IOWA Algebra Aptitude Tests: 20 Important Facts you need to Know

By | July 17, 2023
IOWA Algebra Aptitude Tests
The IOWA Algebra Aptitude Tests are applied to assess students’ readiness for Algebra I.

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) is an exam conducted in groups and an algebra placement test that takes a whole of 50 minutes. It’s designed mainly for Grades 7 and 8 students.

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) is also suitable for students in both lower grades and high school and junior college students.

Scoring options for the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) include Riverside Scoring Service and hand scoring.

Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) is a trademark of Riverside Insights and is used to assess students’ readiness for Algebra I.

Any additional support and intervention that students may need to become successful in the algebra classroom are also included in the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT).

20 Important Facts about IOWA Algebra Aptitude Tests you need to Know

Here are important facts and tips you need to know to do well in the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT):

  1. The IOWA Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) is for Grades 7 and 8

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) is an exam conducted in groups and an algebra placement test that takes a whole of 50 minutes.

It’s designed mainly for Grades 7 and 8 students. However, accelerated students and those in high school or community college can still make use of the test.

  1. What does IOWA Algebra Aptitude Test measure?

Riverside Publishing Company developed the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test and it’s widely used to measure the student’s readiness for algebra.

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test also integrates other math standards like statistics and geometry. The reason for the test is to measure how well a student understands these concepts that are thought of as necessary for moving through grade levels.

  1. Why do I need practice tests for my IAAT exam?

There are several practice tests for Iowa Algebra Aptitude Tests (IAAT) you can make use of to familiarize yourself with the test’s mathematical concepts and testing format, and also help eradicate test-taking anxiety.

  1. The features of the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT)

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) has the following features:

  • Alignment to the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM) standards, ensuring that skills evaluated are related to the current Algebra curriculum.
  • Two parallel forms enabling both pre-testing and post-testing.
  • The same high standards of trustworthiness and soundness as the original Iowa Assessments Form E.
  • Administration that is suitable for one class period required for efficient delivery.
  • Riverside Scoring Service for accurate and appropriate results.
  1. The contents of the IOWA Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT)

Tutors find the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) a valid and reliable means to evaluate algebra readiness designed and developed to NCTM standards.

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test contains the following parts:

  • Part One: Pre-Algebraic Number Skills and Concepts: Evaluates how well students understand mathematical skills and concepts required to succeed in an algebra course.
  • Part Two: Interpreting Mathematical Information: Evaluates students’ abilities to learn new materials presented in graphs or text.
  • Part Three: Representing Relationships: Evaluates how well students can find formulas for numerical relationships.
  • Part Four: Using Symbols: Evaluates students’ abilities to understand important symbols of algebra and their use.
  1. What are the technical qualities of the IOWA Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT)?

The University of Iowa developed the IAAT Fifth Edition to meet the highest standards for test quality.

To guide educators in the use of IAAT results, there is a manual for test use, interpretation, and technical support available for purchase.

And there is also an availability of item norms contained in the manual.

  1. What is the purpose of the IOWA Algebra Aptitude Tests?

The purpose of the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test, a standardized exam administered to students in Iowa public schools who are about to be enrolled in high school, is to evaluate how prepared every student is for high school-level algebra courses based on their mastery of the concepts taught in middle school pre-algebra courses.

The results of the test are utilized by educators to place students in the classes where they feel they are most likely to do well.

Preparing well for this test in advance of the exam date will help you answer the exam questions to the best of your ability and also reduce the nervousness this test may cause.

  1. What are the four IAAT subtests?

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) has four subtests designed to create functions. These include:

i. Pre-Algebraic Number Skills and Concepts (evaluates your ability to utilize mathematical concepts in solving equations)
ii. Interpreting Mathematical Information (focuses on reading mathematical graphs and the definitions of terms).
iii. Representing Relationships (you need to recognize the rules that determine the relationship between numerical information presented in either graph or written form).
iv. Using Symbols (measures your ability to identify and apply commonly-used algebraic symbols like brackets, parentheses, as well as the less than and greater than symbols).

