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September 3, 2015

Newton County School System (NCSS) sixth-grade students will take the norm referenced Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) during the week of September 14-18, 2015.  According to Dr. Allison Jordan, NCSS Director of Testing, Research, and Evaluation, individual student scores should be returned and available from the test scoring company in October.

The ITBS reading section requires a student to read different types of passages (fiction, poetry, fables, interview, biography, etc.) and to answer questions about facts, main idea, or conclusions that can be drawn.    For the mathematics section, skills tested include: concepts, computation, estimation, problem solving, and interpretation of data. In addition, a vocabulary section and tests in language, social studies and science will be given.  The total ITBS testing time, administered over multiple days, will take a little over five hours. 

“Results of these tests are used to gain a better understanding of each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses,” said Dr.  Jordan. “With this information the school can plan appropriate learning experiences.”

Dr. Jordan added that parents can help by making certain their child not only gets plenty of sleep each night before the test but also eats a nutritious breakfast each morning.  Any students who wear eyeglasses should have them each day of testing.

“Students do not have to study for this test,” said Dr. Jordan. “Cramming for this test will not help. It’s important that parents simply encourage their child to do his or her very best without creating anxiety.”

Any parents with questions concerning the tests should call the school to discuss it with the child’s teacher or the administrative staff.