Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Testing Today

All homeschoolers in this state are required to test annually. We can use any test approved by the state; it's a long list. They must keep their results on file but are not required to turn them in to anyone.

Being enrolled in Columbia Virtual Academy (CVA), our requirements are slightly different. We must still test annually but we are required to submit the results to the school. It's not a big deal for most as the school is happy so long as your student tests above the 25th percentile, pretty simple for most homeschoolers.

CVA allows us to use any test approved by the state or we can use theirs. If we don't use theirs, we simply send them back a copy of the results when we receive them. We can also use our student funds to be reimbursed the cost of the test. If we use theirs, there is no cost to us and they provide us with the results.

We will be using their test for two reasons. The first is consistency. We used it last year and can compare the results. In fact, the test results will come back with the comparison already done for us. The second reason is the fact that the test is adaptive. It is designed to give the child harder or easier questions depending on how the child answered the previous question. If they get it right, the next question will be harder. If they get it wrong, the next question will be easier. It goes up and down in difficulty until the program is able to determine a raw score that cooresponds to a grade level. The results are much more helpful than what you get with your typical standardized test.

The test comes in two versions: the first is for grades k-2 which has an audio component for reading the question to the child, the second is for grades 3-12. Since Sam is in second grade, he'll be taking the first. I expect it to be easy for him as he's finished all of his second grade level work, has been working above second grade in some subjects, and he reads well on his own.

So, he's taking the test, on my computer, in about an hour.

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Too Many Hats said...

Cool they can do it at home.

~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

We have to test, too. But we're still using the #2 lead pencil to fill in bubbles. How cool that he can test at home on the computer. :)