  1. How to prepare for the IOWA Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT)

There are six steps you should take if you desire to prepare for the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test, including:

i. The first preparation step

Make a review of your old tests and notes and assignments from your previous pre-algebra courses.

The four subtests of the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test demonstrate that the exam seeks to measure your understanding of almost every concept in pre-algebra.

Therefore, while studying for your tests don’t leave out any material.

ii. The second preparation step

While reviewing your old class materials, observe any concepts that you are not clear about.

Note down any rules, definitions, mathematical formulas, or symbols on which you need explanation.

iii. The third preparation step

Schedule to meet with your pre-algebra teacher to go over the concepts on your list. Ask the teacher to work through math problems with you until you have gained the confidence and understood the concepts discussed.

iv. The fourth preparation step

You can boost your knowledge of pre-algebraic concepts by taking practice tests. You can find questions that look like those found on the exam towards the end of this article.

The Edna Public Schools website ( also contains a sample IAAT test with questions similar to those found on the exam.

Invest in textbooks to solve problems listed in them. However, if you don’t have a textbook, request that a pre-algebra tutor at your school permit you to borrow one.

Furthermore, there are numerous downloadable sample worksheets on different topics in pre-algebra on the KUTA Software website ( you can use in your preparation.

v. The fifth preparation step

Throw lights on any sample problems that you had trouble with once you have completed several practice tests.

Seek advice from the tutor once more and ask for additional assistance in solving the problems.

vi. The sixth preparation step

Carry out one last run-through of your pre-algebra materials the night prior to the exam.

Reviewing your materials on time will give you chance to sleep well and have enough rest before the exam commences.

  1. IOWA Algebra Aptitude Tests Scoring options

Iowa Algebra Aptitude Tests scoring options are classified into central scoring and hand scoring through Riverside Scoring Service.

Riverside Scoring Service offers central scoring for timely and accurate results.

11. Central scoring through Riverside Scoring Service

This provides quick, effective, and accurate scoring of IAAT through Riverside Scoring Service.

The Basic Service Plan contains one copy of the Ranked List of Student Scores with Class, Building, and System Summaries.

A student data file is obtainable for a small per-student fee.

  1. IAAT hand scoring

IAAT can be scored by hand. Self-scoring answer documents are provided for hand-scoring of IAAT.

You can place your order for the hand-scoring tool if it seems important to you.

  1. What should I know about the IAAT Exam?

The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test is a placement exam that students take before their entry into high school.

The test consists of 60 questions that are divided into four subtests. Students will be given a total of 40 minutes to finish the whole test. This means that 10 minutes are given for a test.

This aptitude test has multiple-choice questions and may require your child to utilize the information that is shown in a picture, graph, or diagram.

The students will be given five scores that display their performance on the IAAT exam. One score is for each subtest and a combined test.

The student’s raw scores, standard scores, their local percentile rank, and national percentile rank are also provided on the score report.

The scores may not determine a pass or a fail status but how they perform is still vital. The child’s score report will be used to assist the teachers and administrators place them in an appropriate secondary math course.

  1. The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) results

In order to sit for the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) in January all through March, students of Fairfax County Public Schools have to access a Sixth Grade Advanced Math curriculum.

The results from this test are utilized as a part of the course placement process for Algebra 1 Honors in Grade 7, and will be obtainable in April.

  1. The IAAT score reports for students scoring at the 91st percentile or Higher

Raw scores are reported for the following areas of the Common Core State Standards:

  • Expressions & Equations
  • Statistics & Probability
  • Ratios & Proportional Relationships
  • The Number System
  • Geometry
  • Functions.
  1. The motive of the information on student performance

The information on student performance is planned to help educators in the following ways:

  • Determine the algebra readiness of students
  • Determine preliminary placement of students in the secondary mathematics curriculum
  • Identify student strengths and weaknesses
  • Evaluate instructional programs.
  1. The IAAT measures your readiness for abstract thinking

Your readiness for abstract thinking is measured using IAAT. A student’s mastery of pre-algebra content is assessed with the mathematics SOL test.

