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Found 13 results

  1. Does anyone have any thoughts about the validity of end-of-year testing this year? NY (my state) isn't requiring testing this year, everything is out the window right now. We're finishing our 180 days regardless and treating this as any other year academically. My inclination is to go ahead with testing per usual. I like getting some kind of read on where we're at, how the kids are progressing in challenge areas, etc. But...are there any thoughts about how the data might be skewed this year if there's a much smaller pool to measure against?
  2. I don't need to have testing done but I am am interested in testing my 11 and 9 year old for myself. Are there any standardized (or standardized-like) tests online I can use or order to check myself?
  3. Has anyone here done research on how Common Core has changed the ACT/SAT? In no way do I want or plan to change my dd's curriculum to meet CC "standards", but we are concerned about how it will change testing for college entrance ( she will finish in 2016). I'm wondering if doing lots of ACT prep will ensure a high enough score. And then there's this: https://www.act.org/certificate/earn.html Thanks, Desiree
  4. This year these seem to be our choices for required end of year testing. They would be with different test administrators in different locations which might make a difference, but in terms of the tests themselves, which do you prefer and why?
  5. We are gearing up for testing almost exactly a month from now. It will be my 7 year old son's first time testing. He's not the strongest reader, and I'm a little nervous about him focusing on this for 3 hours. I won't be surprised if he does a little of the test and then draws patterns on the paper or something like that. We have the practice test, but what else should we do? Anybody have things they wish they had done when they were at this point? Thanks!
  6. Is it possible to calculate composite percentile scores on the CAT from the scores on the individual sections? The kids took the online CAT (1970 norms), but their score report does not show composite scores, only individual section scores. Not important, really, I'm just used to seeing the reading/mathematics/language and overall composite scores on the paper version score report. Thanks!
  7. Hello again! Full of questions aren't I! I'm about half way through TWTM book. It has mentioned that it is not traditional and neither is homeschooling. I realize that, but I'm curious to know how my girls will compare to their peers. I know there are exceptions and many kids absolutely excel, but what about those who didn't get a good foundation from the public school? After reading this book, I feel bad for not pulling my kids out earlier. I feel they have not been prepared for higher learning, critically thinking, or anything. They've just been given some basic facts and moved on to the next topic. Forgive me for worrying! Most of this is from my own fear of messing up my kids education, not the classical education! Does anyone do standardized testing? Also has anyone done these tests with older children who started in the middle? How did they compare with the average of their peers? I'm aware this type of education does not follow the traditional schedule, and actually I love that! I just want to make sure they will be prepared for college and success. How about SATs and ACTs. Do you find them more prepared for these tests? On another note, I am so excited about starting this! We are going to do some transitioning after break. My girls were not given a good foundation in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, so we are going to be incorporating the spelling workout books with English. I am super pumped!
  8. Our ITBS test arrived this weekend, and my kids started taking them yesterday. My oldest is finishing fifth grade, and my younger is finishing third grade, but I'm "testing her up" and giving her a fourth grade test. Anyway, when the tests first arrived in the mail, I honestly thought there was a mistake, or that I placed the order wrong or something. The fifth grade test not only had some of the exact questions I remembered from last year's fourth grade test -- but it many of the exact questions and reading selections that are on her younger sister's fourth grade test! I couldn't believe how much of the two tests were exactly the same. In math computation, the only real difference was that the fifth grade test had a few questions about adding fractions and decimals, while the fourth grade test did not. What strikes me as curious about this is: It kinda gives the impression that ... well, almost nothing happens in fifth grade! Like it's expected to be review, and then maybe spend a month learning how to add fractions and decimals, throw in a few harder vocab and spelling words, and that's it! The other thing (that kinda bugs me) is that so little of the test seems to have anything to to do with what we covered this year. My girls spent the year learning about Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth, Martin Luther, and the invention of the printing, etc. Of course nothing like that was on the tests. However, there were questions about Kwanzaa, goods and services, a couple "banks are closed" holidays and what tax money goes to. Really? What is the point of those questions, anyway? And how is a Social Studies score from those types of questions even helpful to us? Along the same lines, the kids have worked so hard on grammar -- doing the MCT 4-level analysis every day, one of them even learning about gerunds and infinitive phrases. There is nothing on the entire test that even asks about basic parts of speech -- like what a noun is! First of all, it's annoying, because we're spending time and money testing for our own purposes, to see where everybody stands and if our homeschool is doing well. I'm not not sure what use these scores will be for us. Second, I'm curious what this says, if anything, about US public education and the expectations and objectives. Are fifth graders not expected that know parts of speech? Are fifth grade expectations barely a hair more than fourth grade expectations? Is understanding Kwanzaa (which was on both girls' tests, plus I remember it from last year!) a major objective in elementary school? For that matter, who makes up these tests, and how is it decided what's on them? I'm really asking. And how can I best use these scores so that they really are helpful to us? Just see if they improved their scores from last year, that kind of thing?
