Types of Standardized Achievement Tests
Numerous standardized tests can used to meet homeschool testing requirements. Three of the most popular tests used differ somewhat in format and are widely available. If possible, try using the same testing format from year to year to better chart your child’s learning scores.
California Achievement Test – this multiple choice test assesses children on language arts and math skills. The CAT breaks the testing into five categories that incorporate spelling, reading comprehension, language mechanics, math concepts, and practical math applications. An optional science and social studies portion is also available. Tests can be purchased online and administered at home by parents. The test process is relatively short and children that are more comfortable in their regular home setting sometimes prefer this format.
Iowa Test of Basic Skills – The ITBS is a lengthier test, usually taking two to three days to complete. The test covers vocabulary, word analysis, listening, language skills, math, science, and social studies. Test administrators must meet certain qualifications, and oftentimes the tests are given at a local school or testing center in a group setting.
Woodcock-Johnson Test – The Woodcock-Johnson, commonly referred to as WJ-III, is a testing alternative for families who prefer more personalized testing. The test assesses intellectual ability, cognitive ability, oral skills, academic achievement, and scholastic aptitude. Much of this test is in oral format, and bubble-in answers are not required. The test is given by a test proctor that has been trained in administering the WJ-III. Contact your local homeschool support groups for WJ-III contact referrals.