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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

Overview of the Testing Process for Paper Tests

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

1. Order the standardized test, then Seton ships it with test directions.
2. Administer the test within the rental period.
3. Return all the test materials back to Seton immediately for scoring and uploading test reports to your online account within about 2-3 weeks.


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, you would get the test for the grade level your student is beginning. For Midyear Norms, order the test for the grade the student is in. During Spring Norms, get the test for the grade the student is finishing or has completed.

For norm period dates for the standardized tests we offer, please see the Scoring Reports and Results page.

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 arrive back at our facility no later than the last day of that norm period, so please order accordingly.

For norm period dates for the standardized tests we offer, please see the Scoring Reports and Results page.

PLEASE NOTE:  Fall Norms are not available for grade K of the IOWA test.

What if I want the test scored according to a different norm period other than the current one?

This service is only available for the CAT Survey and the TerraNova/CAT 6.

If you want the CAT Survey or Terranova/CAT 6 test scored for a norm period different from the current one, please download, print, and complete the Off-Norm Scoring Request Form and return it with payment and your test materials.

PLEASE NOTE: Fall Norms are NOT available for grade K of the IOWA test. Off-norm scoring is NOT available for the IOWA Form E or the Stanford Online.


Do you have a grade-placement test?

A standardized-achievement and/or abilities test can be used as a general guideline when admitting a new school student, but achievement tests should not be used alone to determine a student’s grade placement. Our diagnostic online reading & math assessments would be more helpful for determining a student’s grade placement.

Who can use Seton testing services and products?

Private schools can use all of our tests, testing services, and test prep products.

Homeschoolers can use any of our products except the CogAT. 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, standard 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 products. 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.


How soon will I receive the test materials?

Standardized test materials such as the IOWA Form E, CogAT Form 7, or TerraNova/CAT 6 are usually shipped via trackable Media Mail about 10 days before the testing date you select at check-out and usually arrive 4-8 business days after shipping. 

Test prep products usually ship within 1 business day of placing your order.

If you don’t receive your order within 8 business days of shipping, please contact us at 800-542-1066.

What if I want to receive the test materials sooner than 3 weeks out?

From July 1-February 28 ONLY: For the IOWACogAT, CAT, & TerraNova/CAT 6, the earliest test week would be at least 3 weeks out, but in the comments box on the last page of check-out at the bottom say, “SEND IMMEDIATELY”. Then it should ship within about 1 business day.

For the Stanford Online, in the comments box indicate the dates you actually want to test. Then we can make the change on our end.

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?

No. 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.


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. However, customers keep the practice tests and test prep materials.

The paper booklet standardized tests are 14-day rentals. Customers who do not postmark all standardized test materials back to Seton within 14 days from the beginning of the selected test week are subject to a late fee charge of $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?

14-day rental period extensions are $20 per student test booklet.

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 returned late, 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 late or 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?

Typically, once all test materials have been returned, checked back in at our facility, and (with the IOWA & Terranova) you receive a confirmation email, test reports are posted to your account within about 2-3 weeks and you will be sent an email notification. Stanford Online test scores are posted within about 2 business days after test completion.

If you do not receive your test results within 21 days, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Does Seton offer Expedited Scoring Services?

Yes. The IOWA, CAT, and TerraNova tests are usually scored within about 2-3 weeks of being processed after they arrive back at our offices, but if you need your test results faster, please download, print, and complete the Expedited Scoring Request Form and return it with payment and your test materials.

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.

To help you understand the test report for the CAT Survey or TerraNova/CAT 6, read this Explanation of Scoring Terms.
For the IOWA Form E, read this Quick Reference Guide to Score Types.

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