What Testing? Why Testing for Homeschool High Schoolers?

Here’s help:  The Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What testing? Why testing? This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network (along with the audio).

What Testing? Why Testing for Homeschool High Schoolers?

What Testing? Why Testing for Homeschool High Schoolers?

Oh the Stressing! What tests will homeschool high schoolers face? Should they participate in any testing? If so, which tests?

Each year when Vicki served as a homeschool high school academic advisor, she would get questions about:

  • Which tests must your homeschool highschooler be thinking about?
  • Must every teen test?
  • Can my teen get into college without testing?

Let’s look at these questions.

What are the different testing options for homeschool high schoolers?

  • College entrance tests
    • There are several college entrance exams. Check with the college (look on their website) to see which they prefer. Usually, they prefer SAT or ACT but may accept some of the newer ones.
    • These tests include:
      • SATs. This is an official college entrance exam created by the College Board.
        • PSATs. These tests are practice SATs, generally given to eleventh graders.
        • PSAT 10s are practices for the PSATs! The name changes from the PSAT but it is a practice, practice SAT.
        • PSAT 8/9s. Yes, there is a practice, practice, practice SAT for eighth and ninth graders
      • ACTs are another kind of college entrance exam provided by ACT organization.
  • AP or Advanced Placement Tests
    • This test is provided by the College Board after completing an approved AP course. If the student earns enough points on the AP test, they can get college credit.
  • CLEP or College-Level Examination Program exam
    • This is a specific knowledge exam, based on real-life learning. It is also provided by the College Board. If a sufficient score is earned, some colleges accept it as credit. (Check with admissions officers at your colleges of interests to see if they accept CLEP credit.)
    • We talk more about CLEP and whether your teen should take the test in this post.
  • Achievement tests
    • These are tests that purportedly measure your student’s achievements compared to national norms. If your state requires an achievement test, you will find a test provider. However, you can simply have your homeschoolers tested for your own information. (Therefore, this is not a college entrance exam.)
    • Examples of common achievement tests are the Terra Novas, Stanford Achievement Tests and The Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
    • Here are pros and cons about giving homeschoolers achievement tests.

Must every teen test?

  • Every college is different about test requirements. Some colleges these days have made SAT or ACT test scores optional.
    • Some colleges only use the testing scores for special programs or scholarships.
  • However, many colleges still require SAT or ACT scores.
  • Community colleges usually do not require SAT or ACT. However, the sometimes use testing scores for as one method of placement (which English and Math courses will a student take in their first semesters).

SO, if your homeschool high schooler is NOT college-bound, they do NOT need to take a college entrance exam.

Can my teen get into college without testing?

Yes, your homeschool high schooler can get into some colleges without testing. Check the websites of favorite colleges for requirements.

These are some of the options available for college-bound teens. If your teen isn’t college bound, why bother? They serve no useful purpose (except the Terra Novas, if you want that information for yourself).

Vicki and Kym share what each of these options are for and why (or why not) your specific homeschool high school student may want or need to participate.

Listen in and also take a look at this authoritative guide to homeschooling high school for a good overview of high school goals.

Join Vicki and Kym for an honest discussion what’s out there for your teens in high school.

You’ll also benefit from these posts:

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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Episode 33: What Testing? Why Testing?


Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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