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Help with ITBS results interpretation


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Not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but this is the board I mostly use.  Just wondered if someone can help me interpret ITBS results?  My DD 4th grade had this test administered by a professional, and I just got the results back.  When she went to Public School, I think they did some other kind of standardized testing (Terra Nova?).  Those results seemed easier to interpret.  Can anyone explain how to interpret the ITBS results in plain English, please?  What are the main things I'm looking at?

 

What does SS, GE, NS, NPR, etc. mean?  I have a good guess at most of those, but want to be sure I'm looking at things correctly. :)  

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So, as a homeschooler, knowing that some of the kids who are tested nationally don't get much academic support, what should my "goals" be for her scores?  She didn't do well on spelling, which I kind of expected.  She just really struggles with spelling, but we are working on that even through the summer with Apples & Pears.  I was kind of hoping she would score above 90% nationally in most things, but that's not her "average."  Can anyone else share how their kids have done on this particular test?  What are reasonable expectations?  For all the "scoring" methods: SS, GE, NS, Lexile, NPR, etc.

 

Does %C Stu. mean the percentage that the student got correct?  And, if so, then if they got 100% correct on something, how is that only the 72nd National percentage?

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So, as a homeschooler, knowing that some of the kids who are tested nationally don't get much academic support, what should my "goals" be for her scores?  She didn't do well on spelling, which I kind of expected.  She just really struggles with spelling, but we are working on that even through the summer with Apples & Pears.  I was kind of hoping she would score above 90% nationally in most things, but that's not her "average."  Can anyone else share how their kids have done on this particular test?  What are reasonable expectations?  For all the "scoring" methods: SS, GE, NS, Lexile, NPR, etc.

 

Does %C Stu. mean the percentage that the student got correct?  And, if so, then if they got 100% correct on something, how is that only the 72nd National percentage?

 

Sorry, I was on my phone before and didn't really answer your questions beyond the abbreviations.  

 

Disclaimer:  I am not a educational testing professional nor do I play one on TV.  My daughter actually did the CTBS, as we are Canadian, but it is very similar.

 

Where I find testing helpful is looking at areas that my child scored relatively low in, compared to her overall scores.  In your case, you noticed spelling, which you had already identified.  In my case, it was "Sources of Info" (read a neighborhood map and answer questions, etc), which made me realize that by focusing on History, not Social Studies, we had skipped some basic things.  

 

The percentiles and GEs are more helpful when you have tested more than one year.  I look to see if my daughter is gaining at least the right amount of years (ie, if she scored 5.7 last November, I would look for 6.7 the next November).  I also expect to see her maintaining or gaining in percentiles.  If she were to "fall off her curve", I would investigate why.

 

%C Stu does mean the percentage that the student got correct.  How that correlates to the NPR depends on how the "normed" population did on the test.  If a high percentage of the normed population got all the answers correct, that does not translate to becoming 99th percentile.  I think, if I'm not mistaken, your example would mean that 28% of the normed population got all of the questions in that section correct.  So scoring 100 means you did better than 72% of students.  Does that make sense?

 

If you google "interpreting ITBS scores" a number of helpful links come up.  

 

I hope this helps.  If you have any other specific questions I am happy to give it a go.

Heather

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I've been doing this test with my children for years.  This year, I noticed that the math in the younger grades has changed quite a bit.  I'm assuming common core weird math teaching?  It seems more conceptual at the 3rd grade level--less concrete.  I always cringe every year my ds 9 takes these tests.  He is not a sequential thinker and thinks outside the box.  Simple instructions confuse him because he doesn't take them at face value.  He's done fine so far, but still I cringe.

 

Beth

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Found this that might be of interest to you... It was a quote from   the Iowa Acceleration Scale Manual (3rd edition), but I don't have a direct link to the manual: "In assessing achievement as it relates to making a decision about acceleration, earning a grade-level score that results in a ranking in the 90th-94th percentile indicates mastery (achievement) of the grade-level content."   

 

I would extrapolate from that, that if you are wondering if she has "mastered" the content of her current grade, you would look for a NPR above 90%.

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Found this that might be of interest to you... It was a quote from   the Iowa Acceleration Scale Manual (3rd edition), but I don't have a direct link to the manual: "In assessing achievement as it relates to making a decision about acceleration, earning a grade-level score that results in a ranking in the 90th-94th percentile indicates mastery (achievement) of the grade-level content."   

