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  1. #11

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    DS is going to take the Stanford 10 this summer for his first exposure to "real" testing. I'm ordering it through Seton, and it can be completed online.

    My goal is to have him get familiar with a standardized format and start learning test taking skills. We've been talking about them for a year or more, but I feel like the practice will be good for him. Looking ahead, he is likely to take the SAT next year in 7th (for practice) and in 8th in case he wants to start auditing college classes in 9th. Hopefully the Standford 10 will ease him in and help make his first practice attempt at the SAT less stressful.
    Mama to one son (12)

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  3. #12

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    They're discontinuing the Stanford-10 in 2016...just found out. Anyone know why? Seems strange to me!
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

  4. #13
    Senior Member Enlightened Soulhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejsmom View Post
    Not sure what grade level you are seeking, but for some grades you can purchase the CAT from Seton testing for your own use, at home, either completed online, or on paper (which you send back for scoring.) It's maybe $30?
    This. Or you could take the Terra Nova, the more recently normed version of the CAT.

  5. #14

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    We are required to test in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. DD just "finished" 7th and I asked her if she wanted to take the test just for "fun"/practice. DS was required to do it this year and she wasn't. She said she wanted to do it, too.

    A little history: the first time she took it in 3rd it was a horrific experience that ended in tears for her. I was convinced she would bomb every test from then on out. For the record, I am a zero pressure Mom when it comes to tests. I believe a child is so much more than what is on a test and there is so much DD knows that is not on tests. I shared this with her prior to testing...she self-pressured and blew the eff up. Forward to grade 5, she realized that they present some answers on the LA section in a "tricky" way and it made her upset. But, she didn't cry! Then for "her choice to particpate test" just a few weeks ago she was totally into filling in the bubbles, found the examples hilarious, and didn't freak out when there was something that she had to think about for a bit. She scored well in all years.

    I think age as well as personality has a lot to do with it because DS was really scared when he didn't know answers in grade 3 but it didn't make him cry. However, a few weeks ago for the grade 5 test, he cried because he really felt he "should know everything". There was one answer he just didn't know and I told him if he didn't want to guess to leave it blank. He left it blank. He scored ok in 3 and very well in 5.

    I gave them both the talk about how they are not a score, but, that this is a legal requirement for certain years. I said, "You can only do your best." We used the CAT in all years for both children purchased from Seton, who I think is just fantastic.

  6. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by crunchynerd View Post
    They're discontinuing the Stanford-10 in 2016...just found out. Anyone know why? Seems strange to me!
    My kids have always done the Stanford-10, and the service that we used warned us about it this year when we went in to test. They are coming out with a new test-but I can't remember what it is. Since my older son will be in 9th, and has taken the ACT a few years ago, we just won't bother with it anymore for him. The service that we use will be administering the IOWA from now on, so my younger one will take that. Neither of my kids have time issues with standardized tests, so it shouldn't be a problem for them.

  7. #16

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    We are taking all standardized tests offered for our 6th grader. These focus on the common core. He has high scores in math and reading even though we use our own curriculum, so it's nice to get validation that our method is working and it seems to boost his self-esteem. He had low scores in writing, so now we have responded to that info with focused attention on writing technique and practice. We have no common core directed curricular materials and definitely don't "teach to the test". The way to build confidence with standardized tests is to take as many free offerings offered by the district as possible but don't sweat over the preparation or results (unless taking a college entrance exam -- then preparation is essential).
    Last edited by Bham Gal; 12-26-2016 at 03:06 AM.

  8. #17

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    A different sort of test that yields immediately useful results is something like DOMA (math) and DORA (reading. They are not standardized achievement tests; they are diagnostic tests that show you where to focus next. The DOMA takes a while and is mentally challenging, so it can help with test practice, too.

    Those are at LetsGoLearn.com

    You can also give the MAP test, from https://affordabletests.com/ - it's lengthy, over a couple of days, and you get immediately usable results of progress. I had my 10yo take the MAP test because I was familiar with her results from PS the previous year, so it it was useful to us as a measure of effectiveness.

    Both of these are available online at home - DORA and DOMA on demand and MAP with an appointment and virtual proctor, so a little more planning is necessary.

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Standardized tests by choice, in middle school?