Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) Overview

What are the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)?

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) is a group-administered achievement test for grades K-12 which measures a student’s knowledge in subject areas that students have learned in school – reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The Iowa Assessments were released in the 2011-2012 school year and has replaced the Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS) and Iowa Test of Educational Development®. The new exam format has been redesigned to better align the exam with the Iowa Common Core Standards. The test is also better aligned with other state standardized tests such as the Smarter Balanced Assessment exam.

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Test Format

The Iowa Assessments exam has 10 core sections – reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, vocabulary, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and computation. At the 3rd grade level and below, two additional subtests are given in word analysis and listening. The number of questions on the Iowa Assessments exam ranges from 270-340 depending on grade level. With administration time, the Iowa Assessments exam takes between 3-3½ hours to complete.

For a more in-depth description of the Iowa Assessments exam, utilize our Frequently Asked Questions page to answer any questions you may still have or visit our Sample Questions page to see the types of questions in each section of the test.

How to Prepare

The best way to prepare for the Iowa Assessments exam is by exposing your child to the exam format and the types of questions they will see on the day of the test. Each full-length Iowa Assessments practice test has over 300 questions to practice and comes with answers and explanations. Downloadable versions of our tests are available for Mac and PC users for instant access.

Iowa Assessments is a trademark of Houghton Mifflin Company. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT®) is owned and published by Houghton Mifflin Company. Houghton Mifflin Company was not involved in the production of, nor endorses, this practice test.

To begin preparing your child for success, click on the relevant grade level to view our selection of grade specific practice tests and materials.