The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE), in accordance with State Board of Education Regulation 43-220, requires the administration, scoring, and reporting of a norm-referenced test system. The purpose of the assessment is to better understand where children are in order to best meet their individual needs and to identify potential students for academically gifted and talented programs.
The ITBS is a comprehensive standardized assessment test that evaluates a student’s level in the major subject areas including Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Science. The language arts section includes reading vocabulary, and word analysis to assess how well students can recognize letters and letter-sound relationships. Reading comprehension is assessed using print, context, and picture cues to identify unfamiliar words; completing sentences that tell about a picture by choosing a word for filling in a blank; and answering multiple-choice questions after reading a brief story. The math section includes math concepts and problem solving which involves solving brief word problems and interpreting information presented in graphs and tables.
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) assesses learned reasoning abilities of students. The CogAT focuses on three areas of reasoning that research shows are closely related to success in school (1) The Verbal Battery measures students’ ability to reason with words and solve verbal problems. (2) The Quantitative Battery assesses their ability to organize and reason with quantitative concepts. (3) The Nonverbal Battery tests students’ ability to reason with figural drawings and invent strategies to solve novel problems. Since cognitive growth is a developmental process, performance on the CogAT can be given meaning by comparing an individual’s scores to those of a representative sample of peers who are the same age or who are in the same grade in school. Even though it measures reasoning abilities that are a critical component of all definitions of intelligence, the CogAT is not an intelligence test.