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How to Set Up Testing for Your Homeschool Student
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In my last article, I addressed Determining the Need for Year-End Assessments. In this article, I want to tell you exactly how to set up IOWA™ testing for your homeschool student.

1. Find someone to administer the test. This person must have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This person could be a parent. That would satisfy the testing rules but may not satisfy your state’s regulations. Some parents choose to have someone else test their children so there are no questions about validity.

Whomever you choose will need to become a certified tester. He/she will need to submit a tester application. This link takes you to a sign-in screen. The tester may need to create an online account with BJU Press. If the tester is currently using BJU Press Distance Learning or tracking orders through an account, the username and password will be the same.

IOWA™ cares very much about protecting the integrity of their tests, so please make sure you read the agreement terms carefully.

Have that college diploma ready. The tester will need to upload verification of his/her degree.

IOWA™ tests may be given in large groups, so you could get several families together for group testing, which can greatly reduce your costs if you are paying a tester. HomeWorks Consultants are able to give a small discount when multiple tests are ordered together.

You should pay or in some way compensate your tester. Pay should be comparable to what a college-educated tutor in your area would make. Your tester also will be responsible for postage and insurance when mailing your test materials back.

If you have difficulty finding a tester, you may be able to find one here.

2. Choose a date. Order your materials at least six weeks before your testing date in March - June. All other months, you should order your materials three weeks ahead.

3. Fill out Page 1 of a Homeschool Contractual Agreement. Your HomeWorks Consultant will need a signed copy. My customers generally take a picture with their phones and send back to me.

4. Place your order. Call Your HomeWorks Consultant. He/she will be able to help you choose the right level and process your order. Testing usually is chosen by the grade your student is in currently. For instance, Level 11 corresponds with Grade 6. If it is summer or before October, you should order the level that corresponds to the grade your student just completed.

With the flexibility of homeschooling, sometimes it is difficult to determine a child’s overall grade level. A good rule of thumb is to use their grade level for math. Most curricula do give a grade level for math and it is a pretty good indicator of graduation year. You also want to make sure you don’t choose a grade level far beyond your child’s reading ability. Your data will be most useful the closer you get to your student’s grade level, so try to avoid ordering a lower-level test just so they “do well.”

5. Consider Test Prep Materials – You can browse our homeschool testing catalog for several test prep materials. Whether or not they are necessary really depends on the child. Testing in a homeschool is a very “low-stakes” testing environment, but some children may get very nervous anyway. If you think your child would benefit from the testing practice, by all means order some additional materials so your results are more accurate.

The tests will be shipped to your chosen tester, and the tester will handle the details of administering and submitting the tests for scoring. The directions for the tester are very clear and scripted, and they may contact BJU Press Testing if they have any questions.

After the Test

In just two weeks, you should get your results by email along with helpful information about interpreting and using your results. Your tester will not receive your results and neither will any government entity. The tests are nationally normed. IOWA™ compiles data from all the tests so they can accurately say a student performed better than 80% of fourth-graders, for instance, but that information does not go to IOWA™ with any link to your individual child.

By Cynda Moore
HomeWorks Consultant and Homeschool Mom
http://www.homeworksbyprecept.com/cynda-moore
HomeWorks by Precept Consultant, Cynda Moore, KY


 

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