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Anyone done ICAS testing as homeschoolers?


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#1 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 06:25 PM

My daughter (9) has never had to sit an exam under real exam conditions and I'm thinking that it's time to start the process of preparing for this.

 

I've come across ICAS testing, which is for Australia, NZ, SE Asia and South Africa, I believe.

 

Have any of you done the ICAS tests as homeschoolers?

 

I'm hoping that a first step could be to do one of the tests at home, under our own exam-type conditions, and then maybe next year or beyond we could do it with an invigilator.

 

Any thoughts?


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#2 Vlad

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:03 PM

We're going to try this year - however the pack comes in 3 so we're trying to find two more homeshoolers to join us.  


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#3 Pegs

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:26 AM

I'm considering having DS do a couple of them as part of building a case in favour of homeschooling. Family court thing. 'Nuff said, right?

#4 Pegs

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:14 PM

DS is keen. Looks like we're in. :)

#5 Pegs

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 06:24 PM

DS will be sitting for grade 2 science, mathematics, English.

If anyone in Australia would like to share in our order, please let me know. I'm going to have to order extra tests anyhow.

#6 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 06:50 PM

DS will be sitting for grade 2 science, mathematics, English.

If anyone in Australia would like to share in our order, please let me know. I'm going to have to order extra tests anyhow.

 

One thing I pondered was whether to go with chronological age (the grade she'd be in if in school) or go with the grade level she's currently working at.

 

I guess if it's just for the experience, it doesn't really matter. I just know from experience that if it isn't challenging, she's won't engage with it.

 

 

Are you just going to have your son sit it at home?



#7 Pegs

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 06:59 PM

One thing I pondered was whether to go with chronological age (the grade she'd be in if in school) or go with the grade level she's currently working at.

I guess if it's just for the experience, it doesn't really matter. I just know from experience that if it isn't challenging, she's won't engage with it.


Are you just going to have your son sit it at home?


If it's just for the experience, you might as well test out of level for a bit of challenge. :)

I'm testing DS according to the year he'd be in in school because I figure that's kind of the point of standardised testing, and I also want to give him the best chance of tippy toppy scores because I think it could really go a long way in advocating for keeping him at home. It might also open doors for gifted programs run by our local uni. We don't have IQ scores, so it would be good to start building a bit of a paper trail showing achievement in the top whatever percent of his peers.

Yes, we'll do it at home. He's done the NME already under exam conditions at the kitchen bench, and the Enigma maths comp online.
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#8 Pegs

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:03 PM

I'm in a state where we can register either by grade level, or primary/secondary. We're registered as working at primary school level, just generally.

Officially, DS could be in grade 1 or 2. He wants to be in 3, but I've decided to tell him that he's in grade 2, but working at different levels in different subjects.

We'll consider an 'official' grade skip later if it ever becomes necessary in order to access services or experience which would be otherwise not available to him.

#9 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:40 PM

I'm in a state where we can register either by grade level, or primary/secondary. We're registered as working at primary school level, just generally.

Officially, DS could be in grade 1 or 2. He wants to be in 3, but I've decided to tell him that he's in grade 2, but working at different levels in different subjects.

We'll consider an 'official' grade skip later if it ever becomes necessary in order to access services or experience which would be otherwise not available to him.

 

I'm in QLD and registered with the HEU here. We don't need to specify grade at all, which is one thing I love about our system here. 

As long as we demonstrate progress and a broad range of topics, resources and activities at the child's level, the powers-that-be just leave us be for another year.

 

For the purposes of testing, however, I'm not sure what I'd do. My daughter just doesn't engage with work that's too easy, and that's when she actually makes mistakes.

 

I haven't ordered any of the ICAS tests yet, but it's still on my radar, because I think some familiarity with test procedures is a good idea.


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#10 Grover

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:57 PM

I host our local homeschool community for ICAS - I invite entries and then supervise them in my home (I'm  registered teacher).  I have to have my own kids do them under someone else's supervision for their scores to be counted though, which WAS fine, because another homeschool mum was also a registered teacher so we supervised together and she did my kids and I did hers.  Unfortunately she has moved on and no other homeschooling parents have answered my plea, so this year I will be supervising other people's children while they do it, and sending my own kids to a school with their papers to do theirs (the school is where a friend works, so they're good with that).  It's worth it for us to do the supervision properly though, because both kids have won multiple medals so far, and I'd hate for them to have them invalidated  because the supervision wasn't done properly. 

