Iowa Assessments

Overview
Content Test Description
Administration, Scoring, & Reporting
Research
  • Overview
    cover

    Overview Brochure

    Learn more about the Iowa Assessments Forms E and F in this informative brochure!

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    • Scope and Sequence

      What Testing with Iowa Assessments Can Do for Your Schools and Your Students

      The Iowa Assessments have been designed, developed, and researched to support a variety of important educational purposes. These purposes require the collection and use of information that describes either the individual student or groups of students.

      Identifying the testing purposes that are most important to your school or district will provide focus and help you determine how best to interpret test results. The following examples of appropriate uses of results from the Iowa Assessments show how the tests can support a broad range of educational decisions.

      Identify strengths and weaknesses: Make relative comparisons by content area of student performance for both groups and individuals.

      Inform instruction: Make student-centric decisions about personalized instruction.

      Monitor growth: Measure change in student performance over time, both at the group and individual level, with a valid and reliable scale.

      Determine college readiness: Compare student achievement levels to established benchmarks, tracking academic preparedness.

      Measure mastery of core standards: Determine the degree to which students have mastered core learning standards, such as Common Core State Standards.

      Implement Response to Intervention (RTI): Identify students who may benefit from intensive, systematic learning interventions.

      Inform placement decisions: Place students in appropriate groups, levels, and programs.

      Make comparisons: Compare student performance to that of local, state, and national groups according to research-based evidence.

      Evaluate programs: Guide administrative evaluation of the effectiveness of instructional programs, professional development, and curriculum.

      Predict future performance: Apply current assessment results to project student performance on future assessments and adjust programs accordingly.

      Support accountability: Provide reliable and valid data to support district and state reporting requirements.

    • Ancillaries
      Ancillaries

      The Iowa Assessments feature enhanced product support materials that:

      • Streamline and offer different modes of delivery, especially digital, so that educators can access necessary information more quickly
      • Expand professional development offerings
      • Expand data interpretation offerings (more robust score interpretation support, links to instructional strategies) so educators may make more use of assessment data
      • Increase overall program value to users of the assessment
  • Content Test Description

    For an in-depth look at what each test assesses at the various developmental levels and by subject area, click below.

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    • Reading

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5
      Level 5/6
      This test assesses word reading and word attack in several ways. Students either identify a word read aloud by the teacher or choose a picture that matches a printed word in isolation or at the end of a simple sentence.

      The next level assesses comprehension of sentences, pictures that tell a story, and printed stories.
      Level 7 Administered in two parts, this test presents students with a variety of reading tasks.

      The first part of the test presents pictures that tell a story. Students must complete sentences about the pictures by choosing a word to fill in a blank. Part 1 also involves reading sentences. Students select a word that best completes each sentence.

      Part 2 of the test consists of written stories followed by multiple-choice questions. The questions associated with both the picture stories and written stories often require more than literal comprehension. A number of the questions ask the students to make inferences or to generalize about what they have read.
      Level 8 Same description as Level 7
      Levels 9–14 Administered in two parts, this test contains passages that vary in length from a few lines to a full page. Both literary passages (e.g., fiction, folk tales, essays, and poetry) and informational passages (e.g., expository science and social studies materials, procedural texts, and general nonfiction) are included. Many of the passages are excerpts from previously published works. A significant number of questions may require students to draw inferences or to generalize about what they have read.
      Levels 15–17/18 This test provides information about the kinds of comprehension skills students are expected to continue to develop as they proceed through high school—skills they will use in reading texts across the curriculum, in engaging with literature, in reading and thinking about magazine and newspaper articles in and outside of school, and in extracting and evaluating ideas from a variety of sources for research projects. Many of the passages in the Reading test are from previously published materials. Each test level has five passages. Prose passages range in length from 400 to 760 words.

