What Is the Iowa Student Test?

Is your child a student in the Iowa public school system? If so, then he or she will most likely have to take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills at the end of every school year. Read on to find out about this test and how you can help your child do well on it.

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Iowa Standardized Tests

What Topics Are on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills?

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) are typically given at the beginning of every year to determine if the students are meeting the education standards of the state of Iowa. If your child is in a public school, he or she will have to take it. The ITBS is in a multiple-choice format and is administered to students in Iowa from kindergarten through the 8th grade.

What your child can expect on the test depends on your child's grade level. The ITBS is divided into a series of sections. If your child is in early primary school, then he or she can expect to be tested in reading, language, math, social studies and science. As your child nears the 8th grade, each of these test sections become more complex. For instance, your child will be tested on reference materials, diagrams and maps.

The ITBS are used for a variety of purposes. They not only influence where your child will be placed the following year, but also gauge your child's level within his or her class, school and state. The ITBS also help determine where your child's school is ranked nationally.

How Can My Child Get Ready?

In order for your child to do well on the ITBS, it's necessary that he or she stay on top of his or her studies all yearlong and over the summer. If you're able, create a calm, clean workspace for your child at home. Maintain a schedule so that your child gets accustomed to studying at the same time every day. If your child's doing well in school, chances are that he or she will excel when it comes time to take the ITBS.

What Can I Do to Help My Child Before the Test?

First of all, go through the state of Iowa's education standards for the grade that your child is in. Once you're familiar, it may be considerably easier to understand what your child needs to for the ITBS.

A common way to help your child get ready is by administering sample or practice tests to him or her. You can either get these from your child's school, the Iowa Department of Education or a number of other helpful websites. Recreate a quiet testing environment at home and time your child as he or she takes a sample exam. Go over the results with your child and focus on strengthening his or her weaknesses.

What Other Useful Resources Are There?

There are a plethora of websites that offer activities, worksheets and games based on the education standards of the state of Iowa and other states that have similar standards. Ask your child's school, a local library or community center to find out what's available to your child nearby. If your child is struggling with any academic subject, take him or her to a learning center or hire a tutor.

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