Academic Testing

Academic Testing

ITBS Testing


All Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Schools students in grades 2 – 8 take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) annually.
The ITBS is a norm referenced test. The scores register what students know. Students bring to school knowledge related to native ability, family education level, socioeconomic status, the language or languages spoken in the home, and life experiences, which are reflected in these scores.

Schools focus and organize this knowledge and add to it. While we hope to see a year’s growth from one year to the next, some of our Assumption students score 1 or more grade levels higher than the grade in which they are registered, so the growth each year in each subject area may not be one year’s growth as our students, especially those in our middle school, are already scoring above grade level. The students “max” out at 13+, and as is seen in the chart below, this happens in several subject areas for our 8thgraders, and they therefore do not show a year’s growth.

The ITBS is most effective when used to compare the progress of a single student over a period of several years.


Assessment of Catechesis/Religious Education (ACRE) Testing

The National Catholic Educational Association publishes the ACRE test format.

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The ACRE test is administered to all elementary students in 5th grade and in 8th grade in the Archdiocese of Denver.  Published by the NCEA (National Catholic Educational Association), the test is an assessment designed to strengthen catechetical/education programs.  Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the most recent catechetical documents, the purpose of the ACRE is to evaluate the effectiveness of a Religion program.

Students are tested in the following 8 domains:


  • God
  • Church
  • Liturgy and Sacraments
  • Revelation, Scripture, Faith
  • Life in Christ
  • Church History
  • Prayer/Religious Practice
  • Faith Literacy

The Four Pillars are also tested:

  • Creed
  • Liturgy and Sacraments
  • Morality
  • Prayer