Many of you have asked how the IOWA Test of Basic Skills and the Terra Nova standardized tests are different from each other. Michelle (actually spelled "Michaél"), who offers the IOWA, sent me her view of the differences between the two tests. She has proctored both tests for quite a long time now and did a lot of research on the differences between the two standardized tests. In my view (and hers), either one is fine, but here are the differences she noted:
The Iowa Basic Skills Test is a top-rated, nationally standardized test designed to evaluate thinking skills. It is very similar to the Stanford Achievement Test, except that it has time limits.
The Iowa test separates skills, like capitalization and punctuation, spelling, estimation, and problem solving - to name a few, into their own subsections of the test. This makes it possible for the parent to see specifically how the student grasps those certain concepts.
The core groups for grades three through eight are: vocabulary, spelling, reading comprehension, usage and expression, capitals, punctuation, math concepts and estimation, math problem solving and data interpretation, and computation.
The core group for grades nine and ten are: vocabulary, reading comprehension, revising written materials, spelling, math concepts and problem solving, and math computation.
For the high school level, I chose to purchase tests for grades nine and ten only, feeling that most students are either going to go the ACT/SAT route and not require further testing yearly or the decision has been made to not test further than the state requires.
My children have taken both the Terra Nova (CAT) and this test, the Iowa, in various grades. Their results came back tremendously similar, varying only a slight amount which I attributed to learning that took place in the years between the tests, when we compared the results of the testing. The separation of the different sections made it easier for me to fine tune their schooling to make sure that area was addressed a bit more.
To keep the cost of the test low, I have chosen to have the students bring their own snack and drink. I know with my own children, they had certain foods they enjoyed more, and it would have been comforting for them to eat them while taking a test.
I have no idea which test is more stressful or less stressful. I do my utmost to make everyone feel comfortable and at ease, but there is no guarantee. The Iowa test does take longer to administer than the Terra Nova, due to the individual sections. The test for grades three through eight takes 3.5 hours to take, closer to four with the instructions and breaks for moving around and bathroom. The test for the high schoolers takes between 2.5 and 3 hours.
The tests for grades 3-8 this year are taking place at Melrose Community Church, 3918 Melrose Road, Roseburg on Friday, May 20 (tomorrow!) and Friday, June 24. Go to the second parking lot, just past the main part of the church and you’ll see a sign on the door. I charge $35 for the test, and results come electronically in about two weeks.
For grades 9 and 10, the test will be held on Friday, June 10.
I’d like to start the tests at 9:00, so arriving at 8:45 would be a huge help. I don’t have a registration form, I’m low key in that way.
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d be honored to help.
PLEASE NOTE THAT EVEN THOUGH SHE DOESN'T HAVE A REGISTRATION FORM, YOU WILL STILL NEED TO CALL Michaél TO MAKE SURE SHE HAS ENOUGH TESTS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR CHILD. (She has a smaller number of tests with which to offer testing). 541-677-0572
DC Homeschool Central