Iowa Test for 7th Grade Students: Info on the Iowa Proficiency Test

If your child is a 7th grader in Iowa, he or she will be required to take the level 13 science and social studies sections of the Iowa Tests. Read on to find out what other subjects your child will need to know and tips for studying.

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How to Help Your 7th Grader Prepare for the Iowa Tests

About the Tests

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) were developed by the University of Iowa's College of Education. It's currently administered in grades K-8 to students in Iowa. Your child can expect the 7th grade ITBS to cover English language arts, math, science and social studies. The majority of the questions are multiple-choice, although a few sections may deviate from this format.

The ITBS is a standardized assessment that allows teachers to see how well they're educating your child and if your child needs any special services. It also allows you, other parents and your child's teacher to see how your child's class compares to others nationally.

What Will the Test Cover?

The 7th grade level ITBS includes general vocabulary, reading comprehension, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, expression and word usage. The math portion consists of mathematical concepts, estimation, problem solving, algebra, computation, geometry, probability and statistics.

Seventh graders take the science, social studies, and reference material tests. The social studies portion contains such topics as economics, history and political science. For the science test, your child will need to understand the methods employed in earth science, astronomy and biology. Your child will also be required to know how to use diagrams, maps, dictionaries and electronic reference materials.

How Can My Child Be Ready?

Your child can prepare for the test by completing all assignments throughout the entire school year. If your child is struggling with a subject, discuss enrichment strategies with his or her teacher. Check your child's work as often as possible and provide any help needed, whether it's simply sitting down with your child and going over a math problem or hiring a language arts tutor. The more on top of homework, tests, quizzes and assignments your child is, the more prepared he or she will be when it's time to take the ITBS.

Are Helpful Resources Available?

Although there are no free online ITBS practice tests, your child can take other practice tests based upon similar learning standards, like the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. State exams like the TAKS often test similar topics as the ITBS and will help your child get used to multiple-choice questions.

Numerous free standards-based activities can be found online, in addition to commercial websites where you can pay for practice questions and ITBS practice books. However, the University of Iowa's College of Education warns that, while such materials may help to increase your child's test score now, there's little evidence supporting that they're useful in the long term.

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