ASSESSMENTS

Although Texas homeschoolers are NOT required to take standardized tests (no, not even the TAKS), most homeschoolers choose to administer some type of nationally-normed achievement test yearly.  Third grade is when most homeschoolers begin letting their children take this type of test.  Some choose to administer tests every two years.  Others administer a test at the beginning of the year, and at the end of the year.  It is really up to you.  With that in mind, I've put together some web sources that could help.

Diagnostic tests-

Sonlight provides free diagnostic tests so you can determine at what level you should start your child.  I suggest testing them at a level below what you think they should be on. 

Mindsprinting- Take free reading and math assessments here. The site provides tutoring sheets to help teach the concepts that your child need help with.  The price for tutoring sheets is around $50 per year.

Placement tests

Below are some tests to help you in determining your child's learning level.

 

Saxon Math

Singapore Math

Sonlight-  Assessments for math and reading

K12  has printable Math and Language arts tests

PHILOSOPHY BEHIND TESTING

Before testing, you should understand the arguments for and against standardized testing.  Here are a few articles to get you started.

Standardized Testing by Katie Young

Pros and Cons in a Nutshell by John Messerli

College Admissions for Homeschooled Students  by Greene and Greene

 

TESTS RESOURCES

The Oklohoma Homeschool contains a list of the various assessments available. It also has great info on record keeping.

Texas TAKScan be found here. 3rd grade to 11th grade.  The online interactive forms of TAKS are also available. You will need to scroll down to see the tests.

Homeschoolertests.com explains the difference between the Iowa and the Stanford tests.

 

SELF ASSESSMENTS

Let's Go Learn has good tests.  These are the DORA (reading) and DOMA (math) tests.  Read about these on their website, but purchase from Homeschool Buyers Co-op. You will get a 25%  discount.

Mindsprinting offers free reading and math assessment.

Another way to have a record of your childrens' work is to put together a  portfolio. Doing a diagnostic test may be what you need.  This is a test that you would administer at home.  To find out about diagnostic testing and where you can purchase such a test, check out the EDUDPS web site.

If you choose to administer your own test, here are some tips to help you and your children prepare.

 

FAQ  -  Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between the Stanford Achievement Test (Stanford 10) and The Scholastic aptitude test(SAT)? Many people confuse these tests.  The Stanford Test is  the standardized test used by most school districts.  More details here The SAT is a test a standardized test for college admissions.More info on the SAT can be found here.

Some homeschoolers use tests other than the Stanford 10. Why?  The reasons vary.  Some tests have limitations on who can administer the tests.  Most of these decisions are based on the child's needs as well as the parent's views regarding testing . If your child gets "stressed out" by the process, you may want him/her to be tested in more familiar surroundings so that you can get a truer measure.  If your child is college bound, you may choose to expose him to testing surroundings that would mimic what he would experience when he takes the SATs for college admissions. For more info on the different tests, click here

 

Practice Tests

If you would like to give your child practice on taking practice tests, but do not want to spend money on workbooks, here is a suggested solution.

You can go to catpin Productions and create, then print bubble answer sheets to match the tests you print from quizhub.

Go to quizhub and look at the "practice tests for state exams".  I've reviewed this site, and this is what I think of the various links I sampled.

California has printable PDF format tests for English, Math, Reading, History and Science.

Florida has Reading, math, and Science tests for 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 10th grade

Illinois has sample Reading and Math tests for 3rd through 8th grade

Indiana has sample tests from several years for 3rd to 10th grade

Massachusetts has an online database that can generate questions by grade level 3rd through  high school.  You can also filter by subject. I love this site because they can do the test online. Then you can re-generate the test and have it show answers.

Michigan site does not provide much.

New Jersey has a very limited sample.

The NY Regents exam site has a lot of sample tests complete with teacher handbooks, answers, and sections for listening.

Texas has an interactive version of the TAKS.