 

I would extrapolate from that, that if you are wondering if she has "mastered" the content of her current grade, you would look for a NPR above 90%.

Hmm...interesting.  After posting my initial post, I received some PDF pages helping me to "read" the test results, kind of.  Under GE (Grade Equivalent), it says this:

 

"For example, if Sally, a second grader, scored a GE of 4.7, it meas that she earned a score equivalent to what a typical student in the seventh month of fourth grade would make."  It goes on to basically say that this doesn't mean she's ready for 4th grade material, but that she has "a thorough mastery of the material covered on the second grade test."  

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Hmm...interesting.  After posting my initial post, I received some PDF pages helping me to "read" the test results, kind of.  Under GE (Grade Equivalent), it says this:

 

"For example, if Sally, a second grader, scored a GE of 4.7, it meas that she earned a score equivalent to what a typical student in the seventh month of fourth grade would make."  It goes on to basically say that this doesn't mean she's ready for 4th grade material, but that she has "a thorough mastery of the material covered on the second grade test."  

 

Right.  But if Sally the second grader scored in the 90th percentile on a 4th grade test, it would indicate mastery of that level of material.

 

If your 4th grader scored in the 90+%ile, it would also indicate mastery of *that* level.  90+%ile would likely correspond to a much higher GE.

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Okay, so I'll just be brave and share some of her scores (this is for 4th grade).  This was our 2nd year homeschooling (and the first year was only 3/4th of the year).  I'm still kind of frustrated at the fact that my DD was not given a very strong "foundation" in her early years in PS.  But I'm hoping her test scores indicate progress. :)  This is the first time (for homeschooling) that we've done standardized testing.

 

Overall Composite Scores:

SS: 224

GE: 6.5

NS: 7

NPR: 78

 

We already know she highly struggles with spelling and the test definitely showed that: 26th% in Spelling for NPR!  Wonder how much that affects the overall score...

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Okay, so I'll just be brave and share some of her scores (this is for 4th grade).  This was our 2nd year homeschooling (and the first year was only 3/4th of the year).  I'm still kind of frustrated at the fact that my DD was not given a very strong "foundation" in her early years in PS.  But I'm hoping her test scores indicate progress. :)  This is the first time (for homeschooling) that we've done standardized testing.

 

Overall Composite Scores:

SS: 224

GE: 6.5

NS: 7

NPR: 78

 

We already know she highly struggles with spelling and the test definitely showed that: 26th% in Spelling for NPR!  Wonder how much that affects the overall score...

 

What I see is a child who did better than 77% of her same grade nationally normed peers.  That is not a bad score.  Especially since you know her foundation from public school was weaker than you would like.  

 

I looked at my daughter's third grade testing details (we actually skipped testing this year because of crazy life circumstances) and the weighting worked as follows.  Keep in mind this is the Canadian test, and a different grade, but maybe it will give you some idea.  The composite score was made up of the following 6 areas, equally weighted:

-Vocabulary

-Reading

-Language Total*

-Math Total**

-Science

-Sources Total***

 

* Language Total was comprised of Spelling, Capitalization, Punctuation, and Usage & Expression, each weighted equally

**Math Total was comprised of Math Concepts & Estimation, Math Problem Solving, and Math Computation, weighted equally

*** Sources Total was comprised of Reference Materials and Maps & Diagrams, weighted equally.

 

So in our test, if my math is correct (and I slept poorly, so it might not be, lol) Spelling was weighted about 4% of the composite score.

 

Whether or not I aimed for 90%th percentile or not would highly depend on my assessment of my child's abilities.  For my DD, I would be very surprised by scores below that.  I suspect my boys are closer to "average" and will score around the 80%ile when I start testing them.  

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Heather, Thanks so much for your input! :)  I think the main thing I need to remember is that I shouldn't get stressed over test scores. :)  And standardized tests don't test for things that matter more to me: character building, creativity, a hunger for learning, etc.  My daughter is improving in many ways and actually enjoys reading now! :)  I wonder what they're testing for "Language Usage and Expression?"  Her GE for that was 11.3.  We didn't test our first graders, but I'm quite sure they would score at 90% or above.  Just wish their older sister had gotten a better education in K-3.  Keep Moving Forward, right?!! :)  

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Hmm...interesting.  After posting my initial post, I received some PDF pages helping me to "read" the test results, kind of.  Under GE (Grade Equivalent), it says this:

 

"For example, if Sally, a second grader, scored a GE of 4.7, it meas that she earned a score equivalent to what a typical student in the seventh month of fourth grade would make."  It goes on to basically say that this doesn't mean she's ready for 4th grade material, but that she has "a thorough mastery of the material covered on the second grade test."  

