Iowa Assessment

The Iowa Assessment (K-12)

Measures student achievement and growth across the subjects of reading, vocabulary, word analysis, listening comprehension, mathematics, computation, science, and social studies. The efficient test design and powerful reporting cut down on testing time but provide you with more information about your student’s abilities compared to students nationally and locally. This is an excellent option if you are interested in:

  • Newer test with more recent content

  • Tracking growth from the start of the year to the end or year to year

  • Measuring college readiness for grades 6-12

  • Saving time on test administration

  • Graphs to describe the difference between your student’s performance and national norms

  • Using a proctor to administer examinations with the highest level of integrity

  • Comparing your student’s achievement (Iowa Form E) to their abilities (CogAT 7)

The Iowa Assessments can be administered during (or shortly before) the fall term, during (or shortly after) the spring term, or both. Fall testing measures your student's starting point, and spring testing shows where your student is ending their year in terms of academic achievement. Testing at both times allows a direct comparison of growth across subjects.

Administration Requirements

  • Paper:

    • Administer the Iowa Assessments according to instructions, with testing materials (e.g., pencils, erasers, scratch paper, calculator) that are permitted for that test

    • Administer test in an appropriate environment without visible educational materials

    • Tests will not be scored unless all materials (test booklet, answer sheet, directions for administration, proctor qualification form) have been returned. Return materials to MSTP 879 29th Avenue SE #103 Minneapolis, MN 55414)

  • Online:

    • See details below. These requirements are the same for CogAT.


Proctoring Requirements

Click each dropdown below for proctoring information specific to the online and paper administrations of the Iowa Assessment

Online Iowa Proctoring

Online Iowa assessments will be administered via a Zoom meeting, proctored by MSTP staff.


Location Requirements

  • Create a comfortable testing space that includes a desk or table for student with easy access to wall plug

  • Testing space should be free of educational materials (or with educational materials covered)

  • Remove distractions (e.g., TV, music, distracting noises or smells)

  • Plan for sibling activities away from the testing space


Homeschool Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Before Test Administration

  • Complete Parent/Guardian Agreement consenting to your student's participation in remote testing, and agreeing to abide by test security practices

  • Ensure that the student testing device is plugged into a power source

  • Check audio sound (headphones, earbuds, or speakers). Have headphones/ear buds for student testing device

  • Confirm the use of approved devices for student testing: PCs running Windows 8 or higher, Edge or Chrome Browser, or Macs running Safari (smart phones, iPads, ChromeBooks and other tablets are not supported)

  • Provide scratch paper as needed ONLY for math sections.

  • Turn off other devices using the internet, including video games and movies, to ensure minimal activity on home network

  • Ensure the student has a working microphone and camera for monitoring of student testing

  • Student should use the restroom before testing to reduce the need for a break during testing.


During Test Administration

  • Students may not have other browser tabs, windows, or applications running on their devices while testing

  • If possible, other devices or members of the household should refrain from high bandwidth activities during testing. Those activities include HD streaming (Netflix, YouTube), video conferencing other than the Zoom meeting with the MSTP proctor, and online gaming

  • Test sections are timed. Students who finish a section early will see a page that allows them to draw if they wish. Phones, games, and reading materials are not permitted while waiting for the next test section to begin


Proctor (MSTP) Responsibilities

  • At the beginning of the Zoom testing session, MSTP proctor will provide a welcome message that explains the process for the test

  • After the welcome message is complete, MSTP proctor will place each student in a breakout room (students testing together from the same homeschool will share a breakout room)

  • MSTP proctor will provide the student ID and session code for each student to log into their testing session

  • During the testing session, MSTP proctor will move from breakout room to breakout room to check that students are doing well and do not have questions. Students can also use chat to ask questions

Paper Iowa Proctoring

The proctor must not be the parent or guardian of the child being tested. The proctor must have a mailing address that is a home, school, or business (not a post office box).

