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The Iowa Assessments are a well-developed series of tests that are used beyond the state of Iowa. In terms of the use of standardized assessments for reporting on student progress and instruction that is properly aligned to the curriculum, the Iowa Assessments have been a standard that educators have relied upon.
The material tested on these assessments is derived from the Iowa Core, formerly the Iowa Core Curriculum and Model Core Curriculum. The Iowa Core is the curriculum framework in use in Iowa public schools. It has been developed to see that all students learn the skills for success in the 21st century, which are defined as: critical thinking, complex communication, creativity, collaboration, flexibility and adaptability, and productivity and accountability.
For students in grades 3-8 who take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) in science, mathematics, social studies and reading the test is given in a multiple-choice format. Some of the questions are read-aloud others students work on by themselves. New constructed-response question formats are also now being utilized. For students in the earlier grades, the test takes approximately 160 minutes to administer, for older students the assessment is about 250 minutes.
The Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) is for students in grade 11. The areas covered on the assessment are: reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, vocabulary, spelling, capitalization, punctuation and computation. This assessment takes approximately 5 hours in total testing time.
The Iowa Assessment End-of-Course (EOC) examinations are given in English Language Arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These are all online tests which provide the test data in real time to teachers and students. Within the test are also questions aligned to the College and Career Readiness standards that states are beginning to put in place. There may be individual student fees for these assessments, school districts will provide all necessary information about times, dates, and possible nominal fees.
The Iowa Assessments are aligned to the standards of learning that a child is expected to achieve. These standards are laid out in the Iowa Core, the curriculum that describes the content a child needs to become proficient in to be competent in the subject matter.