Testing
Testing is a requirement in many states. We make it easy to comply with testing requirements by gathering information and resources for testing services all in one place.
What's Popular
Forest Trail Academy
Forest Trail Academy is an accredited K-12 online high school located in the United States of America committed to provide quality online distance education to students in USA and worldwide. They provide online school courses to all students including homeschoolers who want to enroll for Elementary school education (Kindergarten – Grade 5), middle school/junior high school for grades 6 to 8 and high school diploma programs for grades 9 to 12 students.
A Conversation with John Holt
In 1980, Marlene Bumgarner, a homeschooling parent, hosted author John Holt in her home while he was in California for a lecture tour. While he played in the garden with her two children, John and Dona Ana, she interviewed him for the bimonthly magazine Mothering. In this article, Holt answered such questions as, "What is your philosophy of learning?", "Why homeschool?", and "What about the child's social life?"
The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric
Opening the door for beginners who seek a thorough grounding in the first arts of human understanding, this book explains the nature of logic, grammar, and rhetoric-the three of the seven liberal arts-and how they relate to one another. In Renaissance universities, the trivium (literally, the crossing of three part way) formed the essence of the liberal arts curriculum. Examined are topics such as the nature and function of language, distinguishing general grammar from special grammar, the study...
Catholic Homeschool Companion
Here’s your one-stop resource for information, insight, and inspiration about every aspect of educating your children at home — written by those who understand it best: homeschooling parents themselves! Would you like to teach science or phonics better? Introduce your child to Latin, piano, or great works of art? Try new classroom approaches that other parents find effective? In these pages, you’ll find helpful essays from more than forty veteran homeschooling parents to help you do all this and...
Lesson Tutor
The Lesson Tutor website offers reproducible free lesson plans, print ready worksheets for all levels, all abilities and all subjects from Pre-school to High School, and cross curriculum unit studies. These learning tools are all free for you to print and use for personal or educatinal purposes.
Test Prep Services for Homeschoolers
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review offers personalized private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals. Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more. Covered tests include: ACT, AP, PSAT, SAT, SAT Subjects, TOEFL, ISEE, MCAT, DAT, OAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, CFA, and USMLE.
Testing Issues in the Homeschool
It's Time for the PSAT/NMSQT
Although this article has some outdated date information in it, it is a good discussion of the use of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) for homeschoolers, especially those who are interested in qualifying for certain scholarships.
Testing and Assessment: What Do the Tests Tell Us?
Many parents arrive in the world of gifted education with a report full of tests results, supposedly defining their child as "gifted." But more often than not, parents have more questions than answers upon receiving those test results. And just as often, the short answers from the psychologist, the school, the teachers, and other parents do more to confuse than clarify.
ACT vs SAT: Key differences between the ACT and SAT
ACT vs SAT: which test is a better fit for your student? Students may take whichever test they prefer (assuming there are available testing locations for both tests). If you’re not sure which test your child would prefer, consider the key differences between the ACT and SAT. Some students find that the ACT caters to their strengths more so than the SAT, and vice versa. Need a quick side-by-side comparison of the tests? Check out this ACT vs SAT Comparison Chart.
Testing in the Schools
John Holt's article in which he lists questions that should be asked of school districts' testing policies.
Students Against Testing
This website offers an alternative look at standardized testing. Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools.
The Evils Of Mandatory Testing
As home schooling grows as a movement, there is increasing politics from anti-home school forces to try to interfere with or legislatively control home schoolers. This has come to include legislative attempts to force home school students to take standardized tests along with public school students. But mandatory testing doesn't work in public schools, and it won't work for home schoolers.
What does the SAT measure? Aptitude? Achievement? Anything?
When the first SAT was created, it was named the Scholastic Aptitude Test, signaling that its creators and the education world believed it to be a test of aptitude, or, a student’s ability to perform well in college. Aptitude tests supposedly measure talents that indicate possible achievement in the future, while achievement tests supposedly reveal how much someone has learned in the past. All these years later, we know the test never really did measure anybody’s aptitude to do well in college.
What’s a Test? Why Unschoolers Test Scores Prove Nothing about Method
Most of us are familiar with the school perspective as so many of us have first-hand experience with it. It goes something like this: To learn, one must have a teacher dole out information. Your assignment as student, if you choose to accept it, is to work very hard to retain the information provided so you can score well on tests. When you score well on tests, you will be able to tack on four additional years of schooling by going to college. The better your test scores, the better the college you can attend. “Success” will ultimately be achieved when you getting a good job so you can make as much money as possible. Less familiar is the unschoolers perspective which goes something like this: “I would be against trying to cram knowledge into the heads of children even if we could agree on what knowledge to cram and could be sure that it would not go out of date, even if we could be sure that, once crammed in, it would stay in. Even then, I would trust the child to direct his own learning . For it seems to me a fact that, in our struggle to make sense out of life, the things we most need to learn are the things we most want to learn. ”
Homeschool Testing & Assessment Information
An overview of the testing and assessment requirements for homeschoolers in Virginia.