      Questions associated with each passage require students to demonstrate understanding at a variety of process levels usually associated with reading comprehension. The greatest emphasis is on questions that address the higher-level objectives of inferring, analyzing, and generalizing.
    • Written Expression

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 N/A
      Level 7 N/A
      Level 8 N/A
      Levels 9–14 In the first part of this test, students must choose the best or most appropriate way to express ideas in a piece of writing. Choices involve organization, sentence structure, usage, clarity, and the most effective or appropriate language. In the second part, each question contains one or more short sentences arranged in three lines. Students must identify the line containing an error, or they may select "No mistakes" if they believe no error is present. Most of these questions are focused on common usage errors related to the use of verbs, modifiers, and pronouns.
      Levels 15–17/18 This test provides information about students' skills in recognizing correct and effective use of standard American English in writing. In the context of a variety of written materials, students are asked to make revision choices concerning focus, organization, diction and clarity, sentence structure, usage, mechanics, and spelling—much as they do in editing near-final drafts of their own writing.

      All questions are based on four complete texts (ranging from 180 to 400 words) that are patterned after student writing in content and style. These texts--in the form of letters, essays, personal accounts, and reports written for various courses--are presented as drafts in which certain portions have been underlined to indicate a possible need for revision.
    • Mathematics

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 This assessment consists of questions about beginning Mathematics concepts, problem solving, and mathematics operations.

      The content standards include numeration, geometry, measurement, and applications of addition and subtraction in word problems. Items are read aloud, and responses are pictures and numbers.
      Level 7 All questions are read aloud in this assessment, which is administered in two separate sessions.

      In Part 1, the response options for each question are either pictorial or numerical. Students are required to demonstrate their understanding of, and ability to apply, a variety of concepts in the areas of number sense and operations, geometry, measurement, and number sentences.

      In Part 2, some questions involve the interpretation of data presented in graphs or tables: students locate data, compare amounts, or develop generalizations.

      For other questions, brief word problems are presented, students solve the problems, and then they record their answers according to the choices provided. One choice in each set is N, meaning that the problem's solution is not given among the choices presented.
      Level 8 The same description as Level 7 with this addition to Part 2:

      For other questions, students select a number sentence that could be used to solve the problem.
      Levels 9–14 Administered in two parts, this assessment requires students to demonstrate an understanding of Mathematics concepts, relationships, visual representations, and problem solving. Questions deal with number sense and operations, algebraic patterns and connections, data analysis, probability, statistics, geometry, and measurement.
      Levels 15–17/18 This assessment measures students' ability to solve quantitative problems.

      The questions present problems that require basic arithmetic and measurement, estimation, data interpretation, and logical thinking. The questions are drawn from the areas of number sense and operations, algebraic patterns and connections, data analysis, probability, statistics, geometry, and measurement
    • Science

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 N/A
      Level 7 The format of the Level 7 Science test parallels that used in Social Studies: questions are read aloud, and response choices are pictorial. The knowledge and skills measured by the science questions come from the areas of life science, earth and space science, and physical science. In addition, science inquiry methods are included.
      Level 8 Same description as Level 7 with the following exceptions:

      Most, but not all, questions are read aloud and at the end of the test, students respond to sets of questions linked to common stimuli; in these cases, the questions and stimuli are not read aloud. Otherwise, Level 8 has the same content and composition as Level 7.
      Levels 9–14 The Science test emphasizes the methods and processes used in scientific work. In addition, many questions assess knowledge and skill in life science, earth and space sciences, and physical science. Students must use the concepts and principles of science to explain, infer, and hypothesize.
      Levels 15–17/18 This test provides information about students' ability to interpret and evaluate information in the sciences, to recognize basic principles of scientific inquiry and measurement, and to analyze experimental procedures. The questions relate to life science, physical science, and earth and space science. Most of the questions are based on reading materials that students may encounter in textbooks, reference materials, and periodicals. Many of the passages provide descriptions of actual experiments and their results. Recall of specific information plays a limited role. Instead, the questions require students to think critically about diverse kinds of scientific information; to differentiate among hypotheses, facts, assumptions, data, and conclusions; to make inferences and predictions; to evaluate evidence; to see implications; and to generalize experimental results to related situations.
    • Social Studies

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 N/A
      Level 7 Measure objectives of the social studies curriculum not measured elsewhere in the Iowa Assessments.

