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Constructed-Response Supplement

Iowa Schools can access the Constructed-Response Supplement to the Iowa Assessments here.


The CRS assessments are designed to measure important learning outcomes of students in reading, language arts, and mathematics at grades 3 through 12. In addition, the materials cover many elements of the Iowa Core, such as Key Ideas & Details, Craft & Structure, and Integration of Knowledge & Ideas (Reading); Conventions of Standard English, Text Types & Purposes (Language Arts); and Operations & Algebraic Thinking, Measurement & Data (Mathematics). In these assessments, students construct answers rather than select an answer. A variety of approaches can be used to correctly solve problems or respond to situations, many of the questions have more than one acceptable answer, and multiple modes of written communication can be used to answer questions (for example, words, diagrams, symbols, and calculations).

Content Description

Reading. The reading assessments are designed to measure students' ability to understand and interpret what they read, and to communicate their analyses and conclusions in writing. At each test level, the reading assessment consists of an extended reading selection followed by 6 to 11 constructed-response questions. Students provide their answers in a few words or in a sentence or two.

Language Arts. The language assessments are designed to assess students' written language skills. The assessments reflect the editing and revision stages of the writing process and the generation of ideas. The language assessments require students to demonstrate their proficiency in using the conventions of standard written English and their ability to apply generally accepted guidelines of effective writing. The assessments measure students' written communication skills, with a particular focus on the development and organization of ideas and the application of the conventions of grammar, usage, and expression in contextual situations. Specifically, the language assessments present students with stories, reports, and letters, and allow them to demonstrate the following communication skills in context: identifying writing problems and rewriting clauses and sentences to improve clarity, writing original sentences appropriate to a function, and identifying and/or correcting spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and usage errors commonly made at a particular level of development.

Mathematics. The mathematics assessments are designed to assess students' understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures; their ability to apply and integrate conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge in diverse contexts; and their ability to reason, solve problems, and communicate mathematically. The mathematics assessments consist of 10 to 17 open-ended exercises. Most exercises require students to explain their reasoning or justify their conclusions. Each exercise is presented individually or in a cluster that relates to a common data source presented in graphs, tables, or short paragraphs. The mathematics assessments require students to analyze and solve relevant problems, and to describe their thoughts and results using words, diagrams, graphs, symbols, calculations, and equations. The assessments also provide students with opportunities to: employ a variety of solution strategies to yield valid results, generate responses to problems that have more than one answer, establish and evaluate connections among mathematical concepts and procedures, and reason inductively, proportionally, spatially, and deductively. The specific mathematical content that provides the foundation for assessing these skills and abilities varies from grade to grade. Across grade levels, this content includes: number relationships, number systems and number theory, computation, estimation, patterns, functions, algebra, statistics, probability, geometry, measurement, and discrete mathematics.


Centralized scoring services are not available. At each level, a scoring guide developed by Iowa Testing Programs is available for use by educators. Alternatively, educators may develop their own scoring criteria to apply to each prompt.  

Materials and Support 

Iowa educators may access and print the following on the Iowa Testing Programs website:

·         Test booklets for Levels 9-17/18 in each of the three subject areas.

·         Direction for Administration for Levels 9-14 and Levels 15-17/18

·         Scoring guides for each test booklet at each level.

If you need assistance accessing the materials, please contact your district test coordinator.

These materials are restricted to use by Iowa educators.