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Iowa Test

Summit offers the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) to its students.


Parents may choose to have their children participate in the ITBS at Summit in to fulfill Colorado Homeschool Law. The test is given in the spring each year. There is no charge for Summit students. Results are usually received 4-6 weeks after testing.

Below is a guide to help parents interpret the results.


A Brief Guide to Iowa Test Results for Parents:


Iowa Test Performance Profiles contain a large amount of data, some of which is useful to you, and some of which is not. Here’s a brief guide to what you need to know about these results:


1) The upper left quadrant is made up of a summary of your student’s results. The upper right quadrant provides basic information on how to understand what you are looking at.


2) In the upper left quadrant, the column on the far left (titled “Tests”) lists the main subtests and the larger groupings of subtests. (For example, the Reading grouping includes the Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension subtests.) The “Core Total” grouping includes your student’s scores for all the reading, language and math tests. The “Composite” grouping includes scores for all the tests. If your student did not take the Science, Social Studies, and Sources of Information tests, there will be no Composite score.


3) The next column, titled “Scores,” provides the core of the data you need for each test. You can simply ignore the columns labeled SS and NS, which provide statistical information but are not really helpful in understanding the results for your particular student. The two score columns that really matter are the GE (Grade Equivalent) and the NPR (National Percentile Rank) columns.

                a) The GE column provides the “grade equivalent” for your student’s test                                   scores. In this format, if your student’s grade is x, and if you gave the test in 
                     April (the 8th month of the school year), your student’s actual grade would
                     be x.8 (x grade, 8th month). The Grade Equivalent score tells you the how 
                     your student’s scores compare to average students in other grades. It’s
                     important to note that the Grade Equivalent score does NOT indicate the level
                     of work the student is doing – the test asked questions on a particular grade
                     level, not on lower or higher grade levels. So a score of 1.5 or 12.8 on the
                     5th-grade test, for example, doesn’t mean your student is doing first-grade
                     work or twelfth-grade work (because the test didn’t ask first-grade or   
                     twelfth-grade questions), but rather that your student did as well as an

                     average first-grader or twelfth-grader does on the fifth-grade test.

                b) The NPR column provides the “national percentile rank” for your student. This

                     is the score that is most significant to you, to schools, and to your local school
                     district. It tells how your student compares to other students across the
                     country who took this particular test. Essentially it says that if you lined up
                     100 students who took the test, that number would score lower than your
                     student (which is why 99th percentile is the highest a student can get – that
                     student would be the 100th). The NPR is represented on the graph next to the


4) The bottom half of the page shows how your student performed on individual tasks and skills. This section can help you understand your student’s particular strengths and weaknesses. For example, your student may have a high score on math for single-step problem-solving, but be weaker on multiple-step problems; or she may be strong in data interpretation (working with graphs and charts), but weak in fractions or measurement. Across the top of the columns, you can see that the following information is available: “Total Items” – the total number of questions relating to the particular skill; “No. Att.” – the number of questions your student attempted to answer; “%C Stu.” – the percent of the total questions that your student answered correctly (so 100% would mean they answered all the questions correctly; if there were 4 questions and this column says 75, your student answered 75% of the questions – or 3 questions – correctly); “%C Nat.” – the national average of the percent correct scores; “Diff.” – the difference between your student’s percent correct and the national average; this would be a positive number if your student’s score is higher than average, or a negative number if your student’s score is lower than average. The “Diff.” score is represented on a graph next to that column, with the central line on the graph representing average, positive numbers to the right, and negative numbers to the left.


Other things you should be aware of:

- On the 1st through 3rd-grade tests, the Word Analysis subtest can help you identify your

   child’s phonemic awareness – how well they can analyze words in order to sound them 

   out or spell them. These are critical skills, and if your child’s score is low, you may want     to consider getting further testing for learning disabilities.

- The Math Concepts and Estimation test includes a brief test of your child’s ability to     

   estimate. This is an important skill for everyday life, but may not be taught in your math

   curriculum. You can help your child with this by having them calculate discounts at the

   store, or just in everyday things you do, and you can model it for them.

- The Math Problem Solving and Data Interpretation test involves two sections: one that is

   made up of word problems, and the other of understanding charts and graphs.

- The Math Computation test is very closely timed; it tests primarily math facts. Students

   who have a tendency toward test anxiety can sometimes freeze on this test. The “No.

   Att.” Column should indicate whether your child was able to finish this test. Families

   who do timed tests at home may find their students do very well; many homeschoolers 

   don’t do timed tests, and their scores may be lower.

- The Sources of Information test evaluates your student’s ability to understand maps and

   diagrams and to use reference materials to find information.

- The Critical Thinking section combines critical-thinking questions from various sections

   of the test to determine how your student is doing at thinking critically.


IMPORTANT: Colorado law requires that students who do not achieve at least the 13th percentile on the Composite score (or the Core Total score if no Composite is available) be re-tested using a different standardized test or be evaluated by a qualified individual. If your student scores under the 13th percentile, you may contact Mrs. Scarato at to talk about the best way to help your student succeed.

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