Evaluating Our Homeschooled Children
We've seen the various ways in which the state determines "achievement" and "progress" in a child's education both in the public school setting and the homeschooling requirements. Those options seem to be only snapshot glimpses into a child, without providing a full and true representation of any given child's scope of knowledge and learning. Tests are especially flawed in this area, yet provide one of the easiest and cheapest means of fulfilling the state requirement for "showing progress" in home education. While that remains a "hoop" Virginia homeschoolers may choose to jump through in order to continue homeschooling another year, the tests themselves don't really tell us how our children are doing. So how do we know if they are "doing okay?" To what objective standard can we measure them? Should we be measuring at all?
The Case for Authentic Assessment
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy 'items'--efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student's performance at those valued challenges.
The SAT vs. the ACT: Which to Choose?
Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take? It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. The Princeton Review Assessment (PRA) is designed to help you determine which test is better fit with your abilities.
Pros & Cons of Standardized Testing and Portfolio Evaluations
These are some pros and cons of meeting Virginia's August 1 requirement with standardized testing or a portfolio evaluation, the two most common methods. In considering the choices, keep in mind that the home instruction statute does not specify credentials for a test administrator or other evaluator and this is resigned to "the judgement of the division superintendent." Those new to homeschooling are apprehensive about this issue; those new to homeschooling in Virginia are also apprehensive about this issue; and those who've become seasoned homeschoolers in Virginia aren't any too thrilled with the issue either.
Testing Services, Suppliers, and Resources
PLATO Learning, Inc./eduTest Assessment
PLATO Learning, Inc. delivers just-in-time online assessments that are tied directly to state and provincial standards. Their courseware includes thousands of hours of basic to advanced level instructional content for K-adult learners. They provide web based assessments that assist in placement, progress monitoring, and accountability requirements with diagnostic and prescriptive tests, simulated high-stakes tests, lesson progress tests, standards-based tests, and cumulative tests.
Bayside School Services
Bayside School Services offers do-it-yourself standardized achievement tests, available all year. Bayside gives you original publisher materials plus genuine CTB scoring reports, including free practice tests for all grades where available. Test prices include shipping, handling, scoring and all practice tests. Special pricing available for group orders.
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review offers personalized private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals. Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more. Covered tests include: ACT, AP, PSAT, SAT, SAT Subjects, TOEFL, ISEE, MCAT, DAT, OAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, CFA, and USMLE.
Curriculum Associates
Offers BRIGANCE Screening and Inventories products. Designed for use in elementary and middle schools, the CIBS-R is a valuable resource for programs serving students with special needs, and continues to be indispensable in IEP development and program planning.
Seton Testing Services
Seton provides affordable, nationally standardized testing, including ability and achievement tests, practice tests, and test prep materials for homeschoolers, private schools, and home school groups. Testing services and materials are available for grades K-12. Tests include the Stanford 10 Online, CAT E-Survey, IOWA Form E, and TerraNova 2/CAT 6. Ordering is easy and you will get test results returned within two weeks. 
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.
Crosspointe Educational Services
Crosspointe Educational Services is a mail order service that offers state-approved Survey and Complete Battery California Achievement Tests (CAT) in an effort to meet your testing needs. Their flexibility allows you your choice of testing dates and the opportunity to administer the test in the comfort of your own home; or you may choose to test with your support group or choose someone outside your home school to test your student.
The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three and a half million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program®(AP).
Testing and Assesments FAQ
Find answers to your questions about homeschool evaluation and testing in the state of Virginia.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources/PASS Test
The PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers. It has certain similarities to other achievement tests in that it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math. But is has important differences. It introduces four major improvements over most achievement tests presently available. First, it was designed for parents to administer at home. This can greatly reduce the stress level of testing. Second, it is untimed, which helps students to relax. Third, the student's approximate achievement level within his or her grade is initially identified by use of a brief accompanying placement test. This assigns each child to a test level where he or she is more likely to succeed, and it also allows for shorter tests. Finally, testing results show overall achievement as well as performance in each subject. The test is standardized and children's scores are compared with both national and home-schooling populations. This does not mean that the test is nationally normed, but that the scores are equated to those of public school students taking one of the nationally-normed tests. The states of Alaska, New York, and North Carolina have officially approved the PASS Test for purposes of state reporting. In other states which require testing, you should check with your local school district to make sure it meets their requirements.
Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
Testing and Assesments FAQ
Find answers to your questions about homeschool evaluation and testing in the state of Virginia.