 

Both of mine do them a year ahead of their level if they were at school - DD because she is on the cut off anyway, and going younger doesn't make sense for her and DS because I entered him for the experience a year too young, intending to do that level again "properly" the next year but he medalled, so we couldn't really repeat!  It's not even remotely close to the level either of them are actually working at, but there is still enough to challenge them, and it's GREAT for showing them that "check your work" isn't just something I say because I feel like it, lol!  Silly mistakes have cost DS at least two medals, possibly another one or two - and I'm talking mistakes he recognised as soon as he looked at the paper. 


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#11 Pegs

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 08:14 PM

It's worth it for us to do the supervision properly though, because both kids have won multiple medals so far, and I'd hate for them to have them invalidated because the supervision wasn't done properly.


Oh, right! Thanks for the heads up. I'll look into finding someone qualified to supervise JIC DS medals.

#12 Pegs

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:40 PM

Fresh from my inbox:

"Important note, Home schooled students are not eligible for ICAS Medal awards."

:(

I don't think I'll tell DS.

#13 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 04:17 PM

Fresh from my inbox:

"Important note, Home schooled students are not eligible for ICAS Medal awards."

:(

I don't think I'll tell DS.

 

Maybe it's worth calling them to clarify/confirm this? 

 

Everything I'd heard about the ICAS said that homeschooled students were eligible as long as the testing was invigilated by a registered teacher.

That particular note may refer to non-supervised students? I hope so, for your son's sake.

 

All the best to him!


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#14 Pegs

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 06:25 PM

You're right. I'll seek clarification. :)


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#15 Grover

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 08:53 PM

Homeschooled students ARE eligible.. we have 8 of them in this house.  They have to be supervised by an independenet, registered teacher who signs a declaration that it's all legit.


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#16 Pegs

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 09:04 PM

Thanks, Grover.

#17 Grover

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 09:57 PM

from their Ts and Cs which you can only see once you are registered and can log in (sigh).  I assume it's the same for Aus.

 

20.2 Registered home-schooled students are not eligible for medals unless they are supervised by a teacher registered in New Zealand. The registered teacher must provide and return the required current year ICAS Home School Invigilator statutory declaration with the home schooled students’ completed Answer Sheets or Answer Booklets in a sealed envelope.

 

 



#18 Grover

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:10 AM

I need to update this.  As of the letter I received today, and after an afternoon of pointless discussion, home schooled students are not eligible for medals, full stop.  If you want to eligible you have to get a school to enter them as part of their school, not as homeschoolers.  Of course they didn't bother telling us this when I asked for the terms and conditions at the beginning of the year, or until after we had paid for entires.  I am not very happy this evening.



#19 kiwik

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:10 AM

Hi Grover.  ds9 is doing CEM (?) through his school this year.  I think it is fairly new (or completely) and meant to be a NZ alternative to ICAS.  His school is only entering kids in maths but there is science and english as well.  

 

eta.  should be ds10 now.  How the years do fly.


Edited by kiwik, 10 May 2017 - 06:11 AM.


#20 Pegs

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 09:50 PM

DS sat the introductory science paper last week, and we posted it off the next day. He finished well before the time limit, filing the bubbles as he went. "Toddler science" was how he described the experience, so I think we can safely say that it hasn't knocked his confidence one bit. Insert eyeroll from me.

Looking forward to seeing his grade.

 

 

 


Edited by Pegs, 03 June 2017 - 09:55 PM.


#21 Grover

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 12:47 AM

KiwiK, we missed entries for those this year, but hope to enter next year. 

 

We have withdrawn all entries for ICAS and lodged a formal complaint about the discrimination toward homeschooled kids.  Dig Tech and Science already arrived so I let the kids have a look at them - DD got a perfect score on Science and DS missed 1, both are well within medal range for dig tech too, so I can now say that, EAA actuallY HAS stolen at least one medal from my kids this year, not just might have.  Sigh. 



#22 Pegs

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:07 PM

DS got a perfect score for science, and is still to sit the English and mathematics papers. English arrived on Friday, which is what reminded me to pop in here with an update.

I'm feeling pretty meh about all of this. Tippy toppy scores are good for documenting his achievements and building a case for continuing home education, should I need to do so in family court, but I'm not really getting any extra information about his relative strengths and weaknesses. I can see how results from out of level testing must be so much more meaningful, for gifted kids.

We probably won't bother with ICAS again, except perhaps if they bring back medals for homeschoolers.

Edited by Pegs, 15 July 2017 - 07:08 PM.


#23 kiwik

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 04:39 PM

CEM results should be available this week. Since ds10 did the 50 minute exam in 20 minutes and tends to make mistakes if things are two easy (he was entered at year level not where he actually is) I think he is in for a rude shock. I suspect it is better to get it now though. I don't like computer based tests though as you can't go back and check or correct according to DS.

Edited by kiwik, 22 July 2017 - 04:40 PM.