In the spring, the AVCS students in K-8th grades, take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) is a nationally standardized achievement test for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The test is tailored specifically for different grade levels. Developed by the College of Education at the University of Iowa, the ITBS is used to monitor year-to-year progress and can help supplement teachers in their observations about student capabilities, such as what a student’s most and least developed skills are. The ITBS has been in use since 1935.

The goal of the ITBS is to help determine how prepared students are for academic instruction, what individual accommodations may be necessary, which students may require early intervention, and to determine each student’s individual baseline of achievement.

The test is used to assess early childhood academic skills, such as listening vocabulary and math, and assesses how prepared a child is cognitively to begin the academic curriculum in Kindergarten. As the child enters first and second grades the ITBS assesses student skills in language arts (vocabulary, word analysis, reading comprehension and spelling), mathematics, social studies, science, and sources of information (such as alphabetizing or using a map) and are used to measure how well each student is progressing in the curriculum.

Students testing in third through eighth grade will be tested and assessed in areas such as; language arts skills, including vocabulary, reading comprehension, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, usage and expression; math computation, problem solving, data interpretation, concepts and estimation; social studies; science; maps and diagrams; and reference materials.

Students can prepare for the test by understanding the purpose of the test is to measure year-to-year progress. Teachers can help students become familiar with the test format and help alleviate feelings of anxiety.

Test results yield three different scores: a raw score, percent correct, grade equivalent, developmental standard score and percentile rank. Generally, the raw score and percent correct scores are converted to form scores that can accurately assess a student’s performance. Scores may be delivered in reference to state or national norms or in reference to criterion standards.