The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (also called the ITBS) tests the child’s expertise in the areas of math and reading. Below is a brief description of the tests included within the Iowa test:
The Vocabulary test measures reading vocabulary. For each question, a pictorial or written stimulus is followed by a set of written responses. Approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers are tested at all levels.
The questions on the Word Analysis test assess how well students can recognize letters and letter‐sound relationships. Both pictures and words are used as stimuli and response choices.
The Listening test contains short scenarios followed by comprehension questions, all presented orally. The test not only measures literal understanding, such as how well students follow directions or visualize objects, but also the ability to make inferences, understand concepts and sequences, and predict outcomes.
The Reading test presents students with a variety of tasks, which progressively require more independence in reading as the test level increases. The tasks in Levels 6‐8 include using print, context, and picture cues to identify unfamiliar words; completing sentences that tell about a picture by choosing a word for filling in a blank; and answering multiple choice questions after reading a brief story. The questions associated with pictures and stories often ask students to make inferences or to generalize about what they have read.
The teacher reads one or more sentences aloud while the students look for a mistake in either spelling, capitalization, punctuation, or usage.
Mathematics battery has three parts Math Concepts, Math Problem Solving, and Math Computation.
The Math Concepts test deals with numeration and number systems, whole numbers, geometry, measurement, fractions, currency, and number sentences.
The Math Problem Solving test has two parts. In the first, students solve brief word problems; in the second part, they interpret information presented in graphs and tables.
The Math Computation test presents addition and subtraction problems. One section of it is timed so that information about students’ rates of work on computation can be obtained.