Assessment Information

In the state of West Virginia, one can either take a state achievement test or have a portfolio narrative completed by a certified teacher. You can find portfolio information under that page in our directory index. Here we hope to give some information on standardized test.


Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) - Testing time in grades 3-8 is 4 to 5 hours. No listening tests in grade 3-8.

California Achievement Test (CAT) - Testing time in grades 2-8 is 2 to 3 hours. No listening tests or subtests.

Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) - Testing time in grades 3-8 is 5 to 6 hours. Listening tests and sub-tests included in all grades. There are strict qualifications for administrators.

Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills -

 All standardized tests are normed and thus are equal in the eyes of the state. Regardless of what test your child takes, he or she should score about the same as they would on any test. Longer tests or harder tests, therefore, do not make better tests.


Raw score - The total number of test questions your child answered correctly.

Percentile - The ranking of your child compared with other tested children. If your child scored 78%, he or she did better than 78 other children out of 100. The highest possible score is 99%.

Grade level - This is the grade in which your child's score would be considered average. A grade of 5.4 would tell you that your child scored what an average 5th grader in the 4th month of school would have scored on the same test. It does not mean that your child would score average on a 5th grade test.

Stanine - This is a ranking bell curve scale based on percentile scores. A ranking of 1-3 indicates below average score. A ranking of 4-6 indicates an average score. A ranking of 7-9 indicates an above average score. The average score ranking would be where the greatest amount of children would score.


Study over a period of time and do not cram or teach the test. Real learning happens over time.

Get a good night's sleep and eat a good breakfast the morning of the test.

Read the directions carefully once the test has been passed out. If you don't understand, ask the tester for clear instructions.

Notice the number of questions on each section. Try to pace yourself with the time you have.

Look for clue words to help you know what the question is really asking.

If you don't know an answer to a question, lightly mark the side of your test form beside the number to alert you to come back to it. Keep moving along and answer the questions you do know. Then after completing those, go back and redo the ones you've lightly marked. You will find that on the second time around, you will know more of them than you thought. If you are still not sure, give a logical guess. It is usually best to have all the questions marked with an answer.

Make sure you mark your answer dark enough and neat enough so that your answers will be correctly recorded in tallying your scores.

Relax! This is only a means for your teacher to learn areas that she will need to work on next year.


The state law only requires a composite score to be given on the overall test. Your best bet is to give a summary sheet of your own making listing language, reading, math, social studies, and science and the overall score for each. Give as the summary score the mean of those scores. You can calculate that by adding those previously mentioned overall scores and dividing by 5. You are not required to give the test company's paperwork to the Board.




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