Accelerated Christian Education
Iowa & CogAT

Standardized tests help schools objectively assess students’ academic progress and potential from year to year. Accelerated Christian Education® (A.C.E.®), through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt® (HMH®), offers one of the finest achievement and aptitude test combinations available. The Iowa Assessments Form E Complete Battery (Iowa Complete) and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT®) Form 7 measure how students are performing on nationwide standards. The Iowa Complete is a large-scale achievement test that assesses students’ skills in reading, language, mathematics, social studies, and science. The test measures both foundation skills and higher-order thinking skills. The CogAT evaluates the development of students’ reasoning abilities using verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal cognitive tasks. When the two are taken together, the scores are a valuable tool, relating a student’s actual achievement with his or her ability and providing a wealth of information to parents and school staff. The CogAT Form 7 is administered in Levels 2, 5, and 8.

Iowa Assessments are only administered in campus-based schools that use A.C.E. curriculum and have a Ministry Service Agreement. The tests cannot be purchased by individual homeschool families. Students enrolled in Lighthouse Christian Academy, the distance education program of Accelerated Christian Education Ministries, will take these tests at no additional cost. For information about LCA, visit

Fall testing for new enrollments must be conducted at the beginning of the school year for accurate results. Please refer to the chart below for dates and deadlines. Testing a new student at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the year gives school administration insight into the growth achieved during the first year of attendance.

Iowa Assessments are available in two formats:

  • Paper Booklets (Levels K–12)
  • Online Testing (Levels 4–12)

Tests are administered two to three mornings, depending on the level being tested.

Order Dates for Test Materials Test Dates Deadline to Submit Tests*
Fall Testing July 25 – September 7 September 1 – October 7 October 15
Spring Testing January 9 – April 15 April 17 – May 23 May 30

*Tests are to be submitted to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Test levels are numbered to correspond roughly to the chronological ages of the students for whom they are best suited. Each student should be administered the test level based on his actual chronological age at the time of testing.

Use caution to ensure the proper test is ordered and given to each student. Since there is an academic year of learning between fall and spring testing, different tests are administered to the students in the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year in certain grade levels.

Follow the charts below to determine tests to be administered for both fall and spring testing.

Iowa Complete
Recommended Test Levels by Testing Period
  Grade Level Fall Spring
Paper K 5* or 5/6**
1 5/6 7
2 7 8
3 8 9
Paper and Online 4 10 10
5 11 11
6 12 12
7 13 13
8 14 14
9 14 15
10 16 16
11 17/18 17/18
12 17/18 17/18

*5 – Recommend for Kindergarten with Ace and Christi nonreading students.
**5/6 – Recommend for ABCs with Ace and Christi reading students.

CogAT Form 7
Recommended Test Levels by Testing Period
  Grade Level Fall Spring
Paper 2 8 8
Paper and Online 5 11 11
8 13/14 13/14

The Iowa Assessments measure what a student knows and can do efficiently. Therefore, the subtests are timed. The times have been established to give a student sufficient time to answer the questions. All questions are in multiple-choice format. Staying within the timed guidelines will give a more accurate test result.

How does the online testing work and why should I use it?

Online testing is an efficient and innovative method to evaluate student performance for Levels 4–12. (Students below 4th level will take the paper tests.) With online assessments you get automated capture, real-time reporting and scoring, and immediate normative analysis. There is no physical commitment on the part of school administrators to store, distribute, organize, or ship booklets and answer documents. The online testing format has minimal computer system requirements and provides computer readiness downloads and updates. These value–added benefits to test administrators and support staff dramatically reduce the investment of time and energy when evaluating student achievement.

  • Accelerated scoring and reporting provides reports in minutes and hours.
  • Assessments can be administered to a few students at a time (based on computer availability), while the rest of the students continue with their regular PACE work.
  • Innovative and robust technology is beneficial for large and small schools.

If you have any questions, contact A.C.E. at

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