 

A grade equivalent score of 4.7 means that the student scored the same as a fourth grader at the 50th percentile in the seventh month of school would score.  Students who score at the 50th percentile for their grade have *not* mastered grade level material.  A fourth grader who scores at the 50th percentile in the spring is showing mastery of 2nd grade material.

 

Mastery of grade level material is indicated by a percentile rank of 90 or above.

 

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Here are my 10-year old son's scores on the 5th grade ITBS test (taken April 2014):

 

                          SS      GE        NS       PNPR          NPR

Reading            236       7.6        7            90               77

Language          293       13+        9            90               99

Math                 253       9.1        8            92               92

Survey Total     261      10.0        8            92               95

 

Notes:

 

1) He took the 5th grade test even though he is a 4th grader. Long story.

2) I see that he has a NPR in math of 92, not 95 as I stated in another thread. My bad. 

3) I have doubts about some of the NPR numbers. The  reading number, for example, seems way too low.

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My kids get in the 90's percentile on most of the scores for ITBS. If they get lower than 90's in a certain subject, I add something to our curriculum to fix it. My view is that less than 90's means we are not doing as well as we could in that area.

 

That is my personal view since you asked for scores and how to interpret them.

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Okay, so "Mastery of grade level material is indicated by a percentile rank of 90 or above."

 

But, so far, no one has shared how their kids have done on standardized testing.

 

Both of my kids consistently score above the 90th percentile on standardized tests.  Actually, because of this, I give them tests for the next grade or two (or three) up and have the scores reported as compared to students in the grade the test is intended for as well as my kids' age-grade.

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"Mastery of grade level material is indicated by a percentile rank of 90 or above."

 

Source?

 

From the Iowa Acceleration Scale, 3rd Edition (page 39):

 

"Earning a grade-level score that results in a ranking in the 90th-94th percentile indicates mastery (achievement) of the grade level content."

 

 

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Found this thread which was kind of helpful: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/392674-how-have-your-kids-done-on-standardized-tests/

 

I admit I'm feeling a bit discouraged that she did not score 90% or above.  But what does it mean when people are saying their child "scored above grade level?"  What are they looking at to determine that?

I was planning to add in some "fun" stuff that my daughter wants to do next year (ice skating, piano lessons, more art), but now I'm wondering if we should just spend extra time on the basics.

 

Honestly, feeling rather depressed about all of this now and just want to cry.

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From the Iowa Acceleration Scale, 3rd Edition (page 39):

 

"Earning a grade-level score that results in a ranking in the 90th-94th percentile indicates mastery (achievement) of the grade level content."

But isn't that for the purpose of accelerating grade levels? I don't have the book, so I don't know for sure. It just seems odd to me that only 6-10% of children master the material.

 

OP, I wouldn't put too much on a pre-fifth grade, first time taking ITBS score. You know her weak area. My kids are also weak spellers. We use Apples and Pears, also and it has really helped. My first sons spelling score (3rd grade) was something like 35. This year, eighth grade, it was in the 90s. The spelling part also is odd as it relies on being able to tell if the word is spelled wrong.

 

Did you do test prep? Sometimes the "way" something is asked is confusing. The ITBS is also timed which can be tough for younger kids.

 

My kids, from fifth on up, score in the 90s. In third, they are all over the place (we don't test in fourth. Knowing my kid's abilities, I look for 85 or above in most areas and steady progress upward in their weaker areas. If there is a drop in an area I use that info as a place to "shore up". I always use the first test (third for mine) as a "practice" and, while I am pleased if they do well, don't worry too much if they don't do well.

 

However, you really have to know your child. I don't think there is any shame in a child scoring better than 79% of all the children her age who too the test. It means she is doing fine. Really.

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I was planning to add in some "fun" stuff that my daughter wants to do next year (ice skating, piano lessons, more art), but now I'm wondering if we should just spend extra time on the basics.

 

Honestly, feeling rather depressed about all of this now and just want to cry.

Kids typically need test prep to do well the first time they do a standardized test. By test prep I mean doing one or two sample tests to get used to the style of questions.

