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Test Prep Guide for the Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS®)

Test Preparation Practice for ITBS Assessment

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS®) is not just a test for the students from the state of Iowa. ITBS® is a nationally standardized achievement test for K-12 students. What that means is that you can compare your child’s scores to children across the country in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. The ITBS® (Iowa Test of Basic Skills®) is published by Riverside Publishing, a Houghton Mifflin Company.

The test is used by some states and a large number of private schools to measure grade- level performance and is often paired with an IQ instrument such as WISC®-IV or the CogAT® for entrance into gifted and talented programs.

The test is also being used by a growing number of homeschool families since the test is sufficient for state homeschool requirements. The Iowa can also confirm both a child’s learning progress and the teaching ability of the growing number of parents who choose to homeschool their children.

ITBS® scores are even accepted for eligibility into the National Honor Society. Students can practice for a test like the Iowa and when they do, the material they work with should reflect the format of the ITBS.

It is important that students have exposure to, and experience with, questions in the formats they will encounter on ITBS® and other assessments. Of course, endless drill and practice, especially when practice items are not connected to day-to-day work, can be counterproductive. Our products provide high-quality material, without being an actual practice test or pushing toward a drill-and-practice approach. See the table below.

Subject Area How It Is Assessed
Vocabulary Each multiple-choice question presents a word in a short phrase or sentence, and students select the answer that most nearly means the same as that word.
Reading Comprehension Passages are fiction, fables, tales, poetry, interviews, diaries, biographical sketches, science and social studies materials. Approximately two-thirds of the questions require students to draw inferences or to generalize about what they have read.
Language Arts K-1 students’ abilities to understand linguistic relationships -- how language is used to express ideas are measured. Questions are presented orally by the teacher, and students choose from a set of pictorial responses.
For grade 2, a major portion of the test deals with skills in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and skills in usage and expression in writing. For these tasks, the questions and response choices are read by the teacher as students read silently. A separate score is provided for spelling.
For older students, separate scores are given for Capitalization, Punctuation, and Usage, and Expression.
Mathematics For grades K-2: Beginning math concepts, problem solving, and math operations. Areas covered include numeration, number systems, geometry, measurement, and the use of addition and subtraction in word problems. Questions are presented orally, and response options are pictures or numerals.
Older students have separate categories for Math Concepts and Estimation, Computation, and Problem Solving /Data Interpretation.
Science Here there is emphasis on the methods and processes used in scientific work. In addition, many questions measure knowledge and skills in the areas of life science, earth and space sciences, and physical sciences. Students are required to use the concepts and principles of science to explain, infer, hypothesize, measure, and classify.

Test Prep Bundle and Suggested Test Prep Plan for ITBS®

We recommend working with the materials in the bundles over at least one month. Even though the bundles offer a lot of material, if you make working with the books part of the daily routine, you’ll be surprised how fast things will move.

It is also important to point out that all the titles have value well beyond the testing window. Each title will help enhance your child’s ability to reason and analyze, skills that are essential for success in many arenas.

In all of the Detective® books, Can You Find Me?, and Editor In Chief® Beginning, you will find well-structured multiple-choice items like you find in ITBS®. That is the correct response is clearly correct, and the distractors are plausible. For example, a distractor in a reading test should be text-based; a math distractor would be a common mathematical error, related to the problem. There should not be any outliers in the answer choices, e.g., an answer choice that is not text-based, a choice that is much longer or much shorter than the others, etc.

Kindergarten Test Prep Bundle for ITBS® 01414XBP: $70.99

Number of Activities

Six Week Program: Daily #

One Month Program: Daily #

Two Week Program: Daily #

Can You Find Me? K-1

80

2

3

6

Mathematical Reasoning™ Level A

250

6

8

17

Thinking Skills for Tests Workbook

64

2

3

5

Thinking Skills for Tests Guide

NA

NA

NA

NA

Totals

10

14

28

 

Grade 1 Test Prep Bundle for ITBS® 01415XBP: $109.99

Number of Activities

Six Week Program: Daily #

One Month Program: Daily #

Two Week Program: Daily #

Can You Find Me? K-1

80

3

3

6

Mathematical Reasoning™ Level B

264

6

9

19

Language Smarts™ Level B

2100

50

70

150

Thinking Skills for Tests Workbook

64

2

3

5

Thinking Skills for Tests Guide

NA

NA

NA

NA

Totals

61

85

180

 

Grade 2 Test Prep Bundle for ITBS®
01416XBP: $134.99

Number of Activities

Six Week Program: Daily #

One Month Program: Daily #

Two Week Program: Daily #

Mathematical Reasoning™ Level C

284

7

9

20

Language Smarts™ Level C

2030

48

68

145

Editor in Chief® Beginning 1

96

2

4

7

Thinking Skills for Tests Workbook

64

2

3

5

Thinking Skills for Tests Guide

NA

NA

NA

NA

Developing Critical Thinking through Science Book 1

41

1

2

3

Totals

60

86

180

 

Grades 3-4 Test Prep Bundle for ITBS® 01417XBP: $237.99

Number of Activities

Six Week Program: Daily #

One Month Program: Daily #

Two Week Program: Daily #

Reading Detective® Beginning

52

1

2

4

Word Roots Beginning

72

2

3

5

Editor in Chief® Beginning 2

40

1

2

3

Science Detective® Beginning

41

1

2

3

Math Detective® Beginning

38

1

2

3

Language Smarts™ Level D

2000

48

68

145

Mathematical Reasoning™ Level D

349

8

12

25

Mathematical Reasoning™ Level E

384

9

13

28

Inference Jones™ Beginning

48

1

2

4

Thinking Skills For Tests: Upper Elementary

229

5

8

15

Totals

77

115

235

 

Grades 5-6 Test Prep Bundle for ITBS® 01418XBP: $236.99

Number of Activities

Six Week Program: Daily #

One Month Program: Daily #

Two Week Program: Daily #

Reading Detectives® A1

50

1

2

4

Word Roots Level 1 & Word Roots Level 2

372

9

12

27

Editor in Chief® Level 1

69

2

2

5

Science Detective® A1

45

1

2

3

Math Detective® A1

40

1

2

3

Mathematical Reasoning™ Level F

384

9

13

28

Mathematical Reasoning™ Level G

404

10

13

29

Inference Jones™ Level 1

48

1

2

4

Thinking Skills For Tests: Upper Elementary

229

5

8

15

Totals

39

56

118

 

Grades 7-8 Test Prep Bundle for ITBS® 01419XBP: $117.99

Number of Activities

Six Week Program: Daily #

One Month Program: Daily #

Two Week Program: Daily #

Reading Detectives® B1

50

1

2

4

Word Roots Level 3 & Word Roots Level 4

655

15

22

47

Editor in Chief® Level 2

69

2

2

5

Math Detective® B1

40

1

2

3

Daily Mind Builders™: Science

130

3

4

9

Totals

22

32

68

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS®) is published by Riverside Publishing. ITBS® and Iowa Test of Basic Skills® are registered trademarks of Riverside Publishing. The contents of these bundles were determined by The Critical Thinking Co.™ and are not endorsed by either Riverside Publishing or Houghton Mifflin. While the contents of these bundles will help prepare students to master most of the skills tested, they do not reflect the actual test items on any given test.

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