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.
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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.
Testing and Assesments FAQ
Find answers to your questions about homeschool evaluation and testing in the state of Virginia.
Homeschool Testing & Assessment Information
An overview of the testing and assessment requirements for homeschoolers in Virginia.
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.
Testing in the Schools
John Holt's article in which he lists questions that should be asked of school districts' testing policies.
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
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.
Homeschool Testing & Assessment Information
An overview of the testing and assessment requirements for homeschoolers in Virginia.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources
Trust Tutoring
Trust Tutoring offers an Evaluation of Basic Skills, a standardized test of reading, writing, and math skills for ages 3-18.
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.
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.
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. 
Testing and Assesments FAQ
Find answers to your questions about homeschool evaluation and testing in the state of Virginia.
Triangle Education Assessments
Triangle Education Assessments offers the Iowa Tests and Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement.
Thurber's Educational Assessments
Offering the California Achievement Test (C.A.T./5), specifically the C.A.T./5 Complete Battery and the C.A.T./5 Survey. They also offer TerraNova CTBS and TerraNova 2 (CAT/6) for homeschools, private schools, or organized groups. Test results are sent directly to you, helping you understand your student’s academic standing.
Bob Jones University Testing and Evaluation Services
Offers the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), the Stanford Achievement Test, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), and the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). There are some specific guidelines for administering these tests, including requirements in some cases for a bachelor's degree, teacher certification, and/or special training in test administration. Also offered are test support products designed to help your child achieve higher test scores.
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.
Featured Resources

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Elementary Geography
Elementary Geography is a reprint of the original work by Charlotte Mason. It includes her ideas about teaching children about their world, with poetry selections throughout the book. Explores ideas of place from space to our earth, seasons, map making, and topography. Written in a pleasing conversational style, it is useful for understanding teaching methods, memorization, and copy work. 
The Absorbent Mind
In response to the crisis in American education, more than five thousand public and private schools across the nation have adopted the timeless Montessori Method of teaching, of which this book is the cornerstone. Written by the women whose name is synonymous worldwide with child development theory, The Absorbent Mind takes its title from the phrase that the inspired Italian doctor coined to characterize the child's most crucial developmental stage: the first six years.A new foreword by John Cha...
But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature
This book by Dr. Susan A. McDowell  uses research, statistics, and the experiences of homeschooling families to answer questions and counter myths about homeschooling and socialization. Read through a discussion of the multiple meanings of socialization, what parents, leaders, and children have to say about the issue, and what the research shows. 
Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives
For the first time, Basic Montessori opens the celebrated philosophy and method to a more general public. David Gettman has devised a clear and modern explanation of Montessori's revolutionary ideas about early intellectual development, and provides a step-by-step guide to the Montessori learning activities most commonly used with under-fives. These include activities for introducing reading and writing, counting and decimal concepts, science, and geography, as well as activities that help dev...
Home Organizing Workbook: Clearing Your Clutter, Step-By-Step
Failing the Mary Poppins' snap-the-fingers approach to cleaning, here's the next best thing: an utterly practical handbook that offers lasting results for anyone looking to banish clutter from every room in the house. Home organizer par excellence Meryl Starr offers up her hardworking organizing solutions in The Home Organizing Workbook, a straightforward guide to getting organized. The room chapters begin with targeted questionnaires that help the reader identify specific organizational problem...