Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of the Testing Process
Step 1: Order the test.
Step 2: Administer the test.
Step 3: Return the test to Seton for scoring.
2. You administer the test and then return ALL the test materials back to Seton IMMEDIATELY.
3. Seton scores the test within 2 weeks, uploads the results to your online account, & notifies you.
What is meant by “Norms”?
Norm-referenced tests report how test takers compare to a standard sample group of students of the same age or grade level, who have already taken the exam during a particular time period of the school year: Fall Norms (beginning of the school year), Midyear Norms, or Spring Norms (end of the school year).
How do I determine which grade level of the standardized test to order my student given the current norm period?
Generally speaking, get the grade level for the grade they are currently in or have just completed. So if you are testing during Fall Norms (September 1 – November 30), you would get the test for the grade level your student is beginning. For Midyear Norms (December 1 – Last day of February), order the test for the grade the student is in. During Spring Norms (March 1 – August 31), get the test for the grade the student is finishing or has completed.
By when do test answer sheets need to be returned in order to be scored according to a particular norm period?
To be scored automatically at no extra cost according to the standard that was set by a particular norm period, test answer sheets need to be returned to our facility postmarked no later than the last day of that norm period.
So if you want a test scored according to Fall Norms, it must be postmarked no later than November 30. To have a test scored according to Midyear Norms, the postmark must be no later than the last day of February. If you want a test scored according to end-of-the-year Spring Norms, it must be postmarked no later than August 31.
PLEASE NOTE: TerraNova tests for grades K & 1 are always scored according to Spring Norms.
What if I want the test scored according to a different norm period other than the current one?
When you return the test materials, just include a check made out to Seton Testing Services for $15 per test for off-norm scoring and indicate the norm period (Fall, Midyear, or Spring) for which you want the test scored.
For example: Let’s say it is the Fall Norms period and your student is beginning 7th grade, but you still want to test for end-of-the-year Spring Norms for 6th grade. Order and administer the 6th grade level test as usual, but when you return the test materials, just include a check for $15 and ask that the test be scored according to Spring Norms. That way the test will be scored according to end-of-the-year Spring Norms for 6th grade instead of beginning-of-the-year Fall Norms for 6th grade.
PLEASE NOTE: TerraNova tests for grades K & 1 are always scored according to Spring Norms. Off-norm scoring is NOT available for the Stanford Online.
ORDERING STANDARDIZED TESTS
Who can use Seton testing services and products?
All of our tests, testing services, and test prep products can be used by BOTH homeschoolers and private schools. Being enrolled with Seton Home Study School is NOT REQUIRED. Public schools can use the TerraNova/CAT 6 standardized test, the Let’s Go Learn reading & math diagnostic tests, and any of our test prep products.
How can I determine my state’s testing requirements?
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA.org) is a great resource. Click on your state and then go to the Legal Analysis for your state, and view the testing requirements. Another great resource is your state homeschool organization.
How do I obtain an IOWA, CAT, TerraNova/CAT 6, or Stanford Online Test?
To order standardized tests Seton requires that you create a user account. The first time you order the IOWA, TerraNova, or Stanford Online you must also read and sign a Test Agreement Form BEFORE materials may be shipped or emailed.
- We ask that you order 3 weeks to 5 months in advance if you are an individual person or family.
- Please order at least 3-4 weeks in advance for a school or group order.
- PLEASE NOTE: If you want your beginning test week to be 2 different weeks, you need to place 2 separate orders.
Seton Testing Services is open from 9am – 5pm Monday through Friday if you would like to place your order over the phone by calling 540-636-1250 or toll-free at 800-542-1066. We accept Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. You can also fax your order to 888-282-7806.
Does Seton have a secure online order form?
Seton Testing uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption when transmitting certain kinds of information, such as financial services information or payment information. An icon resembling a padlock is displayed on the bottom and top of most browser windows during SSL transactions that involve credit cards and other forms of payment. Any time Seton Testing asks for a credit card number during checkout for payment, it will be SSL encrypted. Therefore, the information you provide will be stored securely on our servers.
