Testing

The NH Home Education law (RSA 193-A and the corresponding rules, Ed 315) requires homeschoolers to do yearly evaluations, and testing is one of the three options available. The California Achievement Test (CAT), the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), the Stanford Test, and the Personalized Achievement Summary (PASS) test are perhaps the most commonly used tests. Homeschoolers order these tests from special test providers, administer the tests at home, and then return the testing materials to the test provider for scoring. Costs for the test range from $25 to $60 per test. Typically, you have to pay for the return postage, although some services charge a shipping and handling fee that includes a postage-paid return envelope.

The state assessment test administered by your local school district can also be used; you should probably inform them at the time of notification if you plan to use that option.

If you are interested, we have put together a sample cover letter for parents to send with your test results to the participating agency. It is simply a suggestion or model. Please use your own judgment to decide what best suits your needs.

California Achievement Tests (CAT)

– This test is available for grades K-12. It comes in different editions and versions. The first edition of the CAT was developed in 1950. The most recent edition of the CAT is the sixth, or CAT/6. The CAT/6 is also called the “TerraNova, 2nd Edition” or simply the “Terra-Nova CAT.”

Testing services available to homeschoolers usually offer the CAT/5 (the fifth or 1992 edition); some services use an even older, 1970 version (the 3rd edition). Any of these editions are acceptable for meeting the evaluation requirement, but some people prefer to use the most recent edition.

Note that some testing services offer only the Basic Battery test (sometimes referred to incorrectly as the “Survey” test), which is an abbreviated version of the full (Complete Battery) CAT test. The Basic test covers fewer subjects (no science or social studies) and takes less time to administer, so it is usually cheaper.

The CAT is produced by the CTB Division of McGraw-Hill. To learn more about the test, go to the CTB website (www.ctb.com). Also, Spectrum Test Prep workbooks (grades 1-8) describe the CAT test content and format (not surprisingly, since McGraw Hill publishes both the test and the workbooks). These workbooks are available from many of the test providers and are also in most bookstores, including the online ones. Cost is about $9.95 each (or less from some third-party vendors).

Some places offering the CAT test:

Bayside School Services - PO Box 250, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948. (800) 723-3057. http://www.baysideschoolservices.com/ Offers a 1970 version of the CAT Complete Battery test (K-12). Cost: $60/test during the most in-demand months (Feb 2 through May 22) but cheaper if you order early (before Feb 1, $45; before April 1, $50). Expect 8 weeks or longer to receive results.

Brewer Testing Services - 2853 Davis Road, East Bend, NC 27018, www.brewertesting.com, 336-699-3997
New CAT/6 (Terra Nova CTBS), Iowa Tests, and the Basic Achievement Skills Inventory (BASI) plus other testing services. Test preparation materials, IQ testing and career testing.

Christian Liberty Press Independent Testing Service - 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60004. (847) 259-4444 http://ebiz.netopia.com/clpress/copyof/
Offers a 1970 version of the CAT Basic Skills test (Grades 2-12). Cost: $25/test (includes shipping). You do not have to be enrolled in their program to order the test and the “Curriculum Recommendation Service” is optional. Tests are hand scored. Expect 2-3 weeks to receive results.

Crosspointe Educational Services - PO Box 10, Willow Spring, North Carolina 27592, 919-341-1552, Toll Free 888-713-1249. http://www.cestesting.com/. CAT5 $45, Terra Nova $55.

Family Learning Organization - P.O. Box 7247, Spokane, WA 99207-0247. (800) 405-8378. http://www.familylearning.org. Offers the CAT/5 Complete Battery test. Cost: $35/test plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. You have two weeks from the time you receive the tests to return them for scoring. Expect 2-3 weeks to receive results. Available year-round.

Seton Testing Services – 1350 Progress Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630. (800) 542-1066. http://www.setontesting.com Offers the newest form of the the TerraNova, Second Edition/CAT 6 tied to 2005 norms. The cost of the TerraNova available in Complete Battery Plus and Survey Battery Plus is $45.00. They also still carry the 1998 CAT. This test is a survey version of the Basic Skills Battery (math, language, reading). You do not have to be enrolled in their Catholic Home Study program to order the test. Cost: $25/test (includes shipping). Expect 2-3 weeks to receive results.