But your readiness for a high-school algebra course and your mastery of pre-algebra content should carefully be considered without the SOL test score.

  1. The IAAT is intended to assist educators and counselors

Educators and counselors use the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Tests to make knowledgeable decisions concerning the first placement of students in the secondary mathematics curriculum.

The IAAT also provides additional information about mathematics achievement and foundational knowledge, as well as algebra readiness.

  1. Ensure you can adequately perform skills and operations

It’s a part of the preparation to make sure you can satisfactorily perform skills and operations from each of the subtest areas.

It’s very important for students to complete practice worksheets to make sure they are comfortable with each mathematical area.

Students should be allowed to practice using math games if they seem to learn better in an interactive format.

  1. The first, second, third, and fourth subtests

You can expect the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Tests (IAAT) in the following subtests:

  • The first subtest

The first subtest will analyze your knowledge of pre-algebra skills, having questions that require you to perform computations and solve word problems to prove how well you understand a range of pre-algebra concepts.

  • The second subtest

The second subtest is about how students interpret mathematical information. This segment of the test will assess how well you can use information that is shown in graphs or text to answer questions.

It’s predominantly important that you develop an adequate knowledge of math vocabulary so as to score well on this subtest.

  • The third subtest

In the third subtest, your knowledge of how to represent a math relationship will be assessed.

You will be given information in verbal form or in the form of a table of information to determine the rule that defines the numerical relationship.

  • The fourth subtest

The fourth subtest makes you demonstrate your knowledge of mathematical symbols. You will need to prove your knowledge about essential algebra symbols and how they are used.

IOWA Algebra Aptitude Tests Practice Questions and Answers

These practice tests will help you prepare well for your Iowa Algebra Aptitude Tests (IAAT).

They include:

Question 1

Identify the column that contains a fruit that grows on a vine at the top of the column and fruit that is a kind of berry at the base of the column:

Answer and explanation

The correct answer is D.

The only option that sticks to the properties mentioned above is the fourth option. Grapes can be described as a kind of fruit that grows on vines, while strawberries are a kind of berry.

The grapes in the fourth option are at the top of the column and the berries are at the bottom.

Question 2

Godfrey rides home from work on his bicycle. He stops at the pharmacy and again at the grocery on the way home.

How many miles did Godfrey ride in all if the pharmacy is ten miles from work, the grocery is three miles from the pharmacy, and the home is eight miles from the grocery?

A. 8 miles
B. 10 miles
C. 21 miles
D. 18 miles

Answer and explanation

The correct answer is C, 21 miles.

You simply need to add up all of the distances in order to answer this question. Now, 3 miles is the distance from the pharmacy to the grocery, and 8 miles is the distance from the grocery to home, then the total distance is 21 miles since the distance from work to the pharmacy is 10 miles.


Therefore, 21 miles is the correct answer.

Question 3

Below is an example of a math word problem question that can possibly appear on the Iowa Assessments Level 9 Math test:

The normal temperature in Chicago in October is higher than the normal temperature in London in April and lower than the normal temperature in London in September. What could be the normal temperature in Chicago in October?

A. 9°C
B. 11°C
C. 12°C
D. 19°C

Answer and explanation

The correct answer is (C) 12°C.


Look for the average temperatures in London in April and September:
11°C is the average temperature in London in April.
17°C is the average temperature in London in September.

The temperature in Chicago in October is thus higher than 11°C and lesser than 17°C. Answer choice (C), 12°C, fits.

Therefore, the correct answer is (C).


The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) consists of four subtests. The test is also designed to help teachers determine a student’s readiness for Algebra 1.

The IAAT is administered through a computer. The test’s raw scores, standard scores, and national percentile ranks are all reported in four areas, such as pre-algebra number skills and concepts, interpreting mathematical information, representing relationships, and using symbols.

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