What is covered in the list price of a standardized test?
The price covers the cost of the student test booklets, test administration directions, answer sheets, basic shipping to you, scoring, and posting the test results.
Does Seton offer any discounts?
Are there sample tests that I can give to my child prior to the actual test?
When should I order standardized tests?
We ask that you order standardized tests 3 weeks to 5 months before your desired test date. We also ask schools or large groups to place their orders at least 3 to 4 weeks before their planned testing period.
RECEIVING YOUR ORDER
How soon will I receive the test materials?
Standardized test materials ship about 2 weeks before the testing date you select during check-out so you should receive them about a week before the beginning of your scheduled testing period. Test prep products are shipped right away and usually take 7 to 10 days to arrive.
What if I want to receive the test materials sooner?
For the CAT, during check-out check-mark “Send CAT E/Survey Immediately.” FROM July 1-February 28 ONLY: For the IOWA and TerraNova, you will have to choose a test date at least 3 weeks from now, but in the comments box on the last page of check-out at the bottom say, “SEND IMMEDIATELY”. After placing your order call 800-542-1066 to confirm we got the message. For the Stanford Online, in the comments box indicate the dates you actually want to test. After placing your order contact our Stanford personnel to confirm the change: Toll-Free Phone: 888-766-0029. E-mail: email@example.com.
Does Seton offer Expedited Shipping Services for the paper booklet tests?
Yes. After placing your order call 800-542-1066 for an expedited shipping quote for your order.
What should I do if the test materials shipped to me are incorrect, damaged, or defective upon delivery?
Please contact us immediately. If an order error was made by Seton, we will gladly make the matter right by sending you the correct items. If you receive a product from us that is missing pages, printed improperly, or defective in any way, please notify us and we will send you a replacement at no cost.
May I give the test to my student as soon as I get the test materials?
Yes. You do not have to wait until your selected test week to give the test to your student.
RETURNING TEST MATERIALS
Does Seton require the test materials back at any specific time?
Yes. Standardized test materials are rentals only. Due to legal considerations, all standardized test materials must be returned to us immediately after testing.
CAT test materials may be kept for 30 days from the beginning of the testing week selected or 30 days from the ship date if no testing week is selected. The IOWA and TerraNova/CAT 6 tests are 21-day rentals. Customers who do not return all IOWA and TerraNova/CAT 6 materials within 21 days from the beginning of the selected test week will be charged $25 per student test booklet and $40 for each test administration booklet.
ALL standardized testing materials (booklets and instructions) must be returned to us BEFORE your tests are scored.
What if I need more time to test?
Rental period extensions are $20 per test; 21-days for the IOWA or TerraNova, 30-days for the CAT.
If I have multiple tests, may I return each at different times?
No. Do not return test materials in separate shipments. Return all test materials in a single package.
Who pays for the cost of shipping the testing materials back to Seton?
You do. Please use a trackable and insurable shipping method such as Flat Rate Priority. If the tests are not delivered back to us, you will be subject to fees.
What happens if the test materials are lost or damaged?
Seton Testing reserves the right to charge $25 per student test booklet and $40 for each test administration booklet that does not reach Seton or is returned damaged (ripped, torn, stained, folded, creased, written in, etc.). Tests will not be scored until lost/late/damaged fees have been paid.
How soon will I receive the test results?
Once all test materials have been returned and checked back in at our facility, test results are posted to your account within 2 weeks and you will be sent an email notification. After being posted, hard copies of CAT results are also mailed. Stanford Online test scores are posted within 1-2 days after test completion. For your convenience we will fax or email your test results to you if you request that.
PLEASE NOTE: Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for scoring of the ITED® when ordered with the Interest Explorer™.
If you do not receive your test results within 14 days (unless you ordered Interest Explorer™), please contact us at your earliest convenience.