      All questions are read aloud, and students answer by selecting one of three pictorial responses. The content of the questions is taken from the areas of geography, history, economics, and government.
      Level 8 Same description as Level 7, with the following exceptions:

      Most, but not all, questions are read aloud and at the end of the test, students respond to sets of questions linked to common stimuli; in these cases, the questions and stimuli are not read aloud. Otherwise, Level 8 has the same content and composition as Level 7.
      Levels 9–14 The Social Studies test measures various aspects of the social studies curriculum. Emphasis is on the understanding of concepts and principles and on the use of various types of visual materials. Questions cover content from the areas of history, geography, economics, and civics and government.
      Levels 15–17/18 This test provides evidence of students' ability to analyze and evaluate various kinds of social studies information. The test passages and questions use materials from a variety of content areas: history, civics and government, geography, and economics. While each question has as its context one or more of the content areas, the answers to the questions, for the most part, do not depend on recall of specific facts learned in such courses. Primary sources, posters, cartoons, time lines, maps, graphs, tables, charts, and reading passages are used to present information to students. The skills measured by the majority of questions are reinforced in a variety of social studies classes.
    • Vocabulary

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 This assessment measures listening vocabulary

      Students hear a word, sometimes used in context. Then they choose one of three pictures that illustrates the meaning of the word. The test includes approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers.
      Level 7 This assessment measures listening vocabulary

      A pictorial or written stimulus is followed by a set of written responses. The test includes approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers. The content focus is on general vocabulary rather than the specialized vocabulary used in areas such as science and mathematics.

      There are two untimed portions of the test in Level 7; students work at their own pace on these segments.
      Level 8 Same description as Level 7, except that there is only one untimed portion of the test in Level 8
      Levels 9–14 Each question presents a word in the context of a short phrase or sentence, and students select the answer represents the closest synonym for that word. The test includes approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers. Target words represent general vocabulary content rather than the specialized vocabulary used in various subject-matter areas.
      Levels 15–17/18 The target words in this test general vocabulary development represent a cross section of vocabulary encountered in general communication: reading, writing, and listening. Technical words and specialized vocabulary have been excluded. To avoid ambiguity and possible misinterpretation, words are presented in the context of short phrases or sentences. The student is asked to choose, from among five alternative words or phrases, the one closest in meaning to the tested word. The context does not provide "clues"; instead, each of the answer choices is plausible within the context provided for the word.
    • Language

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 This test measures how well students understand the use of language to express ideas. Questions cover the use of prepositions—both singular and plural—as well as comparative and superlative forms. Some other questions are oriented toward word classifications, verb tenses, or spatial-directional relationships. Questions are read aloud, and students answer by choosing one of three pictures.
      Level 7 Intended to assess students' abilities to use some of the conventions of standard written English, this test features four sections that deal with spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and skill in written usage and expression. In all cases, both the question and the set of response choices are read aloud by the teacher.
      Level 8 Same description as Level 7
      Levels 9–14 N/A
      Levels 15–17/18 N/A
    • Spelling

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 N/A
      Level 7 N/A
      Level 8 N/A
      Levels 9–14 Each question in this test presents four words, one of which may be misspelled, and a fifth option, "No mistakes," for use when all four words are spelled correctly. This format permits the testing of four spelling words for each question. Errors in the selected words are based on common substitutions, reversals, omissions, or unnecessary additions.
      Levels 15–17/18 N/A
    • Capitalization

