Monday, April 25, 2011

Testin Time

Yes, I spelled it wrong on purpose. I just received our email that our testing materials will arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.
In the first few years we tested with the Woodcock-Johnson III. I really liked it for the first two years. The third year we tested later in the day and it made a big difference in results. We also had to use a different testing facility than we had previously. The tester let Amber give up a little too easily so she didn't try quite so hard when she realized that the tester let her move on. I started researching different testing options and wasn't really sure which route to take.
I found the CAT 5 test and researched it pretty thoroughly. We tried it out last year and Amber loved it. Well, I mean it's testing. Love may be a strong word, but she really liked it in comparison to the Woodcock-Johnson III. She tested very high in several areas. She was timed, but she had the option to read the questions, and re read them if necessary. The WJ was an oral test. Amber is a visual learner, which means that she does better when she can read the questions herself and think about it.
The test is fill in the bubble, which I was also kind of worried about. We had never taken a test like that before. We just talked about it before hand and after each smaller section we went over her answers to make sure they matched up. That she didn't skip any or mismatch them. That if there are 20 questions we make sure she answered 20 and that she doesn't have any missing ones.
The WJ test is great for auditory learners. Children who do better with having the questions read aloud will do wonderfully with this test. The math is a worksheet, but there are questions that are read aloud for math as well. The moderator writes each answer and scores the test right there. It is very nice to have instant results. The CAT 5 takes about a week or two to come in. They can email or send you a hard copy (usually) depending on your preference.
To administer the CAT 5 you do not have to have a degree of any kind which makes it parent/homeschool friendly. A lot of other tests require a degree in order to use them in your homeschools.
I, obviously, am not a testing consultant of any kind, this is just my opinion of the two tests. They both are very competent tests for your child, it just is dependent on your child's individual learning style. I hope that this was helpful to you if you are unsure about what to use to test.

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