ITBS Test Taking Tips
Materials adapted from Scoring High: Iowa Test of Basic Skills, Book 7, SRA/McGraw-Hill, 2003.
· Read each answer choice carefully.
· If you are not sure which answer is correct, take your best guess. (It is better to guess than to leave an answer blank.)
· Think about where you might have read or heard a word before.
· Don’t waste too much time reading the passage. Just skim it to get an idea of what it is about.
· Look for key words in the question and answer choices. Refer back to the passage to find the answer.
· Some questions can be answered with information from the story. For other questions, you have to “read between the lines.”
· Say the words to yourself while you look at them. This can help you find the word with a spelling mistake.
· If you are not sure which answer is choose, take your best guess.
· Look for different kinds of spelling mistakes: missing letters, extra letters, and wrong letters.
Capitalization and Punctuation
· Take your time. Read each answer choice word by word.
· The first word of a sentence and proper nouns should be capitalized.
· First, skim the answers. Check for punctuation at the end of each sentence.
· Next, read each answer more carefully. Look for a missing comma, apostrophe, quotation mark, or other punctuation in the answers.
Usage and Expression
· Read each answer choice to yourself carefully. If one of the answers sounds wrong, it probably is wrong.
· Look for incorrect verbs and words that are spelled right but used wrong.
· Eliminate answer choices that you know are wrong. Choose the answer that is better than the others.
· Read the question and answer choices carefully. Look closely at fractions, decimals, numbers, and any picture that is part of the problem.
· Round numbers first and then perform the operation.
· Decide whether you should round numbers up or down.
Math Problem Solving
· Read the question carefully. Think about what operation you should use to solve the problem.
· Set the problem up on scratch paper. Transfer numbers carefully.
· If you solve the problem and it is not one of the answers, work it again before you choose “Not Given.”
Math Data Interpretation
· Look at the graph or chart for each problem
· If a problem seems complicated, try to say it to yourself in words you can understand better.
· The chart, table or graph will always have the information you need to solve the problem.
· Look at the numbers and operation sign carefully.
· Work the problems on scratch paper before you look at the answer choices.
· Set problems up carefully on scratch paper. When you are finished working the problem, cross it out so it doesn’t confuse you when you do another problem.