Does Seton offer Expedited Scoring Services?
Yes. The IOWA, CAT, and TerraNova tests are scored within 2 weeks of their arrival to our offices, but if you need your test results faster, we do offer 24-hour expedited scoring for $25. When you return your test materials, write “Expedited Scoring” on the outside of the package and include a note asking for expedited scoring and a check made out to Seton Testing Services for $25 per test. Once your test materials have been checked-in at our facility, we will score your test and post the results to your account within 24 hours. We can also fax or email the results to you at no additional fee.
Why did I receive one of my children’s results, but not the other’s?
Grading is done by the level of the test. Therefore, if two children are at different grade levels, you may receive the results at different times. If you have not received the results for all your children within one week of receiving one child’s results, contact us at our office.
How can I tell if my student passed the test or not?
Standardized tests are not pass/fail tests. They are meant to show proof of progress. The test results show how your student compares nationally to other students in the same grade level who took the same test at the same time of year (Fall, Midyear, or Spring) when the test was first normed. Whether your student “passed” or not would depend on your local school district or state testing requirements. Reading this Explanation of Scoring Terms will help you understand the test report.
IOWA and TerraNova FAQ
Are the IOWA and TerraNova/CAT 6 timed tests? How long does each test take to administer?
Yes, both tests are timed and take from one and one-half hours to five and one-half hours of actual working time for the students to complete, depending upon the grade level and the test taken. IOWA tests are not timed in Levels 5R-8. Level 7-8 on the IOWA are timed only in the Mathematics Computation section of the test. All levels of the TerraNova/CAT 6 are timed.
Each section for the IOWA is no longer than 30 minutes, and no section for the TerraNova/CAT 6 is longer than 40 minutes. No more than two or three tests should be given in one day. Rather, the tests should be spread out over a three or four day period.
What type of tests are the IOWA and the TerraNova/CAT 6?
The IOWA and the TerrraNova/Cat 6 are nationally normed achievement tests. Achievement tests measure skills that are learned in school and address specific content areas such as reading and mathematics. They also measure academic progress. Your child’s scores are compared to the scores of other children who have taken the test, the norming population for the test. There is no direct correlation between the number of correct answers and the percentiles reported. If, for example, a student scores at the fifty-seventh percentile, it indicates that a student scored higher than fifty-seven percent of students who took this test in the national sampling group for his grade level, not that the student got fifty-seven percent of the questions correct.
Why are there two test level options for grades K-2 of the IOWA?
The first option is for testing in the Fall. The second option is for testing in the Spring. For example, Grade 1 Level 6 is for 1st graders in the Fall of the school year. Grade 1 Level 7 is for 1st graders in the Spring of the school year.
What is tested on the IOWA Test of Basic Skills (ITBS®), Grades K-8?
The IOWA tests students in the areas of Reading (Levels 6-14), Language (Levels 5R-14), Math (Levels 5R-14), Vocabulary (Levels 5R-14), Spelling (Levels 7-14), Word Analysis (Levels K5-9), Listening (Levels K5-9), Social Studies (Levels 9-14), Science (Levels 9-14) and Sources of Information (Levels 7-14). The Sources of Information test for Levels 7-8 measure students’ abilities to use information resources and to judge their usefulness. At Levels 7 and 8, a single Sources of Information test assesses students’ skills in alphabetizing and in using picture dictionaries, tables of contents, and maps. All questions are read aloud by the teacher. At Levels 9 through 14, there are two separate tests for Sources of Information: Maps and Diagrams and Reference Materials. Click the following link for a detailed chart of the IOWA Scope & Sequence.
What is tested on the IOWA Test of Educational Development (ITED®), Grades 9-12?
