Monday, May 17, 2010

Just Out of Curiosity

Just out of curiosity I chose to have Little Bean take the CAT (California Achievement Test) for grade K recently. Many homeschooling moms are really against standardized testing, but for me, it was more of a personal thing; I just wanted to see where he was at, and I will not be reporting his score to anyone. Being that he is so young, I wanted to know if he had really mastered the concepts Kindergarten children are expected to know. And because we don't have to keep any records here in CA, I felt it was a good way to have "proof" of homeschooling should I ever need it. I will probably repeat this process every year, just for my own records.

He had a really good experience with the testing process, which homeschooling parents are allowed to do at home. We used Seton Testing Services. They send you the CAT exam booklet and do all the grading for you for only $25. Because Little Bean has never taken a test, it was a totally new experience for him. I just explained that it was like any other workbook page except that we would not be able to change his answer once he was finished, or go over the correct answers. I also told him it would tell me how much he knew compared to other Kindergarteners. He seemed to really like that idea!

I received his results today, and he did very well (which I could tell already from looking at his test answers)!

Here are his results:

(The percentile figure means that he scored as well as or better than that percentage of students, and the stanine indicates relative standing--1, 2, 3 below average, 4, 5 and 6, average, and 7, 8, 9 above average)

Visual Recognition: 86 percentile, stanine 7
Vocabulary: 83 percentile, stanine 7
Sound Recognition: 83 percentile, stanine 7
Comprehension: 87 percentile, stanine 7
Language Expression: 52 percentile, stanine 5
Concept and Application (this is the math portion): 96 percentile, stanine 9
Reading Total: 91 percentile, stanine 8


Annette W. said...

Oh that is really awesome! I think it's great that you want the accountability for yourself.

Candi said...

wow! Good job! can this test be taken with older kids?

Jackie said...

Congrats! I think it is good to know these things just in case anything happens. When I started homeschooling my kids, in the 1990's starting in 4th and 8th grades, I was sure that I would have stupid children (it was my husbands idea)but after the first year of homeschooling my daughter took a standard test and scored in high school and jr. college levels. I was flabergasted! They never went back to school, and both are successful adults, but tests just help you know you are doing the right thing. BTW our state mandates testing. Now I am helping my daughter teach her son and soon her daughters (twins). Keep up the good work.

Jennifer said...

Candi--yes! The CAT is a standardized test and is available for grades K through 12. Here is the website:

Joe said...

Looks like you have a little math whiz on your hands :)

Gayle said...

How awesome! He did very well! We just finished up Kindergarten and I'd be curious what my daughter would score on a test like this.

Gayle said...

Oh shoot! I'm at my Mom's house and logged in on their account. I'm really Jenny at Our Nifty Notebook. Sorry about that.

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