Strategies for U.S. History Test Preparation

Across the country, eighth graders are preparing for their state social studies test and for the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills in Social Studies (ITBS) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Social Studies. This booklet is designed to help you prepare students for the ITBS and the NAEP. It allows you to provide a broad perspective or a national view for students examining the growth and development of our country. Ideally, it can be used as a practice and review before spring testing.


The ITBS measures students’ social studies knowledge with an emphasis on the use and understanding of concepts, principles, and selected types of visual materials. The content of the eighth-grade social studies test questions is drawn from geography, history, political science, economics, sociology, and anthropology. The NAEP surveys student achievement in the social studies areas of U.S. history, civics, geography, and economics. Both national tests are designed to use social studies content as the context for questions designed to measure broad understandings and concepts rather than specific skills.



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