Monday, May 23, 2011

Taking the Iowa Standardized Test

This week my sons are taking the Iowa standardized test with a group of homeschool kids. I could have gotten the test myself and administered it at home (since I have a college degree I quality as being a proctor per their rules) but I decided to have them do it with a group and get that group testing experience. This is the first time they've taken official standardized tests.

The only test prep we did was part of a workbook for test prep just to get them used to the format and filling in bubbles and the idea of picking "the best answer" not "the first correct one on the list". I used books from Barnes & Noble not the official Iowa test prep info. I didn't even look at the official list of content areas until the night before.

A lot is going on here so it is far from the ideal time to take a test that's important in nature. Therefore I have downgraded how much I care about the results. Just 48 hours prior to the test my husband left to move out of state for his new job. We will join him when this house sells. So not only are my kids out of sorts due to my husband leaving just two days ago, but they are both excited at the idea of moving yet sad to leave their friends and fellow homeschool students and our neighbors and their established activities: Boy Scouts and the lacrosse team.

The kids both said the test was a joke and it was simple. My only hope is that they score well in relation to their perception. All I could think of was that John Stossel piece on 20/20 called "Stupid in America" where American students had a very high self-esteem and a high perception of their academic ability when in reality their academic performance stunk and they were a lot dumber than they realized. I don't want my kids to be like them!

You can watch "Stupid in America" below (or search it on YouTube if the video is no longer available when you read this).


KC said...

Hi Christine,
You mention in your first paragraph that you could have administered the test yourself. Do you have a link to that info? I was under the impression you had to be a licensed proctor.

Best of luck with the sell of your house! Moving is horrendous! Good luck! Krystal

ChristineMM said...

Hi KC, If you homeschool you can go through Bob Jones University Press catalog/website and get the IOWA if you show proof of having a bachelor's degree (of any type) and sign a form stating you homeschool. You have to give a photocopy of your diploma. You essentially are proctoring the exam to a "class" of just your kids if you do it at home.

See here

The IOWA is a timed test which some people like and want and some do not like and do not want. I believe the Stanford is not timed.

My kids did it with a group of local homeschoolers which was offerd by word of mouth and an internet chat group and we paid a small fee to the proctor in addition to buying our own tests which BJU shipped to the proctor.

KC said...

Thanks so much! I grew up taking the ITBS, but the only person that administers the test out here is an hour drive away and they like to do the test over two days. Very hard to deal with the logistics of it. I ended up having her take the CAT this year, but might order the ITBS at the end of the summer if the CAT didn't go so well. :)