Testing is mandatory for homeschoolers in GA starting in the 3rd grade and every three years thereafter making standard testing years 3rd, 6th, 9th (most use PSAT or SAT in later highschool). However, some colleges are now requiring a standardized test score in lieu of a graduation test for admissions. The 11th and 12th grade test are the same test so you can take this either year for your college admissions requirement. I did it as a EOCT and added it to my transcripts even though it wasn’t required at our schools we applied to. If your child was in a public and probably even a private school and taken out, you probably tested the last year they were there with either ITBS or Stanford. CRCT is a curriculum based test not a standardized test and neither it nor Gateway count per homeschool law, so do not count from those tests taken in public school, only the standardized one. Most testing is done in May – Aug. EAGLES offers a group and private testing each year in May. The posts for registration go out in Jan/Feb.
I recommend only doing 3rd grade up testing. There is really no need in testing younger grades and if you want to do so then get a practice test book available at any book store (Barnes and Nobles, etc) and give them a practice test and see how they do. It would only be for your info and would be good practice for coming years of testing and less stressful on a young child. Also the actual tests have to be read almost word for word (regardless of whether your child can read it’s only in the teacher’s edition) for all younger students.
What if my child is not grade level – you may order a lower grade level test to fulfill the requirement. This may also improve the overall test situation for your child as you are not setting them up to fail.
What’s the difference in ITBS/Stanford and recommendations? Take what you took before if you have tested before so you can properly compare scores and your child is used to it. If you were in public you probably took ITBS and if you were in private you may have taken Stanford. Stanford is not timed but rumored to be harder (more specific in Science and History than ITBS). Both test the same areas and are scored the same except Stanford adds a listening section (ITBS 3rd grade also has a listening section.) ITBS is timed but we can work with Special Needs situations and not time it.
Regarding Special Needs: I have done these tests for special needs as well. Basically what is usually done is it is not timed, turned in as such on the tests when I mail them in for grading and they are just not added into the national norm but they are graded based on the norms. In some situations I (or a helper) may end up reading the tests to the student, but we may not help in any way with the actual answer, just read the
question and options. (It may be necessary to test or finish testing on a different date.)
Practice for the tests: Bookstores such as Borders, etc. carry practice tests – McGraw Hill is a popular one. School Box in Gwinnett has a good selection of practice tests. Stanford specific practice tests can be
ordered from BJU and several other providers. In general the practice tests are usually a little harder than the actual test so don’t be alarmed and use it as a teaching tool. The CRCT has practice tests (previous years’
tests)available online at the GA Dept. of ED. website for FREE!
The results should not come as a surprise to a homeschool teacher. Each area is broken down specifically as to spelling, word usage etc. They also add explanations to the form.
Excellent scores – if your child scores several grades above where he is that doesn’t mean they are ready to jump those grades in school. Basically each section has questions spanning approx. 6 grades. There was probably only
one question in that section that was that top grade question and your child answered it (and the others) correctly. That is how the grade equivalent (GE) score works. If your child scores in the 90th percentile or above in the Core then they are qualified as Honors and 8th grade and up can join the National Honor Society. There are local chapters in Gwinnett and Hall County.
Poor test results could be attributed to many things and should not be taken as indicative of your homeschooling abilities. Low scores in areas just gives you things to work on in the coming year not an excuse to pack it in and give up on homeschooling!! You don’t turn your scores in to anyone and no one is coming after you for poor scores.
What do you do with the tests: Nothing!!! You turn them in to no one. Keep them on file for 3 years. Use the results if they are indicative of a need to improve a child in a specific area for the next year. Some parents
don’t even allow their kids to see the scores. Most schools (at least public ones) would not even take them for re-admission into a school, they will require a admissions test instead. Test because it is the law, it is nothing to be stressed over.
What about GATEWAY, CRCT etc. – Gateway is only a Gwinnett PS test and not required of or accessible by homeschoolers. CRCT is curriculum based, not nationally normed and does not qualify nor is it accessible for homeschoolers.
Are there other tests – yes these are just the ones I offer. The law states it must be nationally normed test is the only thing. ITBS and Stanford are the most popular in our area. CAT (California Achievement test) can
be ordered I believe through School of Tomorrow and Seton Testing and a few other sources and
can be administered by a parent (many tutors actually use this for needs assesment so you might want to do this yourself as opposed to paying a tutor). ITBS can also be administered by a parent but you must fill out
paperwork to be a tester, send them a copy of your 4 year college diploma, and be approved.
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