 

Basics would get done better with a happy child :) Don't cut down on fun just because your child didn't get over 90 percent the first time.

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But isn't that for the purpose of accelerating grade levels? I don't have the book, so I don't know for sure. It just seems odd to me that only 6-10% of children master the material.

 

OP, I wouldn't put too much on a pre-fifth grade, first time taking ITBS score. You know her weak area. My kids are also weak spellers. We use Apples and Pears, also and it has really helped. My first sons spelling score (3rd grade) was something like 35. This year, eighth grade, it was in the 90s. The spelling part also is odd as it relies on being able to tell if the word is spelled wrong.

 

Did you do test prep? Sometimes the "way" something is asked is confusing. The ITBS is also timed which can be tough for younger kids.

 

My kids, from fifth on up, score in the 90s. In third, they are all over the place (we don't test in fourth. Knowing my kid's abilities, I look for 85 or above in most areas and steady progress upward in their weaker areas. If there is a drop in an area I use that info as a place to "shore up". I always use the first test (third for mine) as a "practice" and, while I am pleased if they do well, don't worry too much if they don't do well.

 

However, you really have to know your child. I don't think there is any shame in a child scoring better than 79% of all the children her age who too the test. It means she is doing fine. Really.

 

 

Kids typically need test prep to do well the first time they do a standardized test. By test prep I mean doing one or two sample tests to get used to the style of questions.

 

Basics would get done better with a happy child :) Don't cut down on fun just because your child didn't get over 90 percent the first time.

 

:iagree:

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Found this thread which was kind of helpful: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/392674-how-have-your-kids-done-on-standardized-tests/

 

I admit I'm feeling a bit discouraged that she did not score 90% or above.  But what does it mean when people are saying their child "scored above grade level?"  What are they looking at to determine that?

I was planning to add in some "fun" stuff that my daughter wants to do next year (ice skating, piano lessons, more art), but now I'm wondering if we should just spend extra time on the basics.

 

Honestly, feeling rather depressed about all of this now and just want to cry.

Oh my goodness, no, no, no. Please don't be so hard on yourself. Do you know where her weak areas are? Are you addressing them? Is her present math curriculum working for her? If so, please relax, for both your sakes. Your child is not a test score. Your worth as a teacher is not a test score. Only 10% of children score in the 90s. 90% of children are NOT from homes with no support or schools that don't teach them well.

 

Exercise, piano and artistic expression are all worthy pursuits that actually help academic performance. A 79% at age 9/10 does not mean you need to stay home and do the basics (if it ever does!)

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Thanks for the encouragement.  I honestly have been in tears, and I'm sure it's just ridiculous and silly.  Her overall score by the way was 78%.  And she HAD taken some standardized tests before in 1st and 2nd grade PS.  But she didn't do any test prep for this test.

 

I think I'm just having a "down moment" in my homeschool thinking.  We're having an "easy" week right now, since summer has sort of "started" for us.  My girls are doing a little math and reading and then just doing their own thing, which today was "doing science" with rocks, magnifying glasses, etc. with the neighbor kids.  I'm using this week to go through all of our homeschool stuff, make portfolios, re-organize, etc.  I've had some health issues, too, which have made me rather tired and irritable, so that explains the quick jump to crying.  I wanted a fairly relaxed summer, although we did plan to do a "little" school, and I guess after seeing the test results I got thinking I need to use this "extra" time to get more caught up on stuff.  I DID already plan on working on spelling a bit with my daughter through the summer.

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:grouphug:

 

With the way schools teach phonics and spelling, that is actually good progress after taking her out of school.  I would check her reading grade level and her ability to read nonsense words and her MWIA score, work on phonics may actually help both reading and spelling, many of the phonics rules are both phonics and spelling.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/readinggradeleve.html

 

Based on MWIA scores and the New Elizabethian test, some work with nonsense words and syllables may help both reading and spelling.

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But isn't that for the purpose of accelerating grade levels? I don't have the book, so I don't know for sure. It just seems odd to me that only 6-10% of children master the material.

 

The IAS is the only place I've found that gives a percentile as indicating mastery.  But I also know that with my kids and math, if they've mastered a particular level but no more, they will score around the 90th percentile on the test for that particular grade level.  But I didn't think that my experience would count as a reliable source.