The ITED is the IOWA test for high school students. It tests students in Grades 9-12 in the areas of Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Language (Revising Written Materials), Spelling, Mathematics (Concepts and Problem Solving and Math Computation), Analysis of Social Studies Materials, Analysis of Science Materials and Sources of Information. The Sources of Information test evaluates students’ abilities to use important information sources. The skills a student needs in order to find and use data efficiently include familiarity with the resources of a well-equipped media center. Click the following link for a detailed chart of the IOWA Scope & Sequence.
What is tested on the TerraNova/CAT 6 with the Plus Test, Grades K-12?
The TerraNova, Second Edition, known as the CAT 6 is the 6th edition of the California Achievement Test. It tests K-12 students in the areas of Reading (Grades K-12), Language (Grades K-12), Math (Grades K-12), Social Studies (Grades 1-12) and Science (Grades 1-12). It is available in Complete Battery or Survey form. Also included is the Plus Test, which tests Word Analysis (Levels 11-21/22), Vocabulary (Levels 11-21/22), Language Mechanics (Levels 12-21/22), Spelling (Levels 12-21/22) and Math Computation (Levels 11-21/22). Click the following link for a detailed document of the TerraNova Scope & Sequence.
What is the difference between the Complete Battery w/Plus and the Survey w/Plus edition of the TerraNova/CAT 6?
The Survey edition is a shortened form of the TerraNova/CAT 6 that is composed from a subset of items found in the Complete Battery. Administering the Survey form of the test takes about half as much time as the Complete Battery. Both the Survey and the Complete Battery measure the same content areas, but the Survey has fewer questions. The Survey is a shorter test and does not provide the breadth of coverage for each objective that is found in the Complete Battery. The Plus tests are the same for both forms of the test.
When should the TerraNova/CAT 6 Complete Battery w/Plus, and when should the Survey Battery w/Plus be used?
The publisher suggests that you should use the Complete Battery when making high stakes decisions (such as acceptance into an academic program), when you have three or more hours to administer a test, or when the results of a test are likely to be challenged. Use the Survey if the testing time is short, if you are screening for a program entry or exit, or using this as a pre/post test model for which the Survey would be your post test. The Survey w/Plus is offered for grades 2, 3, 4, and 6-12. The Complete Battery w/Plus is offered for grades 1-12 and the Complete Battery is offered for grade K.
What is the “Plus”?
The Plus section is additional math, reading, and language questions that are all optional.
Do students have time to complete the IOWA and the TerraNova/CAT 6 in the allotted time?
The IOWA and the TerraNova/Cat 6 tests were designed so that almost all students have time to complete the test. Levels 5-8 of the IOWA test are untimed, except for the Math Computation Test in Levels 7-8. The percentage of students completing the final question in each section of each subtest varies by grade and format. Approximately 94-99% of students complete the tests in the time allotted. Please read and adhere to the testing directions for the timing of each test section.
CAT E/Survey FAQ
Is the CAT E/Survey timed? How long does the CAT take to administer?
Yes, the CAT is timed and takes approximately 2 to 2½ hours to administer depending upon the grade level. There are five to six sections within each test booklet and each section usually has a time limit of 20 minutes. No more than 2 or 3 tests should be given in one day. The tests should be spread out over two or three days.
What subjects are tested on the CAT E/Survey?
The CAT tests the basics– Reading, Language Arts, and Mathematics– which meet the standard requirements. Click the following link for a detailed document of the CAT Scope & Sequence.
What type of test is the CAT E/Survey?
The CAT Survey Form E is a nationally normed standardized test that is accepted in most states. The CAT offers testing for grades 4-12. Your child’s scores are compared to the scores of other children who have taken the test. There is no direct correlation between the number of correct answers and the percentiles reported. For example, the 57th percentile indicates that a student scored better than 57% of students who took this test at this grade level, not that the student got 57% of the questions correct.
Stanford Online FAQ
What kind of test is the Stanford Online?
It is a nationally normed standardized test accepted in most states that is taken online at your computer.
Which grade levels can take the Stanford Online?
