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Standardized testing for homeschoolers: Comparison of Iowa and Stanford tests

I know that homeschoolers in Arizona are not required to do standardized testing.  I would like to assess my students so we have a benchmark as we start the new year.  What is the difference between the Iowa and the Stanford tests?

This is an excellent question.  Since testing is not required in Arizona, parents who choose to test are free to use whatever assessment tools they wish.  The Iowa and Stanford tests are two of the most common, and they are easily accessible to homeschoolers through group settings such as support groups, or individually with tests ordered through Bob Jones University Press (BJUP).  Covenant Home School Resource Center (CHSRC) in Phoenix offers the Iowa test in March and June annually.  Parents may test their own children with the BJUP materials if they meet the administration criteria or a BJUP certified proctor may be used.

Both instruments at nationally standardized, norm referenced achievement tests.  This means that a sampling of several hundred thousand students are tested every five to seven years to see what the typical child in each grade across the country is likely to know at that time.  Homeschoolers will be compared with all the other students in that grade who took the same test that year so parents can see if the youngster is “at grade level” or not.  Both Stanford and Iowa measure the same basic subjects and knowledge content, but there are some key differences.

Features common to both tests

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