 

OP--The only way you can really know if your child made good progress (aside from what you've observed from day to day, which is really the only *true* measure), is to compare the ITBS scores from this year to next year's.  (I'm assuming you don't have baseline scores from last year.)  I'll bet you're going to see some impressive gains.

 

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Found this thread which was kind of helpful: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/392674-how-have-your-kids-done-on-standardized-tests/

 

I admit I'm feeling a bit discouraged that she did not score 90% or above.  But what does it mean when people are saying their child "scored above grade level?"  What are they looking at to determine that?

I was planning to add in some "fun" stuff that my daughter wants to do next year (ice skating, piano lessons, more art), but now I'm wondering if we should just spend extra time on the basics.

 

Honestly, feeling rather depressed about all of this now and just want to cry.

 

Nope. She scored in the top quarter of test-takers. That means she is doing well. Do fun stuff and let her have plenty of time to read; you do not need to change her schooling.

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For the life of me, I can't currently find her 2nd grade Terra Nova Test.  But I just came across her 1st grade one.  I don't think it's very extensive - just reading and math.  But still good to see.  I know it's not the "same" test for comparison purposes, but I'm guessing it's still worth comparing.  One of the greatest weaknesses of her K-2nd grade PS experience was that they hardly focused on phonics.  Reading was very much "whole language" based.  We've done some phonics (more in 3rd grade than this year) and it did help (along with other reading activities).  The Terra Nova Test I'm looking at is Grade 1.1.  So first month of first grade?  Anyway, her reading was exactly at the 50th percentile.  If my memory serves me correctly, I think she scored 60-something percentile for reading in 2nd grade.  So I've compared that to this test in which her overall reading percentile was 80th.  So I guess I just need to remember that she's making progress.

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Sorry to be posting so much.  Just trying to wrap my head around all of this.  So I'm still wondering...what does it mean when people say their child scored "above grade level?" Or at or below grade level?  Are they just looking at the GE and SS score?

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Sorry to be posting so much.  Just trying to wrap my head around all of this.  So I'm still wondering...what does it mean when people say their child scored "above grade level?" Or at or below grade level?  Are they just looking at the GE and SS score?

In my experience they usually are looking at the GE.

 

BTW, she's gone from a 50% to an 80%. That's good.

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Sorry to be posting so much.  Just trying to wrap my head around all of this.  So I'm still wondering...what does it mean when people say their child scored "above grade level?" Or at or below grade level?  Are they just looking at the GE and SS score?

 

Most people mean that the GE was above grade level because they don't know what the GE really means.  When I say that, I mean that I've given my child a test at that level and he scored at the 90th percentile or above.

 

 

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Here are my 10-year old son's scores on the 5th grade ITBS test (taken April 2014):

 

                          SS      GE        NS       PNPR          NPR

Reading            236       7.6        7            90               77

Language          293       13+        9            90               99

Math                 253       9.1        8            92               92

Survey Total     261      10.0        8            92               95

 

Notes:

 

1) He took the 5th grade test even though he is a 4th grader. Long story.

2) I see that he has a NPR in math of 92, not 95 as I stated in another thread. My bad. 

3) I have doubts about some of the NPR numbers. The  reading number, for example, seems way too low.

 

For my children the reading comprehension section is always the most challenging and one that they score a bit lower on.  In the younger years we mostly just read books for delight rather than analysis though, so I'm comfortable with that.  Jr. High (my oldest will be in 6th this coming school year) or so is when we'll get more serious in that area.

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For the life of me, I can't currently find her 2nd grade Terra Nova Test. But I just came across her 1st grade one. I don't think it's very extensive - just reading and math. But still good to see. I know it's not the "same" test for comparison purposes, but I'm guessing it's still worth comparing. One of the greatest weaknesses of her K-2nd grade PS experience was that they hardly focused on phonics. Reading was very much "whole language" based. We've done some phonics (more in 3rd grade than this year) and it did help (along with other reading activities). The Terra Nova Test I'm looking at is Grade 1.1. So first month of first grade? Anyway, her reading was exactly at the 50th percentile. If my memory serves me correctly, I think she scored 60-something percentile for reading in 2nd grade. So I've compared that to this test in which her overall reading percentile was 80th. So I guess I just need to remember that she's making progress.