The Stanford Online is available for grades 3-12, but 3rd grade testing is only available from January 1 – July 31.
When does Seton administer the Stanford Online test?
Seton administers the Complete Battery and Abbreviated Battery weekly over a two-day period on specified days from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST according to the following schedule:
- Complete Battery — Part 1 Monday, Part 2 Tuesday
- Abbreviated Battery — Part 1 Wednesday, Part 2 Thursday
How long is the Stanford Online test?
The Complete Battery is approximately 2.5 hours each day of testing. The Abbreviated Battery is approximately 1.5 hours each day of testing.
- Complete Battery — Approximately 4.5 – 5.5 total hours over 2 days.
- Abbreviated Battery — Approximately 2.75 – 3.5 total hours over 2 days.
Is the Stanford Online timed or untimed?
The Stanford Online is untimed, but the testing needs to be finished by 5pm Eastern Standard Time each day of testing.
Do you have to complete the test all in one-sitting?
No, you can pause the test and take breaks during the day as long as you finish testing by 5pm Eastern Standard Time each day of testing.
Which subjects does the Stanford Online cover?
The Stanford Online tests Word Study Skills for grades 3, 4, and Fall of grade 5 only; Reading Skills/Comprehension, Vocabulary, Mathematics, Language, Spelling, Social Studies, & Science. Click the following link for a detailed chart of the Stanford Online Scope & Sequence.
What is the difference between the Complete Battery and the Abbreviated Battery of the Stanford Online?
The Abbreviated Battery does not include the Lexile measurement, plus there are fewer questions per subject area. In addition, the Complete Battery test report is more detailed than the Abbreviated Battery test report.
What is a Lexile measurement?
If I order the Stanford Online today, can my student start taking the test today?
You have to order the Stanford Online at least 3 weeks in advance.
Why can’t I order the Stanford Online and take the test today or at least sooner than 3 weeks from now?
We have to make sure we purchase enough licenses for each person testing so we need to know ahead of time how many to order.
Is there no way to order and take the Stanford Online test sooner than 3 weeks from now?
FROM July 1-February 28 ONLY: If you order today, it will compel you to select a test week at least 3 weeks from now. Do that, but in the comments box on the last page of check-out, indicate which week you would actually like to test. Then contact our Stanford Online personnel so they can approve the change: Toll-Free Phone: 888-766-0029. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the norming periods for the Stanford Online?
The Stanford Online norming periods are slightly different from the other standardized tests. August 1-December 31 is FALL norms. January 1-March 31 is MIDYEAR norms. April 1 – July 31 is SPRING norms. Stanford Online tests CANNOT be normed for a different period other than the one inwhich they were taken. In other words, no off-norm scoring is available for the Stanford Online.
Do you have practice tests for the Stanford Online?
Yes. There is an online practice test each day of testing for grades 3-8. You may also purchase paper booklet Stanford Practice Tests for grades 3-12 which we can mail to you before your scheduled test week.
Can I reschedule my Stanford Online order if my scheduled testing dates don’t work for me?
Customers may reschedule their testing date for no additional fee 3 or more business days before the beginning of the testing week. Tests rescheduled less than 3 days from the beginning of the testing week will incur an additional $10.00 per test rescheduling administration fee to be charged on their card. Once a test has been rescheduled it cannot be cancelled.
What if I want to cancel my Stanford Online order for a refund?
- Stanford Online tests purchased from Seton may be cancelled for a full refund 3 or more business days before the beginning of your test week.
- Test orders cancelled less than 3 days before the beginning of your test week will receive a 50% refund.
- Test orders cannot be cancelled and will not be refunded the day of testing.
- Testing sessions can be rescheduled the day of testing BUT cannot be cancelled for a refund.
- Cancellations must be made in writing by emailing Seton Testing Services at email@example.com.
How soon will I receive my Stanford Online test results?
Seton posts test results for the Stanford Online within 1-2 days after test completion. We will send an email notification.