What To Expect During The California Achievement Test

At the end of the school year home schooled students must take the California Achievement Test.

Even though you're home schooling your own child he still has to take the California Achievement Test (CAT). The test is given at the end of the year within six to eight weeks before school lets out for the summer. All kids, no matter what grade, are required to take the test.

Tests must be ordered long before the day of testing. The cost is between forty to fifty dollars. When you receive the test you'll also receive the instruction manual for the teacher along with tips on time limits and other pieces of info. Don't be alarmed if the test seems to have been used. Many of the test booklets are recycled to students in the coming years.

When you order the testing package allow six to eight weeks for its arrival. At the time of ordering you must specify the dates you plan to give the test. The test is stretched out over a period of three days and you must specify the week in which the testing will take place. Certain unexpected things can halt the intended day of testing, like illness on the part of the teacher. In this case the teacher must give notification as to why the test did not take place on the intended day.



The test will usually arrive a few days before the actual test date. It is not acceptable to allow the student to view the test questions. For that matter, the test materials should be put up and left alone until the day of testing.

Try to encourage student to get as much rest and relaxation as possible just before the test. On the morning of the test allow thirty minutes to explain the test to the student and let the student ask any questions. Before starting the actual testing the student must fill in his or her name, grade level and other information. The test is made where instead of writing answers in spaces the students color in a circle for each letter, number or answer they choose.

Regular number 2 pencils are used for the test and anything else, including other pencils, is unacceptable. Make sure the student has two or three pencils with him during the test. During the test you will notice that the bottoms of the pages have either an arrow, meaning go to the next page or a stop sign meaning take a break or stop until the next day. The test is broken down into categories including mathematics, social studies and comprehension with language and math being the most prominent.

Each day's testing will last less time than a normal day of school. Plan on letting out early or allowing the rest of the time for letting the student check his answers or plan another activity besides regular school work.

The results from the testing will be sent to your home school usually within eight to ten weeks after testing. The results will discuss how well the child did on the overall test and then also breaks it down into how they did in each category. The test is filed with the state education department and your copy should be filed with other home school files.

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