The main purposes of the Iowa Assessments are to provide the school with information that can be used to improve instruction and to help teachers make sound educational decisions about each student’s learning. The scores allow teachers to check each student’s year-to-year growth and to identify some of each student’s strong areas of achievement and needed areas of improvement. Students should be encouraged to do their best on the Iowa Assessments, as they should for all of their school activities. During the week of testing, make sure your student get as much sleep each night as they normally get on a school night, so they arrive at school ready to put forth their best effort.
The Iowa Assessments cover many of the fundamental skills students are learning in school in the areas of reading, mathematics, and science. Teachers, counselors, and administrators use the results to monitor students’ learning of some of the important skills taught in school. Scores from tests like the Iowa Assessments cannot replace a teacher’s observations and judgments, but they can provide useful supplementary information for the teacher, the parent, and the student. When test results are used in conjunction with other information from both the classroom and the home, teachers and parents can work together to identify and address the educational needs of each student.
Results from the Iowa Assessments will arrive in early May.
Your student’s scores on the Iowa Assessments can be used to:
- understand how your student performs in key areas such as reading, writing, math, science and social studies
- help identify your student’s relative strengths and limitations in these key areas
- monitor your student’s performance over time
- compare your student’s performance to other students in the nation
- provide information about your student’s proficiency level as defined by the state of Iowa
Your student’s scores are presented in various ways including:
- National Standard Score (NSS) is a score that describes performance on an achievement continuum from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The NSS allows you to monitor your student’s growth and compare performance from year to year. The NSS is also used in Iowa to determine your student’s level of proficiency in reading, mathematics and science. An explanation of the levels of proficiency can be found here.
- National Percentile Rank (NPR) is a score that describes the relative comparison of your student’s performance to other students in the nation who are in the same grade and were tested at the same time of year. An NPR of 80 means that your student’s performance was better than 80% of the students who took the test.
You are encouraged to discuss the score results on the Iowa Assessments with your student and her/his teachers. We recommend focusing on those scores which seem most different from prior years’ scores, and the scores which seem most different when compared to classroom performance. Together, you can use this information to decide how best to continue your student’s education.
A more detailed description of the tests from the University of Iowa can be found online at http://itp.education.uiowa.edu/IA/TestDescriptions.aspx.