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review offers personalized private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals. Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more. Covered tests include: ACT, AP, PSAT, SAT, SAT Subjects, TOEFL, ISEE, MCAT, DAT, OAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, CFA, and USMLE.
Seton Testing Services
Seton provides affordable, nationally standardized testing, including ability and achievement tests, practice tests, and test prep materials for homeschoolers, private schools, and home school groups. Testing services and materials are available for grades K-12. Tests include the Stanford 10 Online, CAT E-Survey, IOWA Form E, and TerraNova 2/CAT 6. Ordering is easy and you will get test results returned within two weeks. 
The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three and a half million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program®(AP).
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.
Curriculum Associates
Offers BRIGANCE Screening and Inventories products. Designed for use in elementary and middle schools, the CIBS-R is a valuable resource for programs serving students with special needs, and continues to be indispensable in IEP development and program planning.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources/PASS Test
The PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers. It has certain similarities to other achievement tests in that it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math. But is has important differences. It introduces four major improvements over most achievement tests presently available. First, it was designed for parents to administer at home. This can greatly reduce the stress level of testing. Second, it is untimed, which helps students to relax. Third, the student's approximate achievement level within his or her grade is initially identified by use of a brief accompanying placement test. This assigns each child to a test level where he or she is more likely to succeed, and it also allows for shorter tests. Finally, testing results show overall achievement as well as performance in each subject. The test is standardized and children's scores are compared with both national and home-schooling populations. This does not mean that the test is nationally normed, but that the scores are equated to those of public school students taking one of the nationally-normed tests. The states of Alaska, New York, and North Carolina have officially approved the PASS Test for purposes of state reporting. In other states which require testing, you should check with your local school district to make sure it meets their requirements.
Bayside School Services
Bayside School Services offers do-it-yourself standardized achievement tests, available all year. Bayside gives you original publisher materials plus genuine CTB scoring reports, including free practice tests for all grades where available. Test prices include shipping, handling, scoring and all practice tests. Special pricing available for group orders.
PLATO Learning, Inc./eduTest Assessment
PLATO Learning, Inc. delivers just-in-time online assessments that are tied directly to state and provincial standards. Their courseware includes thousands of hours of basic to advanced level instructional content for K-adult learners. They provide web based assessments that assist in placement, progress monitoring, and accountability requirements with diagnostic and prescriptive tests, simulated high-stakes tests, lesson progress tests, standards-based tests, and cumulative tests.
Crosspointe Educational Services
Crosspointe Educational Services is a mail order service that offers state-approved Survey and Complete Battery California Achievement Tests (CAT) in an effort to meet your testing needs. Their flexibility allows you your choice of testing dates and the opportunity to administer the test in the comfort of your own home; or you may choose to test with your support group or choose someone outside your home school to test your student.
Featured Resources

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For the Learners' Sake: Brain-Based Instruction for the 21st Century
This proposal for a platform of education reform needed to prepare students for a 21st-century workplace and society draws on information and ideas from two current areas in neuroscience: brain research (physiology and applications to learning) and systems thinking (mental models). Analyzing the history of education methodology over the past two centuries, this book shows how the 19th-century factory model prevalent in schools today fail to produce the kinds of flexible thinkers and problem solv...
Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School
GUERRILLA LEARNING IS CREATING A HOME ENVIRONMENT THAT FILLS YOUR CHILD WITH THE JOY OF LEARNING Let your daughter read her library books instead of finishing her homework . Ask your eleven-year-old’s beloved third grade teacher to comment on his poetry. Invite a massage therapist to dinner because your daughter wants to go to massage school instead of college. Give your child the freedom to pursue his interests, develop her strengths, cultivate self-discipline, and discover the joy of ...
They're Your Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Home School Advocate
For many people, their schooling was uncomfortable, tedious, and sometimes a waste of time and energy. This book offers the idea that the public school system is tragically flawed and that we are able to do better for our own children. Sam Sorbo, mom of three and wife of actor Kevin Sorbo, took the leap into homeschooling and found the joy and success she was seeking. Included are strategies for working parents, those who are scared to take the leap, and anyone who wants the best for their child...
Free to Learn: Introducing Steiner Waldorf Earkt Childhood Education
Free to Learn is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood education. The author draws on kindergarten experience from around the world, with stories, helpful insights, lively observations and pictures. This inspiring book will interest parents, educators, and early years education students. It is up to date, comprehensive, and contains many illustrations, including a 16-page color section. Lynne Oldfield invites you to explore Steiner Waldorf kindergarten...
Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids: Successfully Parenting Your Visual-Spatial Child
Understanding how children learn best allows you to meet their needs and help them succeed. A visual-spatial learner remembers things in pictures and learns better with visual clues and strategies. This book addresses those needs and helps you figure out how to encourage this type of learner in your homeschool environment.