question types, thus preparing him or her for test day.

What Are the Iowa Assessments?

The Iowa Assessments (IA) is a newer test created by the College of Education of the University of Iowa. While the Iowa Testing Board has since stopped referring to the standardized tests as the ITBS, and has begun distributing the Iowa Assessments, there are many schools and parents who continue to use ITBS tests to examine student progress in 2018.

Like the ITBS, the Iowa Assessments is a collection of standardized achievement tests that assess foundational skills and higher order thinking (HOT) skills. The format of the test remains the same, but the Iowa Assessments come with a few modifications.

The Differences Between the ITBS and Iowa Assessments

One of the biggest changes between the two tests is that the Iowa Assessments examines student progress from kindergarten through grade 12. The ITBS version only tested students in grades K–8. This change, among others, is a result of the University of Iowa's College of Education's integration of the Common Core State Curriculum.

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CogAT and Iowa Test Prep for Gifted Programs

Many school districts use a combination of Iowa Assessments and CogAT to screen for gifted students during their third year. Usually, the screening process for gifted programs takes place during the winter months. Potential third grade students are nominated by community members, parents, or school staff after filling out an application form. 

Some districts require that students first take the CogAT and then the Iowa Assessments. Other districts may use report card grades or state test results as the first qualifier and then administer the Iowa Assessments to the nominated students. To be accepted, students need to score either at or above 99% in reading and at or above 95% in math, or vice versa. Some districts also accept students who scored at or above 98% in either reading or math and at or above 95% in the other subject.

Note that the application and screening process may change from district to district, so make sure to ask your child's school about the specifics.

ITBS and Iowa Assessments for Homeschooled Students

If you are homeschooling your child, also known as giving private instruction, then you may be considering the Iowa Assessments or ITBS tests for your child’s annual assessment. Check with the Iowa Department of Education for information on which test you can enter your child for. If you live outside of Iowa, check your state’s Department of Education website for information on private instruction assessments.

Our practice tests are ideal for students preparing to undertake the Iowa and ITBS assessments. You can prepare your child as part of his or her homeschooling routine with our practice questions and answer explanations.

Teaching Preparation for the ITBS and Iowa Assessments

We appreciate that the pressures caused by standardized testing can translate to as much work for teachers as it does for students. As a result, we have created a specialized selection of practice materials that you, as a teacher, can use both in class and for assignments to be completed at home. Our downloadable and printable materials can be used to guide classroom learning, create in-class tests, or be sent home for parents to familiarize themselves with their children’s schoolwork.

Iowa Assessments and ITBS Format

The Iowa Assessments is currently distributed as form E or form F, the latter being the newest version of the test. Both forms of the test are divided into five levels corresponding to different grades.

  • Levels 5/6  Grade 1
  • Level 7 – Grades 1–2
  • Level 8 – Grade 2
  • Levels 9–14 – Grades 3–8
  • Levels 15–17/18 – Grades 9–12

Testing times vary across levels, taking students anywhere between 2.5 hours for the lowest level and four hours for high school levels.

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Iowa Assessments and ITBS Content

Each level is comprised of a number of different timed subtests that increase in difficulty upon advancement to the next level. All levels are comprised of five main subtests: Language Arts, Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies. Within each subtest, students are tested in different sub-categories corresponding to grade-level standards. The Iowa Assessments tests for each level may be administered in their entirety, or with only several of the subtests. For a more extensive breakdown of how the test is structured, as well as more information about the various subtests across each level, visit our Iowa Assessments subtests page.

Please note, our 3rd Grade Iowa Assessments & ITBS practice tests do not currently include practice questions for the social studies or the science subtests.

Iowa Assessments and ITBS Scores

The Iowa Assessments evaluates essential elements of the Iowa Core. In accordance with this, each of the five subtests that comprise the Iowa Assessments are measured across three levels of thinking: essential competencies, conceptual understanding, and extended reasoning. The state of Iowa has adopted standard scores for the reporting of proficiency levels. The proficiency levels are divided into Not Proficient (NP), Proficient (P), and Advanced (A). Subtests vary in their assignment of standard scores for each proficiency level. Visit our Iowa Assessments scores page to learn more about test scoring.

How to Prepare for the Iowa Assessments and ITBS

The best way to ensure your child performs well on the 2018 ITBS or Iowa Assessments is to provide the right practice materials and to allow for ample time to prepare. Head over to our Iowa Assessments & ITBS free samples page to try our example practice questions for the Iowa Assessments and ITBS tests.

The Iowa Assessments, ITBS, CogAT, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with TestPrep-Online or this website.

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