Standardized testing in schools refers to the administration of tests that are designed and administered in a consistent, or “standardized,” manner. These tests are typically administered and scored consistently across different schools, districts, or even countries. The goal is to assess and compare the performance of students on a common set of tasks or questions. Standardized testing for homeschoolers is conducted for the same reason as for students in public schools, though the process may look a little different.

Reasons for Standardized Testing

  1. Assessment of Student Learning: To gauge students’ understanding of the subject matter and identify areas where improvement is needed.
  2. Accountability: Standardized test results may be used to assess the performance of schools, teachers, and educational systems. This is often tied to accountability measures and educational policies.
  3. College Admissions: Many colleges and universities use standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, as part of their admissions process.
  4. Program Evaluation: Standardized testing can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs and interventions.

Rules and Options for Standardized Testing for Homeschoolers

While public school students often routinely participate in standardized tests given at their own schools, standardized testing for homeschoolers looks a little different. Homeschooled students can take standardized tests in various ways, depending on the requirements of their state or the specific testing policies of the institution or program they are affiliated with. Here are some common approaches:

  1. Testing Centers: Many standardized testing organizations have established testing centers where students, including homeschoolers, can take exams. Homeschooled students can register for these tests and take them at a designated location on specified dates.
  2. Local School Districts: Some school districts allow homeschoolers to participate in standardized testing at local public schools. Homeschooling families may need to coordinate with the school district to arrange testing dates and procedures.
  3. State Homeschooling Associations: State homeschooling associations, like SCAIHS, may organize or facilitate standardized testing for homeschoolers. These associations often have information about available testing options and procedures.
  4. Private Testing Services: Some families choose to use private testing services that specialize in standardized testing for homeschoolers. These services may offer a range of tests, including nationally normed tests, achievement tests, or college admissions exams.

Standardized Testing for College Admissions

If there are specific tests required for college admissions, such as the SAT or ACT, homeschoolers can register for these exams independently and follow the testing procedures outlined by the respective testing organizations. It’s advisable to check the requirements of the colleges or universities to which the homeschooled student is applying, as policies may vary.

Get Help for Your Homeschoolers

There is assistance available when getting ready for standardized testing for homeschoolers. The South Carolina Association of Home Schools (SCAIHS) offers Woodcock-Johnson tests and has a referral list for other test administrators throughout the state. Membership in SCAIHS also offers additional benefits, like curriculum assistance and bookstore discounts. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help support your homeschooling journey.