Admission Tests Preparation

Iowa Assessments (ITBS) Subtests

Learn about the Iowa Assessments (ITBS) subtests and the various subcategories. Find out how TestPrep-Online can help prepare your child for a successful 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.


About the Iowa Assessments (ITBS)

The Iowa Assessments can be given either as a Complete, Core, or Survey Battery. The Complete Battery is a collection of standardized tests used to measure a wide range of skills. The Core Battery uses the same tests as the Complete Battery with the exclusion of the Science and Social Studies subtests. The Survey Battery includes the tests for Reading and Mathematics in addition to either the Language or Written Expression tests.

  • Iowa Assessments (ITBS) Test Levels
  • Iowa Assessments (ITBS) Subtests
  • Language Arts
  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • How Can I Prepare for the Iowa Assessments (ITBS)?
  • Iowa Assessments (ITBS) Levels

    The tests on the Iowa Assessments are divided into Levels 5–18, which correspond roughly to the age and grade of the student. Each test level consists of a series of subtests, where each subtest measures a number of different skills. Each level of the Iowa Assessments may be administered in their entirety, or with only several of the subtests.

    Age GradeTest Level
    5 K.1-1.5 5
    6 K.7-1.9 6
    7 1.7-2.3 7
    8 2.3-3.2 8
    9 3 9
    10 4 10
    11 5 11
    12 6 12
    13 7 13
    14 8 14
    15 9 15
    16 10 16
    17 11 17
    18 12 18

    **Decimals in the “Grade” column indicate the month of the school year. For example, K.1–1.5 means the first month of kindergarten through the fifth month of 1st grade.

    Iowa Assessments (ITBS) Subtests

    There are five main subtests, which are further broken down into subcategories that progress with test level. The five subtests are as follows: Language Arts, Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

    Language Arts

    The Language Arts subtest for Levels 9–14 is broken down into the following categories:

    • Written Expression
    • Vocabulary
    • Conventions of Writing, which can further be broken down into Spelling, Capitalization, and Punctuation 

    In Level 9, specifically, Word Analysis and Listening are administered as two additional subcategories.

    As students advance to higher test levels, more subcategories are administered. Among these subcategories are Usage and Grammar, Sentence Structure, Planning and Organization, Appropriate Expression, and Mechanics.


    The Reading subtest is administered in two parts for all test levels. In the early levels (5/6), the Reading subtest assesses student comprehension and word recognition, while in the remaining levels (7-18), Reading includes the following subcategories, each progressing in difficulty as test levels increase:

    • Literary Text

    • Informational Text

    • Vocabulary

    • Explicit Meaning

    • Implicit Meaning

    • Key Ideas

    • Author's Craft


    The Mathematics subtest begins with the same subcategories in every level:

    • Number Sense and Operations
    • Algebraic Patterns and Connections
    • Geometry
    • Measurement

    Beginning from Level 7, new subcategories are introduced as follows:
    Levels 7–8: Data Analysis, Probability, and Statistics
    In addition to this subcategory, a Computation subtest may be administered, which examines student ability to compute using whole numbers

    Levels 9–14: The subcategories remain the same as Levels 7/8. However, the math subtest is administered in two parts, each containing more questions with a progressively increasing time constraint corresponding to level advancement.
    Additionally, the Computation subtest expands to include computation of fractions and decimals, as well as algebraic manipulations.

    Levels 15–18: The Math subtest in each of these levels is administered as one test with a larger time constraint.
    The Computation subtest expands to include computation of percentages and integers.


    The Science subtest is administered to Levels 7 and up. There are only three subcategories included in all levels of the test, each increasing in difficulty with level progression. The subcategories are as follows:

    • Life Science
    • Earth and Space Science
    • Physical Science

    Social Studies

    The Social Studies subtest is administered to Levels 7 and up. There are only four subcategories included in all levels of the test, each increasing in difficulty with level progression:

    • History
    • Geography
    • Economics
    • Civics and Government

    How Can I Prepare for the Iowa Assessments (ITBS)?

    TestPrep-Online is here to help your child practice for the Iowa Assessments. Soon to come, we will offer level-specific, child-friendly Iowa Assessments practice tests that will help your child prepare for test day. Start practicing for the Iowa Assessments so that your child can arrive at test day feeling confident and prepared.

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