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 N/A
      Level 7 N/A
      Level 8 N/A
      Levels 9–14 The questions in this test require students to either identify errors in capitalization (undercapitalization or overcapitalization) by marking the line of writing in which an error occurs or identify correct capitalization by marking the last response, “No mistakes.” Questions relate to the capitalization of names, dates, places, and other words. The particular skills assessed may differ by level.
      Levels 15–17/18 N/A
    • Punctuation

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 N/A
      Level 7 N/A
      Level 8 N/A
      Levels 9–14 The questions in this test require students to identify errors in punctuation by marking the line of writing in which an error occurs or identifying correct punctuation by marking the last response "No mistakes." Questions relate to the use of end punctuation, commas, and other punctuation marks. The particular skills assessed may differ by level.
      Levels 15–17/18 N/A
    • Computation

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 N/A
      Level 7 The first section of the Level 7 Computation test is an oral presentation of addition and subtraction problems. Students may use scratch paper to complete each computation. In the second section of the test, which is not read aloud, addition and subtraction problems are presented in the test booklet, and students proceed on their own. One choice for each question is N, meaning that the problem's solution is not given among the choices presented.
      Level 8 Same description as Level 7
      Levels 9–14 Most problems in the Computation test require the use of one arithmetic operation—addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. The problems require operations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or various combinations of these, as well as algebraic manipulations at the upper levels. Students must work a problem and compare their answer with the choices given. The fourth option in each question is "N," meaning the correct answer is "Not given."
      Levels 15–17/18 This test enables each school system to tailor its selection of tests to the goals of its mathematics curriculum. In school systems that de-emphasize computation in the curriculum, the Mathematics test provides information to help evaluate performance and growth in mathematics. For school systems that include computational skills as part of their curriculum, the two tests in combination may provide a more complete profile of development within the mathematics program.

      The questions included in this test were selected to represent the skills that most directly relate to the computational manipulations needed throughout the secondary school mathematics curriculum. Thus, the Computation test includes not only questions that measure the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers, fractions, and percentages, but also questions that measure the ability to manipulate variables and to evaluate expressions with exponents or with square roots.
    • Word Analysis

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 This test assesses how well students recognize letters and letter-sound relationships. Letters, pictures, or words are presented as response options for each test question
      Level 7 Intended to assess how well students know letter-sound relationships, this test uses both pictures and words as stimuli and response choices. All questions are read aloud.
      Level 8 This test includes the same content and composition as Level 7, except that Level 8 also assesses students' skills involving word structures using affixes and the formation of compound words
      Levels 9–14 (Level 9 only)

      This test provides detailed diagnostic information about a student's ability to identify and analyze distinctive features of the sounds and symbols of oral and written language. A variety of skills involving sound-letter association, decoding, and word structure is represented as they apply to initial, medial, and final sounds, and to silent letters, initial syllables, final syllables, affixes, and compound words.
      Levels 15–17/18 N/A
    • Listening

      The chart below explains what this test assesses at various developmental levels.

      Test Description
      Level 5/6 Brief stories are read aloud, each followed by a question

      Because all response choices are pictures, the test requires no reading. The items require students to demonstrate both literal and inferential understanding of what they hear.
      Level 7 Short oral scenarios are followed by one or more multiple-choice questions about the situations. Since all response choices are pictorial, the scores from this test do not depend on students' reading abilities. Like the Reading test, the Listening test requires students to demonstrate both literal and inferential understanding.
      Level 8 Same description as Level 7
      Levels 9–14 (Level 9 only)

      The Listening test measures the skills that students need to comprehend written material when it is presented orally. The situations in the test tap the general comprehension skills necessary for understanding meaning in reading, but those skills are applied to understanding material that students are more likely to hear than to read, such as school announcements, reports on the radio, brief instructions, and weather forecasts.
      Levels 15–17/18 N/A
  • Administration, Scoring, & Reporting

    A Choice of Administration Options Provides Flexibility and Efficiency

    HMH offers a comprehensive variety of test administration options to make your Iowa Assessments Form E, CogAT Form 7, and/or CogAT Screening Form assessment experience flexible and efficient. Whether you prefer administering online or via traditional paper-pencil, we have a mode of administration to suit your needs.

