This week and next week, Arkansas Homeschoolers will be taking the Math and Reading portions of the Iowa Tests. Our testing site tested yesterday. A few things you should know if this is your first time testing:
1. Basic Skills means exactly what it says. These tests test only basic skills required for the grade level. For example, 3rd and 4th grade Math is basic addition and subtraction no mulitiplication or division.
2. The only subjects tested are Reading and Math.
3. The only grades required to test are 3-9.
4. This is not a pass/fail test. It is scored to compare your child's test scores to other children in the same grade. For example if your child scores in the 90 th percentile, it means only 10% of the children in that grade level scored higher than your child.
5. The only person who gets the results of the test is the parents. The scores are reported to the state as a whole not for each individual.
6. If your child does not do well it doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't homeschool. Some children do not do well on standardized tests. Some knowledge is not testable. Sometimes children get confused and start in the wrong section or accidentally skip a row causing the rest of their answers to be off. Do not be overly concerned if the scores come out differently than you expect. You know your child better than anyone and will be able to tell much better than a test how they are doing.
7. Expect your scores to come sometime during the summer. It takes a couple of months to get all the tests scored and mailed out.
8. This is a requirement to homeschool in Arkansas. Even though most of us think it is a little ridiculous, and the results don't really mean anything, in order to comply with Arkansas Law, you have to test. It only takes about 2 hours out of one day, and then you can go home and get back to "work."