What tests are required? What tests should my child take? What tests will colleges see and care about? How do I get those tests?
Students in grades 3, 5, and 8 are required by the homeschool law to be tested using a standardized achievement test. The law specifies a list of a few approved tests (see list at end of this post). Some are administered to a group, and others are administered one on one. Some homeschool co-ops or Christian Schools offer various standardized group tests, often in the spring. Of course, the local public school will administer their PSSA test to homeschool students if desired.
Some parents prefer their child to complete the required test in one sitting (an hour or so) using a individually administered test. I have a colleague who offers this test if desired. Other tests listed at the end of this post are approved by the state for administering in grades 3, 5, and 8.
The results from the tests mentioned above are only seen by your evaluator. The tests that colleges see and are interested in are the SAT, which is administered in grades 11 and/or 12 — and the PSAT, which is administered to 11th graders (and sometimes advanced 10th graders). Less frequently, colleges may request applying students to take the ACT test.
For more information about the SAT and PSAT, visit the www.collegeboard.org website. You can register there for one of their tests. They also offer the AP tests in specific content areas. We offer the PSAT test here each October to our 11th graders at Emmaus Baptist Academy and can accommodate a few homeschoolers. Contact me in September if you’d like your teen to be included in that testing.
The State Education Department has approved the following nationally normed standardized tests for use by home education programs if they choose not to take the statewide test:
1. California Achievement Test
2. Comprehensive Testing Program (CTPIV)
3. Iowa Test of Basic Skills
4. Metropolitan Achievement Test
5. Peabody Achievement Individual Test – Revised Version
6. Stanford Achievement Test
7. Terra Nova
8. Woodcock Johnson Revised Tests of Achievement III