Iowa Tests of Educational Development®

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    This is a test of general vocabulary development. The words tested represent a cross-section of vocabulary encountered in general communication: reading, writing, and listening. Words are presented in context and students choose the best synonym from among five alternatives. The context does not provide "clues"; each of the answer choices is plausible within the context provided for the word.

    Reading Comprehension

    The five passages comprising each level of the Reading Comprehension test are all from previously published materials and encompass a diversity of genres, styles, and topics. Each level includes one fiction or narrative passage, one poem, nonfiction pieces from the social studies and science domains, and one general interest selection. The questions associated with the passages require students to demonstrate understanding at each of the three process levels usually associated with reading comprehension: factual understanding, inference and interpretation, and analysis and generalization—reading skills that students continue to develop as they proceed through high school.

    Language: Revising Written Materials

    This test provides information about students' skills in recognizing correct and effective use of standard American English in writing. In the context of complete articles and reports resembling the kinds of written tasks commonly undertaken by high school students, the questions ask students to make revision choices concerning organization, expression, sentence structure, usage, spelling, and mechanics, similar to those they make in editing of near-final drafts of their own peers' writing.


    This test is a ten-minute, thirty-question test. Each question presents four words, one of which may be misspelled, and a fifth option, "No mistakes," which allows students to indicate that they believe all four words are spelled correctly. Thus, each level of the Spelling test evaluates students' knowledge of the correct spelling of 120 words.

    Mathematics: Concepts and Problem Solving

    Just as the focus of the NCTM Principles and Standards is problem solving, the primary intent of the Mathematics: Concepts and Problem Solving test is to measure students' ability to solve quantitative problems. The questions in this test present practical problems that require basic arithmetic and measurement, estimation, data interpretation, and logical thinking. Since this is a test of the students' ability to use appropriate mathematical reasoning, the number of items requiring computation is minimal.


    In this test, questions were selected to represent the skills that are most directly related 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 percents, but also questions that measure the ability to manipulate variables and to evaluate expressions with exponents or with square roots.

    Analysis of Social Studies Materials

    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, political science, psychology, sociology, geography, and economics. The skills measured by the majority of questions are reinforced in a variety of social studies classes.

    Analysis of Science Materials

    The Analysis of Science Materials test provides information about students' abilities 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 physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, health and medicine, and astronomy. The questions require students to think critically about diverse kinds of scientific information.

    Sources of Information

    This test evaluates students' abilities to use important information sources. The skills a student needs in order to find and use data efficiently include familiarity with the resources of a well-equipped media center. The long-term goals of this test are reflected in two main skill categories: the mechanics of using common sources and the evaluation of sources for various purposes.


    ITED includes three articulated levels for Grades 9 through 12. The ITED levels are vertically equated with the ITBS, providing a continuous scale of achievement across the levels of the two batteries. The table below indicates the recommended levels by grade as well as test length and working time information. For students or classes whose developmental level is markedly different from the average for their grade, schools may designate a more appropriate test level. Out-of-level testing is possible within a group since directions and sample questions are the same for all levels of ITED.


    Working times for ITED

    Number of Questions
    Test Level: 15 16 17/18
    Grade: 9 10 11–12
    Test Working Time
    Vocabulary 15 40 40 40
    Reading Comprehension 40 44 44 44
    Language: Revising Written Materials 40 56 56 56
    Spelling 10 30 30 30
    Mathematics: Concepts and Problem Solving 40 40 40 40
    Computation 15 30 30 30
    Core Total 160 240 240 240
    Analysis of Social Studies Materials 40 50 50 50
    Analysis of Science Materials 40 48 48 48
    Sources of Information 20 40 40 40
    Complete Total 260 378 378 378


    Technical Qualities

    The ITED consist of a variety of educational achievement instruments developed by the faculty and professional staff at Iowa Testing Programs at The University of Iowa. They enjoy a history of development that has been an integral part of the research program in educational measurement at The University of Iowa for the past 70 years.

    Detailed technical information on the ITED can be found in the Guide to Research and Development for the ITED, which is available for purchase. Click here for ordering and pricing information.

  • Resources

    HMH wants to ensure your local testing program is smooth and efficient. A variety of resources are available to help you manage your testing program and communicate effectively with families.

    Pre-Test Resources

    The Test Coordinator Guide for The Iowa Tests provides information for test coordinators about all aspects of using the ITED. It is available on CD-ROM.

    Practice Tests are available to help familiarize students with the overall structure and format of The Iowa Tests.

    A Message to Parents is a special pamphlet that informs families about the ITED questions and test format and explains how test results will be used by the school. A Spanish version (Mensaje a los padres) is also available.

    Post-Test Resources

    Pre/Post Test Workshop Video for The Iowa Tests is a 27 minute training video divided into four sections: Overview, Preparation for Testing, Preparation for Scoring, and Interpreting Scores and Using Reports. The DVD version includes an additional section designed for parents.

    Report to Students and Parents is a special pamphlet that helps families understand their child’s test results. It is designed to be sent home in conjunction with student test results. A Spanish version (Reporte para estudiantes y padres) is also available.


    The Interpretative Guide for Teachers and Counselors focuses on the use of test results to help improve student achievement. It contains samples of individual and group score reports, along with suggestions for reporting results to students and parents.

    The Interpretative Guide for School Administrators provides suggestions for using test results in curriculum planning and reporting test results to families, school officials and the community.

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