  9. Ok, I know that standardized testing may not be the best indicator of mastery of school subjects (or that you found the Perfect curriculum.) Some kids test well.....and some do not. I just thought this would make an interesting thread. Can you share dc standardized test score (or indicate if they tested well) and the curriculum that coincided with the subject? Do you think that the curriculum just helped the child to test well( without mastery or true understanding)? Any curriculum seem like a complete bust after getting dc test scores?
  10. If I wanted my HS kids tested in years to come, who would I go to? Besides the scoring information you receive, what other benefits are provided when doing this? (Documentation of whatever grade you claim?) Are scores reported to anyone else? Just wondering about it all..
  11. We're doing the Stanford tests with a homeschool group this week. I'm going over a test prep book with my third grader, since this will be the first time he's done a test like this. I think that he is a creative and smart kid. But there is so much specialized vocabulary in these tests. Synonyms, antonyms, Venn diagram. I'm hoping that he doesn't get so wrapped up in what is unfamiliar that he freezes up. This is a kid who will sit and ask questions about economics or government, but who really couldn't identify what the White House looks like. I think every time we do a round of tests like this, it just underscores how different my educational goals are from the standard goals of public schools. I want my kids to be curious about and understand the workings of legislation, not just (or at all) be able to identify the shape of the building in which laws are made. Sorry, I just needed to vent. These tests always make me feel very irritable and insecure and like I'm doing everything wrong.
  12. I've been administering the ITBS (level 6) to my daughter and her friend this week. I had been prepared to finish out the testing cycle thinking it was a waste of time, but actually, I have learned a lot about my kid during the testing. I have learned that she is much worse at listening than I thought she was, which is a significant problem on a test that is administered almost entirely orally. Most of the questions she has gotten wrong were ones where she just didn't remember the details when it came time to put an answer on the paper. Watching her with her friend has been illuminating - the other girl listens to the question and marks the answer. My kid fiddles with her pencil, pulls up her pant leg to poke at her band-aid, stands up, etc. Then she realizes it's time to answer the question, and racks her brain trying to remember what I just said. She usually figures it out, but she definitely got some questions wrong because she just couldn't remember the whole question. I don't think she got a single question wrong on the reading section. I'm not actually concerned about this, as she's only six. It seems like a combination of a problem paying attention, and a problem with auditory input specifically. If you do think I ought to be concerned, let me know. :) My main question has to do with testing next year. I want to use either the ITBS or the Stanford next year, and am wondering if they are both this same format, where nearly the entire test depends on listening skills, or whether either one of them duplicates the questions in written form on the student response sheets. Thanks for any insight you can provide about the ITBS level 7 or the SAT Primary 1!
  13. I'm planning to give my daughter the ITBS in the spring. She's in Kindergarten this year, but is doing a lot of first-grade work (defined as reading books like "Nate the Great" and doing the equivalent of Math Mammoth Light Blue 1, pieced together from the Blue series.) I'm not required to test, but my husband and I think it could be worthwhile to give annual standardized tests anyway. Since we have only two children, the cost is not prohibitive, and we want to our kids to be used to standardized tests and think they're fun. The information I'd like to get out of the test is: * I'd like to know how my child is doing compared with other children. * I'd like to be informed if there are things other kids her age are learning that we're not covering adequately. * I'd like to be able to track my child's performance from year to year. I was planning to give her the level 6 test in March, which is the first month when national norms would be available for her as a Kindergartner on that test level. I want the test to be on the easy side so she doesn't get frustrated, without being so easy that no possible useful information would come out of it. She's not the kind of child who would get bored with the test if it were too easy. If anyone has advice on any of what I've just said, I'd be interested to hear it. But that's not my real question. I have a friend who has a daughter the same age. He's interested in having our girls test together, since I'm authorized to give the test and I don't think he necessarily wants to go to the trouble to get authorized. I don't object to having them test together, but he wants his daughter to take a higher level of test, so he's trying to convince me to give my kid the level 7 test. He thinks of his child as a "first grader," while I think of mine as a "kindergartner." My general sense is that the two of them are on about the same level academically. My friend's objectives in testing are a bit different than mine. He's really hung up on grade level equivalents and on wanting his kid to be as "advanced" as possible. What do you think? Should I be giving my child the level 7 test, or should I stick with level 6?
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