Admission Tests Preparation

Iowa Assessments (ITBS) Practice

Is your child getting ready to take the ITBS, also known as the Iowa Assessments? Learn about the exam and all that it entails. Discover everything you need to know about the tests and how TestPrep-Online can help prepare your child for test day.
ITBS/Iowa Assessment Prep for Third Grade

Prepare your child for early success. 2 full practice tests. Over 800 questions with thorough explanations.


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 (UI) aimed at assessing student achievement and progress from kindergarten through grade 8. Though the name seems to imply that this test is solely administered in Iowa, these tests are 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.

What Are the Iowa Assessments?

The Iowa Assessments (IA) is the newest version of the more commonly known ITBS. As of 2011, the Iowa Testing Board stopped referring to their standardized tests as the ITBS and began distributing the Iowa Assessments. 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 the Iowa Assessments

Aside from the name change, one of the biggest changes between the two tests is that the Iowa Assessments tests student progress from kindergarten through grade 12, as opposed to the old ITBS version which tested students in grades K–8. This change, amongst others, is a result of the University of Iowa's College of Education's integration of the Common Core State Curriculum.

Practice for the Iowa Assessments for 3rd Grade Online

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 at or above 99% in math* and at or above 95% in reading.

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. 
*Some districts also accept students who scored at or above 98% in either reading or math.

The Iowa Assessments' Core Curriculum

The old version of the ITBS tested students of all levels in a series of subtests that only partially belonged to Iowa's Core Curriculum. As of 2011, with the introduction of the Iowa Assessments Forms E/F, all of the subtests administered across all levels measure student standards within Iowa's Core Curriculum. The Core Curriculum was developed by the University of Iowa's Board of Educators to best prepare learners for college readiness and their futures in the workforce. With this goal in mind, the College of Education of the University of Iowa now distributes more extensive post-exam reports in an attempt to provide effective feedback for student progress.

Iowa Assessments 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.

Iowa Assessments 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 Assessment 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, and more information about the various subtests across each level, visit our Iowa Assessments Subtests page.

Prepare Online for the Iowa Assessments for 3rd Grade Now

Iowa Assessments 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 Score page to learn more about test scoring. 

The National Standards Score (NSS) estimates the average score of students specific to age and grade. The following table presents the NSS breakdown for grades 1–11 at various points throughout the 2012 academic calendar.

NSS for Grades 1-11 Throughout the School Year

Grade FallMidyearSpring













































Iowa Assessments Free Sample Questions

The following question is an example of a math word problem likely to appear on the Iowa Assessments Level 9 Math test. For more free sample questions from the various Iowa Assessments subtests, visit our Iowa Assessments Free Samples page. 

The average temperature in Chicago in October is higher than the average temperature in London in April and lower than the average temperature in London in September. What could the average temperature in Chicago in October be?

           A. 9°C
           B. 11°C
           C. 12°C
           D. 19°C

The correct answer is (C) 12°C.

Find the average temperatures in London in April and September:
The average temperature in London in April is 11°C.
The average temperature in London in September is 17°C.

Thus, the temperature in Chicago in October is higher than 11°C and lower than 17°C. Answer choice (C), 12°C, fits.

Therefore, the correct answer is (C).

How to Prepare for the Iowa Assessments

The best way to ensure your child performs well on the Iowa Assessments is to provide the right practice materials and to allow for ample time to prepare. TestPrep-Online is developing a range of resources to supply students with the most comprehensive practice. Start preparing with our 3rd grade pack today.

The Iowa Assessments 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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