Sample questions for the Iowa Assessments Exam Grades 3-12
The Iowa Assessments exam covers the following 10 subject areas: Reading, Written Expression, Mathmatics-Concepts and Estimation, Science, Social Studies, Vocabulary, Spelling, Capitalization, Punctuation, and Mathmatics-Computation. At grades 3 and below two additional sections, Word Analysis and Listening, are also included in the exam.
For a more in-depth description of the Iowa Assessments exam, utilize our Frequently Asked Questions page to answer any questions you may still have.
In the Reading Section, students are given a passage to read followed by several questions about the passage. The student must read the passage and then answer the questions by selecting the answer that best answers the question from the choices provided.
Lucy was no ordinary girl. She had been born with a special gift, a gift other people considered to be unusual. When she was only 3 years old her parents noticed she had a special way with animals. She loved animals and the animals that she came into contact with were especially attracted to Lucy.
In the Written Expression section, students are tested on their writing skills - sentence structure, grammar and usage, verb tense and punctuation.
There are two types of questions in this section. The first type of question is similar to the Reading Sections - students are given a passage to read followed by several questions about the passage. In this section, the passage contains numbers to identify sentences and underlined portions to identify words or short phrases within the passage. Students should select the answer that best answers the question.
Sample question (Type 1):
q My brother’s name is Jason. w He is 5 years old. e Jason likes to pretend he is a super hero. r He keeps a red cloak and a black mask under his bed. At any time, he might run to his room, scramble under his bed and grab them. t The next thing you know, Jason dressed like a super hero, dashing around the house in his shiny outfit, pretending he can fly!
Sample question (Type 2):
Mathematics-Concepts and Estimation:
In the Mathematics-Concepts and Estimation section students will be given math problems that will test their understanding of numbers and math concepts. Some questions will include a picture or diagram that students must use to answer the question.
In the Science section, each question is designed to test a student’s understanding of science. Students must choose the best answer for each question.
In the Social Studies section, students are tested on their knowledge of social studies. The Social Studies section is divided into 4 sections, Civics/Government, Geography, History, and Economics.
In the Vocabulary section, students are tested on their word knowledge. Each question has a short phrase with one word underlined. Students must determine which of the available answers has the same or almost the same meaning as the underlined word.
In the Spelling section, students must look for words that are not spelled correctly. Each question will have four words and an option that says (No mistakes). If any of the first four words is misspelled, the student should mark the letter that corresponds to that word on the answer sheet. If none of the words are misspelled then the student should select the option that says (No mistakes).
In the Capitalization section, students must look at a short passage and determine if there are any mistakes in capitalization. If the student finds an error in capitalization, they must mark the letter that corresponds to the line that has the capitalization error on the answer sheet. If the passage has no capitalization errors then the student should select the letter that corresponds to the line that says (No mistakes).
In the Punctuation section, students must look at a short passage and determine if there are any mistakes in punctuation. If the student finds an error in punctuation, they must mark the letter that corresponds to the line that has the punctuation error on the answer sheet. If the passage has no capitalization errors then the student should select the letter that corresponds to the line that says (No mistakes).
In the Computation section, students are given math problems to test their ability to compute equations. Each list of answers will include and answer choice that says “N”, which means the correct answer is not given.
In the Word Analysis section, students will be given part of a word and a picture. The student will need to choose the answer that correctly fills in the blank section of the word.
In the Listening section, an adult reads the story and question. They are designed to test a student’s listening skills. Parents or the test administrator will read the story that corresponds to each question. After the story is read the adult will ask a question about the story. The student must then select the correct picture that answers the question. They should then mark the letter that corresponds to that answer on their bubble sheet answer form.
Sample question (read by adult):
Jimmy loved to run races. He competed in many cross-country races and at the age of only 9 he won his first gold medal in a 5 mile race. His parents were proud of Jimmy, not just for winning, but for having such a passion for his sport.