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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

Overview of the Testing Process

Step 1: Order the test.
Step 2: Administer the test.
Step 3: Return the test to Seton for scoring.

  1. For paper tests, you order the standardized test and Seton ships it to you with test directions.
  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.

NORMS

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?

Check with your state’s homeschool organization or education department.

How do I obtain an IOWA Form E, CAT Survey, 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 Form E, TerraNova, or Stanford Online you must also read and sign a Test Agreement Form BEFORE materials may be shipped or emailed.

We recommend ordering your tests online from the IOWA Form ECAT SurveyTerraNova/CAT 6, or Stanford Online product page.

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 paper booklet standardized test?

The price covers the rental cost of the student test booklet, test administration directions, answer sheet, basic shipping to you, scoring, and posting the test results.

Does Seton offer any discounts?

Yes, we offer discounts for schools & groups. There is also a coupon for families fully enrolled in the Seton Home Study Program.

Are there sample tests that I can give to my child prior to the actual test?

Yes, we do carry test preparation materials. There are practice tests, helpful test-taking hints, and an answer key. So visit our test preparation products page to prepare your child for the 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. You select the beginning test week during check-out.

We ship the paper standardized tests about 2 weeks before the testing date you select during check-out.

Which grade level of test should I order?

Generally speaking, get the grade level for the grade the student is currently in…or has recently completed.

How often may I order the same test for the same student at the same grade level?

You may order the same test for the same student at the same grade level as frequently as every 3 months.


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 than 3 weeks out?

For the CAT, during check-out check-mark “Send CAT E/Survey Immediately.”

FROM July 1-February 28 ONLY: For the IOWACogAT, and TerraNova/CAT 6, 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”.

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: stanfordonline@setontesting.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.

Must the tests be taken to a testing center for administration?

We don’t have testing centers. We ship the tests to you so you can administer them in your own home. However, if you want or need someone else to administer the test, you could order the test and then arrange to have it administered at a testing center.

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 Survey 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 TerraNova/CAT 6 test is a 21-day rental. Customers who do not return all 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.

The IOWA Form E tests are 14-day rentals. Customers who do not return all IOWA Form E materials within 14 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; 14 days for IOWA Form E, 21 days for the 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 USPS Flat Rate Priority. If the tests are not delivered back to us, you will be subject to fees. We recommend insuring for $25 per student booklet and $40 per administration booklet.

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.


TEST RESULTS

How soon will I receive the test results?

Typically, once all test materials have been returned, checked back in at our facility, and you receive a confirmation email, test reports 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.

If you do not receive your test results within 14 days, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Does Seton offer Expedited Scoring Services?

Yes. The IOWA Form E, CAT, and TerraNova tests are scored within 2 weeks of being processed after they arrive back at 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 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.

If a school is using a standardized test to determine whether a student passes or not, they usually only require a national percentile rank (NPR) of 23 or 24, and a national stanine (NS) of 4.