In addition, the proctor must meet at least one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any topic from an accredited program (accreditation recognized in the United States)

  • Associate’s degree in education, child development, or a related field from an accredited community or technical college

  • Licensed to teach in Minnesota public schools

  • 2 or more years’ experience as a public school teacher in any state

  • Certified as a test proctor by another homeschool testing provider (please include a copy of your credentials)

Location Requirements

Tests should be administered in a quiet workstation with sufficient space, free of educational materials (or with educational materials covered). Examples of approved proctoring sites:

  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities proctoring facilities

  • Community college proctoring facilities

  • City and county library proctoring facilities

  • School or school district proctoring facilities Homeschool Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Homeschool Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Before Test Administration

    • Choose a proctor and arrange testing with them

    • Include proctor’s mailing address on your order form. Test materials and proctor qualification checklist will be sent to the proctor (must be a home, school, or business address, not a P.O. box)

After Test Administration

    • Maintain strict test security: do not share or display test content

    • Mail completed tests, including all materials and signed proctor checklist, to MSTP (results will be sent to you)

Proctor Responsibilities

  • Administer Iowa E according to instructions, with testing materials (e.g., pencils, erasers, scratch paper, calculator) that are permitted for that test

  • Administer test in an appropriate environment without visible educational materials

  • Complete Proctor Checklist regarding your qualifications.

  • Give a signed copy of Proctor Checklist to homeschool parent/ guardian to return with other testing materials


Order the Assessment

If ordering by credit card, you will be redirected to a secure University payment portal. If ordering by check you will need to fill out a PDF order form that will download when you click the "Order" button. For group or district homeschool orders, please contact MSTP. If you wish to order online CogAT, available for students completing online Iowa in the same academic year, please click "Order Online Iowa" below.


What the Iowa Assessment Measures

Click each subject below for more information about the grades and how the subject is measured.

Reading

Level 5/6

The first part of 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 second part 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

Level 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.

Level 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 taken from previously published materials. Each test level has five passages. The prose passages range in length from 400 to 760 words.

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

Written Expression

Level 5/6

N/A

Level 7

N/A

Level 8

N/A

Level 9-14

In the first part of this test, students must choose the best or most appropriate way to express the 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.

Level 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

Level 5/6

Consists of questions about beginning Mathematics concepts, problem solving, and mathematics operations

The content standards involve numeration, geometry, measurement, and applications of addition and subtraction in word problems. Items are read aloud, and responses are pictures and numbers

Level 7

Administered in two separate sessions

All questions are read aloud.

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 some 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 some other questions, students select a number sentence that could be used to solve the problem.

Level 9-14

Administered in two parts

Students must demonstrate an understanding of Mathematics concepts, relationships, visual representations, and problem solving. The questions deal with number sense and operations, algebraic patterns and connections, data analysis, probability, statistics, geometry, and measurement.

Level 15-17/18

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

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, not all, questions are read aloud.

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.

Level 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 are required to use the concepts and principles of science to explain, infer, and hypothesize.

Level 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

Level 5/6

N/A

Level 7

Measure objectives of the social studies curriculum not measured elsewhere in the Iowa Assessment.

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, not all, questions are read aloud.

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

Level 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.

Level 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 documents, 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

Level 5/6

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. Approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers are all used in the test.

Level 7

Measures listening vocabulary

A pictorial or written stimulus is followed by a set of written responses. Approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers are tested. 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

Level 9-14

Each question presents a word in the context of a short phrase or sentence, and students select the answer that is the closest synonym for that word. Approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers are included. Target words represent general vocabulary content rather than the specialized vocabulary used in various subject-matter areas.

Level 15-17/18

A test of general vocabulary development

The target words represent a cross section of vocabulary encountered in general communication: reading, writing, and listening. Technical words and specialized vocabulary have not been included. In order 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"; each of the answer choices is plausible within the context provided for the word.

Language

Level 5/6

Measure how well students understand the use of language to express ideas

The questions cover the use of prepositions-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

The four test sections 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

Level 9-14

N/A

Level 15-17/18

N/A

Spelling

Level 5/6

N/A

Level 7

N/A

Level 8

N/A

Level 9-14

Each question 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.

Level 15-17/18

N/A

Capitalization

Level 5/6

N/A

Level 7

N/A

Level 8

N/A

Level 9-14

The questions 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.

Level 15-17/18

N/A

Punctuation

Level 5/6

N/A

Level 7

N/A

Level 8

N/A

Level 9-14

The questions 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.

Level 15-17/18

N/A

Computation

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

Level 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".

Level 15-17/18

This test is provided to enable each school system to tailor the 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 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 percentages, but also questions that measure the ability to manipulate variables and to evaluate expressions with exponents or with square roots.

Word Analysis

Level 5/6

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

Both pictures and words are used as stimuli and response choices. All questions are read aloud.

Level 8

Same description as Level 7, except that the Level 8 also assesses students\' skills involving word structures using affixes and the formation of compound words

Level 9-14

(Level 9 only)

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.

Listening

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

Level 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.

Level 15-17/18

N/A