Phonics that includes nonsense words will help even more than the plain phonics you have been doing for both reading and spelling. I have been tutoring students for 20 years, and you get the fastest progress when you use nonsense words to help undo the guessing habits learned from whole language. I would definitely work through the things on my how to tutor page or have her work through my online phonics lessons supplemented by my concentration game for extra nonsense words. Most students gain a reading grade level or two after working through either of these.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/howtotutor.html

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Okay everyone, I think I've calmed down now.  Thanks for your help! :)  I have a suspicion that there are many homeschooled kiddos who don't score above the 90th percentile, but I'm guessing most people don't want to share those "below greatness" scores publicly.  90% or above is a great goal, but it doesn't mean we've failed if our kids don't score that high.  I sooooo appreciate a PM I received from someone, sharing their kid's scores and their thoughts on all of this.  If anyone else wants to send a PM, I would warmly welcome it! :)  

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I'll try to remember to PM you my DDs ITBS scores...I think we'll get them in the next couple weeks. If it is anything like the last two years, she'll have a high score in a few areas she is strong in, and lower end scores in some weaker areas. Math in general is not my DDs strength, and timed math even less so...so I don't expect she will be anywhere near 90% in math. We just plug along and keep trying to make progress in weaker areas. The biggest thing I am hoping for is improvement in spelling now that we have done LoE for two full years!

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It is just a test.  It really doesn't mean anything.  It can show you weak areas and knowing what to work on can be great, but don't evaluate your child based solely on this test.  I definitely do not expect my children to test in the top 10% on everything on a standardized test.  I file our tests every year in their cumulative records.  I do work on the weak areas and each year they make gains with them, but I am not cutting out all our extras over one test score.  I think your dd scored really well.

 

The Iowa test is not a mastery test.  It is designed to find out how much your student knows.  

 

 

Raw Score (RS) number correct

 

Percent Correct (PC) raw score is divided… 

 

Percentile Rank (PR) shows the student’s relative position or rank in a group, more than ½ of all students fall between 25th and 75th.

 

Stanine (S) groupings of percentile ranks.

 

Grade Equivalent (GE) not grade level mastery! Grade level at which the typical student has obtained a given raw score.

 

Developmental Standard Score (SS) developmental standard score is a number that describes a student’s location on an achievement continuum.

 

Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) Normalized Score Scale, ranges like PR, but can be averaged.

 

 Standard Age Score (SAS) Scale, with range from 50 to 150 for all age groups.  The SAS has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16.

 

 

You want to look at your stanine alongside your NPR to get a feel for if your dd is below average, average, above average in a particular area of the test.

 

Looking at your dd's score-

 

Overall Composite Scores:

SS: 224

GE: 6.5

NS: 7

NPR: 78

 

This powerpoint explaining a lot about the IOWA test and how to evaluate scores and the big picture of it all in relation to determining what areas need work is very helpful.  Your dd scored really well.  

 

http://archives.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/ITBS%20Score%20Interpretation.ppt?p=6CC6799F8C1371F63BFCBA0BEE308DFF0543430A41B3D0A4DD089B2D3997F72E&Type=D

 

Your dd scored higher than what is on grade-level for all of these measurements for the IOWA test.   :)  So I think you are doing a great job! 

 

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It is not realistic to expect all children to get 90% on these tests. The top 10% of students will perform that well. Average students will be closer to 50%. These are not percent correct scores.

 

It sounds like your DD did very well, especially when comparing to previous tests!

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It is not realistic to expect all children to get 90% on these tests. The top 10% of students will perform that well. Average students will be closer to 50%. These are not percent correct scores.

 

It sounds like your DD did very well, especially when comparing to previous tests!

 

:iagree:

 

I have to disagree with previous posters that are saying a 90th percentile equates with a student mastering the material.  If a student has a score that is in the 90th percentile, that means he/she scored better than 90% of the students taking the test.  It has nothing to do with the percent of problems the student did correctly, except in relation to the scores of others taking the test.  If you followed the line of thinking in the other posts, that would mean 90% of students hadn't mastered the material.  A 50th percentile simply means the child is exactly in the middle.  Half of the students scored better than him/her and half scored worse than him/her.  A 50th percentile is not failing, it is the absolute average score.

 

Using numbers, if a teacher gives a test to seven students and the students' scores are 40, 70, 80, 81, 82, 85 & 92, then a score of 81 on the test would equate with a 50th percentile.  If, on the other hand, the teacher had a brighter class and the seven scores were 80, 81, 90, 90, 92, 95, & 100, the score of 81 would then be at the 14th percentile, and a score of 90 would be at the 50th percentile.  Percentiles are all about comparing one's scores with others taking the same exam.  (Because standardized tests are normed using a much larger number of students, the percentiles are more stable.)

