Achievement Testing

NVCA conducts ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) testing each Fall. The ITBS is a norm referenced test, comparing individual student’s performance to other students nationally in the same grade who took the same test.

School Percentile Definition
95th Percentile = national school norms indicating our school grade is in the top 5 percent of school grades nationwide who took the Iowa Test.

What type of test is the ITBS?
The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) is a nationally standardized, norm-referenced test (NRT).

What is a “nationally standardized, norm-referenced test (NRT)”?
An NRT compares student abilities to each other rather than to a criteria. Thus the TBS allows educators to get a look at the performance of their students in relation to the rest of the nation.  An NRT is designed to highlight achievement differences between and among students.

What does the ITBS measure?
The ITBS measures the skills and achievements of students and provides an in-depth measure of important educational objectives.  It also yields reliable and comprehensive information about the development of students’ skills and their ability to think critically.  It measures students against their peers nationally.

Why don’t NVCA students take the A.I.M.S. test?
Students at NVCA do not take the A.I.M.S. test (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards) test because as a state “standards” test, it provides no comparison data of achievement between NVCA students and other students across the entire country. As our curriculum exceeds the AZ state minimum standards, we believe that the ITBS is a better measurement indicator of our student’s performance.

What does NVCA do with the test results each year?
NVCA uses the ITBS test results to track trends in student performance for each subject across the grade levels. We have several years of data, which provides an excellent history for evaluating specific classes of students and trends in the school. While not the only parameter we use for evaluating our school programs, achievement tests do provide a useful metric for evaluating the end results of implementing new textbooks, classroom programs, teaching styles, etc.