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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Homeschool Testing & Assessment Information
An overview of the testing and assessment requirements for homeschoolers in 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.
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 and Assesments FAQ
Find answers to your questions about homeschool evaluation and testing in the state of 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.
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Although this article has some outdated date information in it, it is a good discussion of the use of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying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.
Trust Tutoring
Trust Tutoring offers an Evaluation of Basic Skills, a standardized test of reading, writing, and math skills for ages 3-18.
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 h...
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.
Triangle Education Assessments
Triangle Education Assessments offers the Iowa Tests and Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement.
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. 
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.
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.
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 abo...
Future School
Future School online learning systems support your entire family in both the classroom and the home using only qualified teachers to ensure its educational services. They offer tutoring students in the home, classroom and after school facilities, providing both face-to-face, telephone and online assistance in the two core areas of literacy and numeracy. Future School has also many years experience in the development of Basic Skill Tests in mathematics and English covering years 3, 5, and 7, incl...
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
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.
Homeschool Testing & Assessment Information
An overview of the testing and assessment requirements for homeschoolers in Virginia.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
Testing in the Schools
John Holt's article in which he lists questions that should be asked of school districts' testing policies.
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.
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.
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, & Resources
Trust Tutoring
Trust Tutoring offers an Evaluation of Basic Skills, a standardized test of reading, writing, and math skills for ages 3-18.
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).
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.
Catforms Testing Service
Catforms Testing Service offers the 1970 California Achievement Tests with their own answer sheets and computer scoring. Key features of this system include graphical results in color, cumulative comparisons from year to year, and a detailed analysis of strengths and weaknesses in each area of the test. In addition to the original 1970 norms, they also have their own norms, the Catforms Percentiles, which are updated annually from the tests they have on file. The Catforms Percentiles are not a national norm, but are useful in comparing your students' performance with others from Christian schools and home schools today.
Testing and Assesments FAQ
Find answers to your questions about homeschool evaluation and testing in the state of Virginia.
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.
FairTest (The National Center for Fair & Open Testing)
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial. They place special emphasis on eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests, and preventing their damage to the quality of education. Based on Goals and Principles, they provide information, technical assistance and advocacy on a broad range of testing concerns, focusing on three areas: K-12, university admissions, and employment tests. FairTest publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Examiner, plus a full catalog of materials on both K- 12 and university testing to aid teachers, administrators, students, parents and researchers. They also have numerous fact sheets available on standardized testing and alternative assessment.
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.
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.
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.
Christian Liberty
To help you in the critical task of selecting appropriate materials for your child, Christian Liberty Press has developed several specialized services for homeschoolers. They can test your child and also provide a customized curriculum recommendation that is suited for your child’s skill level.
Featured Resources

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The Homeschooling Revolution
A readable, scholarly overview of the modern day homeschooling movement. Includes vignettes from homeschooling families, war stories, research information, media reaction, footnotes, and statistics.
Greenleaf Press
Greenleaf Press is a small family-owned and operated publisher and supplier of quality books for children. They are committed to "twaddle-free", living books, and approach teaching history to children using biography and chronology. You will find sec...
TruthQuest History
The TruthQuest History series consists of ten volumes that serve as guides for parent wishing to use real books in their approach to history education. They are full of book recommendations, along with information on the topics of study. There are al...
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education
Author Douglas Wilson makes the argument that education must have a foundation of religion, which informs worldview. Education is the asking and answering of questions, and learning to read and write is simply the process of acquiring the tools neede...