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Found this that might be of interest to you... It was a quote from   the Iowa Acceleration Scale Manual (3rd edition), but I don't have a direct link to the manual: "In assessing achievement as it relates to making a decision about acceleration, earning a grade-level score that results in a ranking in the 90th-94th percentile indicates mastery (achievement) of the grade-level content."   

 

I would extrapolate from that, that if you are wondering if she has "mastered" the content of her current grade, you would look for a NPR above 90%.

 

I believe you are misinterpreting this by taking something meant for accelerated students and applying it across the board.  If a school is considering accelerating a student, then I could see them wanting that student to be in the top 10% of students, thus the 90th percentile, but that wouldn't apply to students not seeking to accelerate.  (See my previous post for more details.)

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While I'm sure that all responses were well-intentioned, as I've talked to some very experienced homeschoolers and done some more "research" on my own, I've come to the conclusion that yes, "It's just a test."  And average really IS 50th percentile.  I've realized that my "goal" should not be for my child to score 90% or above.  I suppose if one knows that their child most definitely wants to be a doctor or rocket scientist when they grow up, then, yes, the child probably needs to be helped along/pushed so they can achieve that goal.  But it should be a sort of mutual goal.  It's great if some kids score 90% or above, but only 10% of kids will. :)  Our personal goals for our kids (which are more important to me than tests) are that they learn compassion, love, perseverance, kindness, conflict resolution, etc. That they do their best.  I want them to know and love God.  Can we still put extra work into those "problem" academic areas?  Absolutely!  But academics are not on the very top of my priority list.  So many things in life can't be tested on paper, ya know?  My daughter has matured in so many ways in the past few years in regards to relationships, friendships, dealing with conflict, etc.  Honestly, she probably excels some adults in that area!    

 

I hope that my "falling into a pit" (which I've now crawled back out of) perhaps has helped someone else or will help someone in the future! :)   

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While I'm sure that all responses were well-intentioned, as I've talked to some very experienced homeschoolers and done some more "research" on my own, I've come to the conclusion that yes, "It's just a test."  And average really IS 50th percentile.  I've realized that my "goal" should not be for my child to score 90% or above.  I suppose if one knows that their child most definitely wants to be a doctor or rocket scientist when they grow up, then, yes, the child probably needs to be helped along/pushed so they can achieve that goal.  But it should be a sort of mutual goal.  It's great if some kids score 90% or above, but only 10% of kids will. :)  Our personal goals for our kids (which are more important to me than tests) are that they learn compassion, love, perseverance, kindness, conflict resolution, etc. That they do their best.  I want them to know and love God.  Can we still put extra work into those "problem" academic areas?  Absolutely!  But academics are not on the very top of my priority list.  So many things in life can't be tested on paper, ya know?  My daughter has matured in so many ways in the past few years in regards to relationships, friendships, dealing with conflict, etc.  Honestly, she probably excels some adults in that area!    

 

I hope that my "falling into a pit" (which I've now crawled back out of) perhaps has helped someone else or will help someone in the future! :)   

 

Very, very well said!

 

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I believe you are misinterpreting this by taking something meant for accelerated students and applying it across the board.  If a school is considering accelerating a student, then I could see them wanting that student to be in the top 10% of students, thus the 90th percentile, but that wouldn't apply to students not seeking to accelerate.  (See my previous post for more details.)

 

Actually, no, if the student is at the 90th percentile, that would be a reason *not* to accelerate him or her.  In fact, when accelerating students, it is generally a good idea to have them rank at the 90th percentile in the receiving grade.  This is to ensure that they have mastered the material from the previous grade and to ensure that they will be in a position of strength moving forward (albeit with more challenge, hopefully).  So, for example, a fourth grader would need to be at the 98th percentile for a one year skip and at the 99th percentile for a two year skip if you're wanting that child to be at the 90th percentile in the receiving grade (these numbers are approximate, BTW).  

 

To put some perspective on this, the average adult--that is, adults at the 50th percentile--have mastered something resembling 5th or 6th grade math.  I think most people on here are aiming quite a bit higher than average.  The 90th percentile is certainly above average, but it isn't extraordinary. 

 

(And I'll say it again, what you observe about your child's achievement day to day is far more informative than what their score is on some test.)

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