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.
1. For paper tests, you order the standardized test and Seton ships it to you with test directions.
For school & group ordering, click the following link for Schools & Groups.
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?
If you want the CAT or TerraNova/CAT 6 test scored according to a different norm, 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.
ORDERING STANDARDIZED TESTS
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 and math assessments would be more helpful for determining a student’s grade placement.
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 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.
How to Order a Standardized Test
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?
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. 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 IOWA, CogAT, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
IOWA Form E FAQ
Is the IOWA Form E a timed test? How long does it take to administer?
IOWA Form E tests are not timed in Levels 5-8. It is timed for Levels 9-18 and takes from two and one-half hours to five hours of actual working time for the students to complete, depending upon the grade level and the test taken.
Each section for the IOWA Form E is no longer than 35 minutes. No more than two or three tests should be given in one day. The tests should be spread out over 3 to 4 days.
Do students have time to complete the IOWA Form E in the allotted time?
The IOWA test is designed so that almost all students have time to complete the test. Levels 5-8 of the IOWA test are untimed. 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. See what is tested at each level and the completion times for each section.
What type of test is the IOWA Form E?
The IOWA Assessments are achievement tests that assess students’ skills in Reading, Language, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. The tests assess both foundational skills and higher-order thinking skills. The IOWA Assessments provide national and local comparisons.
The IOWA Form E is a nationally normed achievement test. 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.
What are the purposes of the IOWA Assessments?
In addition to meeting state testing requirements, Iowa Assessments can provide information that may be used to improve instruction and student learning. Teachers can use test results both to inform parents of an individual student’s progress and to evaluate the progress of an entire class. Educators can monitor growth by comparing results from multiple test administrations to determine whether individuals and groups are progressing as planned.
Achievement tests also help identify strengths and weaknesses in different learning areas by serving as a supplement to teacher observations and other classroom assessments. Weaknesses can help explain learning difficulties in related areas and form a basis for improving instruction, while strengths can provide a foundation on which to build additional skills.
Why are there two test level options for grades K-3?
The first option is for Fall testing. The second option is for Spring testing. 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 Form E for Grades K-8 (Levels 5-14)?
The IOWA tests students in Reading (Levels 5-14), Language (Levels 5-8), Math (Levels 5-14), Vocabulary (Levels 5-14), Spelling (Levels 7-14), Word Analysis (Levels 5-9), Listening (Levels 5-9), Social Studies (Levels 7-14), Science (Levels 7-14). All questions are read aloud by the teacher. Click the following link for a detailed chart of the IOWA Form E Scope & Sequence.
What is tested on the IOWA Form E for Grades 9-12 (Levels 15-18)?
The IOWA Form E for high school tests students in the areas of Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Written Expression, Math, Computation, Science, and Social Studies. Click the following link for a detailed chart of the IOWA Form E Scope & Sequence.
Do you have descriptions of the types of test questions on the IOWA Form E?
You can read this document for descriptions of the types of test questions on the IOWA Form E. For sample test questions, visit our test preparation products page to prepare your child for the test. There are practice tests, helpful test-taking hints, & answer keys.
Do I have to administer all the tests in a battery?
It is not necessary to administer all the tests in a battery; however, in order to obtain total and composite scores on score reports, you must administer certain tests. For example, to obtain an English Language Arts Total for Level 5 and 5/6 tests, you must administer the Reading, Language, and Vocabulary tests.
Can the Iowa Assessments be administered to students with special needs?
The Iowa Assessments can be administered with accommodations or modifications to students whose special needs may make it difficult for them to demonstrate their achievement when standard testing procedures are used.
Most students requiring accommodations or modifications will have been identified as eligible for special education services and will have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), an Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP), or a Section 504 Plan. The IEP or other plan ordinarily indicates whether the student should receive testing accommodations or modifications during standardized assessments and what the nature of those accommodations or modifications should be.
Can the Iowa Assessments be administered to ELL students?
The Iowa Assessments can be administered to English language learners (ELLs). Depending on the level of English language proficiency, some students may benefit from receiving accommodations during testing. The purpose of using accommodations with English language learners is to be able to measure skills and knowledge related to the curriculum without significant interference from their limited opportunity to learn English and use it during assessment. Local, school-system, or state guidelines should be followed when making decisions related to accommodations for ELL students.
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.
Is the TerraNova/CAT 6 a timed test? How long does each test take to administer?
Yes, all levels of the TerraNova/CAT 6 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.
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 test is the TerraNova/CAT 6?
The TerrraNova/Cat 6 is a nationally normed achievement test. 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.
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 & 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 TerraNova/CAT 6 in the allotted time?
The TerraNova/Cat 6 test is designed so that almost all students have time to complete the test. 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.
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 a 2-day test with approximately 2.5 hours of testing each day. The Abbreviated Battery is a 2-day test with approximately 1.5 hours of testing each day.
- 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.
What does the online practice test cover?
There is an online, non-graded practice test of 29-34 questions (depending on the grade level) each day of testing for grades 3-8 which introduces students to the types of questions they will encounter on the actual test. It also familiarizes them with the Stanford Online test-taking process. You can purchase paper booklet Stanford Practice Tests & Practice Test Kits (Kits include the answer key) for grades 3-12 which we can mail to you before your scheduled test week.
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?
How do I order the Stanford 10 Online?
How to Order the Stanford Online test
When should I order the Stanford Online test?
We ask that you order 3 weeks to 5 months in advance of your desired testing week since we need to know ahead of time how many licenses to purchase for each person testing during a given week.
However, Stanford 10 Online orders can be moved up to an earlier test date all year-round. If you are requesting an earlier test date than is allowed at check out, in the comments box indicate the dates you actually want to test. Stanford test dates can be moved up until Thursday 5:00 PM the week before for the next week at no additional charge. After 5pm on Thursday, Stanford orders placed for the next week or Monday morning Stanford orders placed for the same testing week cost an additional $25 per student. In the comments box at check-out, you can give us permission to charge your credit card for the additional fee or you can call us toll free at 888-766-0029 to confirm.
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.
What if we missed some of our scheduled tests? Can we schedule a make-up test time?
- If your student misses a day of testing or fails to finish the subtests scheduled for that day, please call us regarding a make-up session. Remember, subtests started must be completed the day they are delivered. Make-ups are only granted for subtests a student did not access.
- A nominal fee of $10.00 will be charged per student for all make-ups.
- Make-ups are scheduled for the Friday of the student’s testing 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.