State testing can raise a lot of questions for people new to (or considering) homeschooling. And now is a great time to ask, since we are still finalizing our 2021 Stanford Achievement Test opportunity for homeschoolers!
We’ve gathered a list of the most frequently asked questions for your convenience:
- Are homeschoolers required to take standardized achievement tests, and if so, which?
The answer varies by state. However, Kansas and Missouri do not require state testing for homeschoolers unless they are using a virtual school or other publicly funded school.
In that case, they’re not technically considered homeschools, but offshoots of the public school system.
However, we recommend that area homeschoolers take advantage of standardized testing opportunities available just for them! We’ve offered opportunities for homeschoolers to take the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) since 1991.
Each homeschool parent will receive test results digitally in a PDF file. This will facilitate receiving results sooner.
Afterward, homeschoolers who want to continue to college can take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (also called SAT) and/or American College Test (ACT).
- What are the reasons I should consider state testing?
It helps give you a yardstick for your child’s academic performance. Because public and private schools require these tests, this can serve as an independent, third-party assurance that your students are doing well academically.
These tests can also help reassure your extended family that your kids are doing well on a nationwide level.
Remember that the results are based on peer comparisons, not academic requirements per se.
While we often think standardized tests indicate how our child compares by grade level, they actually indicate how our child compares academically to other grade-level children taking the same test at that time. (Here’s a helpful intro guide from the HSLDA.)
Even if your child ranks less than average in a subject area, you may just need to concentrate more on that topic. Students often rebound in a subject once they’ve identified the problem and targeted it for improvement.
- My child has special needs. Should I register for state testing with a large group, or explore other options?
We recommend that you explore other options depending on your child’s specific situation. Please contact Teri Bucher at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- When is the deadline for registering for the Stanford Achievement Test through MPE?
Homeschooling families need to register for the test by Jan. 20 to obtain the bulk discount rate for testing in the spring. So, if you want to register for the test, please do so by Jan. 20. Late fees are charged after Jan. 20.
If you have further questions about testing, please email stanford.testing@gmail com.
This blog post was originally published in September 2015. We have updated it for timeliness and detail.