    • Basic Data Package
    • Data Plus Package
    • Online Data Package
    Iowa Assessments Form E Modes of Administration Options at a Glance
    Administration and Scoring Options Reporting Scoring Package
    • Paper- pencil testing with machine scorable booklets and answer documents
    • Send documents to HMH Scoring Service
    • Includes paper list report and group summaries
    • Access to digital ancillaries online
    • Option to purchase paper reports in addition*
    Basic Data Package–HMH Central Scanning and Scoring*
    • Paper- pencil testing with HMH machine scorable booklets and answer documents
    • Send documents to HMH Scoring Service
    • Web–based reporting
    • Access to digital ancillaries online
    • Option to purchase paper reports in addition*
    Data Plus Package–HMH Central Scanning and Scoring*
    • Online administration
    • Web–based reporting
    • Access to digital ancillaries online
    • Option to purchase paper reports in addition*
    Online Data Package–Online Testing
    • Paper-pencil testing
    • Answer keys must be purchased separately for hand scoring
    • Option to purchase access to digital ancillaries online
    • $85 per building initial access
    • $28.40 annual renewal per building
    Hand-Scoring Package

    Basic Data

    For use with Iowa Assessments Form E and/or CogAT 7 / CogAT Screening Form

    Scoring Method: HMH Central Scanning with Paper Reports

    Send documents to HMH Scoring Service and receive reporting results via paper within 15 days upon our receipt of completed answer documents at our scoring center.

    Data Plus Package

    For use with Iowa Assessments Form E and/or CogAT Form 7

    Scoring Method: HMH Central Scanning with Web Reports

    Send documents to HMH Scoring Service and receive results via web-based reporting within 15 days upon receipt of completed answer documents at our scoring center.

    Web-based reporting offers more flexibility in working with data than a static paper report, as well as the ability to create dynamic displays with the click of a mouse. Compare data by different classes, different buildings, or review summary data for content area totals. You also can drill down to individual tests and analyze performance on diagnostic skill clusters and use the information to inform instruction.

    This interface allows the user to access their data on demand.

    Online Testing

    For use with Iowa Assessments Form E, CogAT Form 7, CogAT Screening Form, and HMH Interim Assessments.

    Scoring Method

    Online Testing with Web Reports

    Administer the assessment online and receive web based reporting. Users can enjoy a paper-free assessment experience that includes data within 24–48 hours of finalizing an online test session.

     

    DataManager

    To learn more about scoring options and packages, please view HMH's scoring software, DataManager.

    Click here for a complete list of scoring options and pricing.

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  • Research

    The cornerstone of the Iowa Assessments remains its strong research base. The Iowa Testing Programs, in concert with HMH’s staff of psychometricians, carefully construct a robust sample of students that reflects the larger demographic makeup of the current U.S. school-age population, conduct large-scale studies, and then carefully analyze data to create sound statistics. These statistics are at the core of the reliable comparisons that the tests offer.

    In the Fall of 2010 and Spring of 2011, HMH coordinated standardization events for the new Form E of the Iowa Assessments. There were several mini-studies incorporated in the larger effort that linkedForms E and F with previous Iowa forms and other HMH assessments. However, the primary purpose of the standardization event was to provide updated national norms for Grades 1-12 of the new form.

    The foundation of the standardization lies in the sampling plan. Samples of schools were selected using a stratified random sampling process to develop a national probability sample, representative of students nationwide. Three stratifying variables were used to classify school districts throughout the nation: geographic region, district enrollment, and an index of the socioeconomic status (SES) of the school district. Although a stratified random sampling process was used to select the sample of schools, weighting will be used to adjust the final obtained samples back to the targets used in the sampling.

    Results of these standardization events enable future users of the new Iowa Assessments, Form E to have up-to-date relative comparisons to guide interpretations of student performance.