ITBS PREPARATION ITBS Tests will be held at our school in February 2008
What is the ITBS? ITBS stands for Iowa Tests of Basic Skills ITBS is a different kind of test and students will most likely encounter new and unfamiliar material. ITBS is multiple-choice. ITBS is timed.
TIMING Take Your TIME! Even though the test is timed—don’t rush! But don’t WASTE time! Avoid lingering on any one question. If you come to a question you cannot answer, skip it and come back to it later. Don’t forget to also skip it on the answer sheet.
Six Steps of the Process of Elimination Write the question number and answer choices on scratch paper. Read the question. Read ALL the answer choices. On the scratch paper, cross off any choices that are obviously wrong. If there is only one choice left, that’s the correct answer! If there is more than one answer left, take an EDUCATED guess.
How to use Scratch Paper Eliminate articles and other extra words. Don’t write in complete sentences. Cross out mistakes—DON’T ERASE! Label notes, so you c an refer to them later.
How to answer vocabulary questions Cover up answers with one hand. Answers often plant ideas in your head about what the word means, and these ideas might be wrong. Look at each answer and consider its meaning. Eliminate if the word is obviously wrong.
Figuring out parts of speech is important (this is why we diagram sentences!) Words that serve as more than one part of speech can be confusing. For example….the word stand has multiple meanings. It is usually a verb, but in the phrase take a stand, it is not a verb. Knowing the part of speech may help you define the word.
Positive and Negative Words Even if you can’t remember a word’s definition, you may sense that the word has a positive or negative meaning.
Guessing Figurative Meanings Sometimes the ITBS will take a word with a common literal meaning and use it figuratively in a way that makes it seem unfamiliar. If you know that literal meaning, it may help you figure out the figurative meaning. For example…knowing the literal meaning of crumbled helps you guess that the figurative meaning might be to fall apart or weaken.
Synonyms and Antonyms The ITBS will ask you to select a synonym for each underlined word. Remember…synonym means the same.
LOOK for Vocabulary Clues Look for root words. Identify prefixes and suffixes. Decide the part of speech of the word. Try to determine the positive or negative connotations. Identify words with figurative meanings.
Six Steps to Reading Actively Use your scratch paper to write down the title or subject of the passage. Read the first paragraph. On the scratch paper, number that paragraph. Write one or two phrases that summarize the paragraph. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each paragraph. At the end, write a brief, one-sentence summary of the entire passage.
Helpful Reading Comprehension Terms Passage—the text you read before answering the questions Main Idea—what passage or paragraph is mainly about Theme—an idea raised by or discussed in the passage Summary—a brief statement of main points covered in a passage Setting—the time period and place in which a passage happens Figurative Language—language that describes one thing in terms of something else
Different types of Reading Passages Fictional Passages—parts of novels and short stories Informational Passages—have essay form Biographical Passages—tell true stories Poems—require students to infer meaning Functional passages—letters, speeches, advertisements, etc.
How to Read a Poem Read the Title—titles are helpful in figuring out the focus of the poem. Read the poem slowly and carefully—each word counts Look for figurative language—poems are rich because each word or phrase evokes emotion Summarize the main idea, theme, or lesson at the end of the poem—the meaning can also be found in the last stanza
General Strategies for Answering Reading Questions Read the questions carefully. Refer back to the passage and your active reading notes. Use the process of elimination. Don’t get stuck on difficult questions. Use key words to locate information.