Thurber’s Educational Assessments – 400 Clayton Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. (919) 967-5282. http://www.thurbers.net Offers the California Achievement Test (CAT/5) Complete Battery and Survey tests as well as the Terra Nova with computer-generated scores. Also offers the CAT/6 or TerraNova 2 which is machine-scored by the publisher. Group rates are available for testing 12 or more students. Order tests and practice tests online or through the mail.

Triangle Education Assessments LLC (www.TriangleEd.com) 2521 Schieffelin Dr, Ste 102, Apex, NC 27502, 877-843-8837, provides nationally standardized achievement and cognitive tests as well as practice, career, and college credit tests. We provide homeschool consultations, diplomas, and transcripts. We carry the Iowa ($39), TerraNova (CAT/6) ($55), Stanford 10 (paper and online) ($39 and $125), CogAT ($39), OLSAT (paper and online) ($39 and $65), Woodcock-Johnson ($95), BASI online ($65), and Brigance Tests ($65) for Grades K -12. Groups get discounts - call for quotes. orders@traingleed.com

IOWA Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) or the Stanford Achievement Test

The ITBS is virtually the same as the CAT test, but the test comes from a division of Harcourt-Brace (another textbook provider) instead of McGraw-Hill. However, unlike the CAT, the ITBS cannot be administered by just anyone. For the ITBS, the person administering the test must: have a Bachelor’s degree, or be registered as a certified teacher, or have experience as a “full time academic teacher in a conventional classroom” (specifically, not a homeschool).

The Stanford test requires the test administrator to have a Bachelor’s degree, and experience or training in test administration (watching a training DVD is enough), and you must have at least 2 or more nonrelatives testing in the same test group (similar grade level) at the same time. For either the ITBS or the Stanford, you must complete a one-time application for pre-approval before you can order the tests, so allow extra time for this step. Both of these tests are offered by:

BJU Press Testing and Evaluation - BJU Press, Greenville, SC 29614-0062. (800) 845-5731. www.bjupress.com Cost: $29/test (K-12). Note that you must create an account to purchase the tests.

Triangle Education Assessments LLC (www.TriangleEd.com) 2521 Schieffelin Dr, Ste 102, Apex, NC 27502, 877-843-8837, provides nationally standardized achievement and cognitive tests as well as practice, career, and college credit tests. We provide homeschool consultations, diplomas, and transcripts. We carry the Iowa ($39), TerraNova (CAT/6) ($55), Stanford 10 (paper and online) ($39 and $125), CogAT ($39), OLSAT (paper and online) ($39 and $65), Woodcock-Johnson ($95), BASI online ($65), and Brigance Tests ($65) for Grades K -12. Groups get discounts - call for quotes. orders@traingleed.com

The Iowa test is offered by:

Brewer Testing Services - 2853 Davis Road, East Bend, NC 27018, www.brewertesting.com, 336-699-3997
New CAT/6 (Terra Nova CTBS), Iowa Tests, and the Basic Achievement Skills Inventory (BASI) plus other testing services. Test preparation materials, IQ testing and career testing.

Seton Testing Services – 1350 Progress Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630. (800) 542-1066. http://www.setontesting.com IOWA Test of Basic Skills Grades K-12 starting from $29.00.

Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS) Test

The PASS Test is an untimed test developed specifically for homeschoolers in grades 3-8. Covers math, reading and language arts. Results show your child’s overall achievement and include suggestions for reaching goals in each assessment area. The PASS test is offered by:

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, P.O. Box 9, Washougal, WA 98671. (360) 835-8708. www.hewitthomeschooling.com Cost: $36/test (includes shipping). Tests should be returned within four weeks from the time you receive the testing materials. Expect to receive the results in 4-6 weeks.

Other Testing Options

Home Education & Family Services (HEFS) - P.O. Box 1056, Gray, Maine 04039. (207) 657-2800, http://www.royalacademyeducation.com/achievement-testing. Achievement tests, specific academic area testing, and special needs testing are administered one-on-one. Nationally normed individually standardized achievement tests are given in one day and written results are prepared that same week "in house". When parents receive the results in person, they have the opportunity to discuss observations, curriculum choices and important topics of concern. Will administer testing to homeschool groups. Regular testing is scheduled in North Carolina, Michigan, and New England.

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