What is the ITBS or Iowa Assessment Test?
ITBS – Iowa Test of Basic Skills are nationally standardized test series that assess the academic achievement and progress of the students. It is an important tool provided to schools by the University of Iowa – College of Education. ITBS was originally titled ‘Iowa Every Pupil Test of Basic Skills’ and was developed in 1935 by Everett Franklin Lindquist, Ernest Horn, Harry Greene, Maude McBroom and Herbert Spitzer. The test was published by Riverside Publishing and is greatly used by schools across United States to track the performance of the students from elementary school through high school.
The latest edition of the ITBS is known as the Iowa Assessments which is also created by the College of Education – University of Iowa. The Iowa Assessments follow the same test format as the ITBS to assess the high order thinking abilities and the foundational skills of the students only with a few modifications. One of the biggest differences in both the test formats is that ITBS was designed to be administered to children from kindergarten to 8 th grade while Iowa Assessments can be administered to students from kindergarten to 12 th grade.
The ITBS does not measure the intellect or cognitive abilities of a child. It is an achievement test that reflects the student’s knowledge of what he/she has learned in school. The results of the Iowa test help in measuring the current performance of the child as well as gauging his/her future performance. The latest edition of the test comprises of levels from 5-18 wherein Levels 5-8 are administered to students from kindergarten to second grade while Levels 9-14 are taken by students from third grade to eighth grade. Levels 15- 18 are administered to students from grade 9 to grade twelfth. Each level comprises of a series of timed subtests which increase in difficulty as the level advances. All levels consist of 5 main components namely; Language, Reading, Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. However each subtest is further divided into many categories which differ from level to level.
Many a times the ITBS test is combined with CogAt test to identify gifted children to enroll them into gifted and talented educational programs.