ITBS Practice Test Options

ITBS Practice Test Options

Photo by Wesley Fryer

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) is a standardized achievement test that is used to assess K-8 students. The test is employed by private schools and several state school systems to compare student performance in basic subjects including mathematics, reading, language arts, social studies and science. Many states have also adopted the ITBS for evaluating children who are home-schooled.

The ITBS is developed by the University of Iowa College of Education, and published and distributed by Riverside Publishing, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The test includes levels 5 (for Kindergarten) through 14 (for grade eight).

On the ITBS website, the test is described as measuring basic through advanced skills. To prepare for the ITBS, Riverside recommends broad-based activities that include a wide range of skills appropriate to a child’s age and grade. Schools that purchase the ITBS are provided with some sample test questions that illustrate the test format, but the publisher does not provide older versions of the test or comprehensive ITBS sample tests.

Many parents, teachers and school administrators are interested in helping students prepare for the ITBS. Teachers who are familiar with test prep resources for the Praxis II, an exam required in many states for credentialing, may wonder if there are similar resources available to students for the ITBS. Although we don’t endorse “teaching to the test,” there is evidence that preparing students for the type of questions they will be asked and providing them with some test-taking strategies can have a positive impact on test results. Here is a roundup of some of the most popular ITBS prep programs and resources:

Scoring High on the ITBS
This series of books (one for each grade level, one through eight) from McGraw Hill Education helps students learn how to apply their knowledge and achieve their best possible score on the ITBS. Each book includes helpful test-taking tips as well as a complete ITBS practice test. An Enhanced Teacher Edition is also available with additional background material and instructional objectives.

BJU Press
Offers test-preparation publications for achievements tests, including the ITBS. Titles include Better Test Scores, a series of grade-appropriate books that provide subject-specific test prep materials and sample tests, and Learning Abilities Practice Tests, a set of ITBS sample tests for grades three through eight. Parents can also order the ITBS booklets Preview for Parents and Message for Parents to learn more about the type of questions included on the test; ITBS sample test questions are included with these booklets.

Critical Thinking Company
Provides test prep bundles for grades K through 8 that include questions in the format that students will find on the ITBS. Bundle subject areas include vocabulary, reading comprehension, language arts, mathematics and science. It is recommended that students work with a bundle for at least one month before taking the ITBS.

Bright Education Services
Provides online ITBS practice tests for grades one through eight through the BRIGHT Test Practice System. Test results are delivered instantly along with comprehensive progress charts and graphs. Practice tests are customized for each student to avoid answer sharing. The BRIGHT System also delivers content that helps students improve core skills as well as test-taking skills.

Study Island
Offers web-based instruction and preparation for the ITBS for teachers and administrators. More than 23,000 schools in the United States and Canada have subscribed to Study Island’s online services for test preparation. Webinars that explain how Study Island works are also available.

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