TerraNova3 FAQ

FAQ about the TerraNova3 Standardized Testing.  Taking a standardized test doesn’t have to be scary!   Kindergarten through 10th grade DC Homeschool students will be testing at EXCEL in a safe and familiar environment!  If you want to learn more about TerraNova3 details, please see below.

When is testing?

  • April 11 & 12, 2018 — 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Do I need to sign up my child(ren)?

  • All Dayton Christian Homeschool students are automatically included on the end-of-year testing rosters.  There is no need to sign up.

How much does it cost?

  • There is no additional cost for Dayton Christian students.  It is included in your tuition.

What is TerraNova 3?

• TerraNova 3 is a norm-reference nationally standardized Achievement test.

• Nationally standardized means that the test was administered to students across the country. Norms are also set for the time of year the tests are taken.

TerraNova 3

• Well-respected, nationally norm-referenced test

• New items (the only norm-referenced test (NRT) with all new items)

• 2007 empirical norms (the most current available)

• Used by 42% of nation’s NRT users (schools & state programs)

  • TerraNova 3 is an achievement test, not a proficiency test such as the state administers. Proficiency tests are those in which students have been taught all the content and are now being tested on whether or not they “got” it. Achievement tests include content students may not have been specifically taught, but that they could be expected to have mastered according to their cognitive ability.

 Is this a timed test?

  • Yes.  Each segment of the test is timed with breaks built in between subtest sessions.

What subtests are included in the TerraNova 3?

  • Reading, Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.  There is also a Bible assessment included.

Which grade levels will TerraNova 3 test?

  • While the TerraNova tests grade levels K–12, Dayton Christian Homeschool will test only K-10.

Are the tests all multiple-choice or will there be writing assessments included?  What does the test look like?

  • The ACSI edition of TerraNova 3 will be multiple-choice only.
    For K-3 students the test is included in a booklet that they use to mark answers.  They do not need the skill of working from a booklet and transferring answers to an answer sheet.  4th-10th grades have a question booklet and bubble on a separate answer sheet.  There are sample questions for each subtest.  The class completes these questions together to make sure they are on the same page and understand the directions.

Does my child need to know how to read?  Bubble?

  • Reading – The Kindergarten test is dictated and the answer are generally pictures or letters.  They do not need to know how to read directions.  1st-3rd grades have dictated portions of the test and some reading.  They can follow along reading the directions, but are not expected to do so on their own.
  • Bubbling – This is a skill that every age and grade will need.  For K-3, bubbling will occur under the word or picture.  For 4th-10th grades, the bubbling will occur on a separate answer sheet, so it is important that they keep track of which bubble goes with which question.

What does my child need to know?  Can he study?

  • While there is no specific way to study for the TerraNova3, concentrating on reading, basic mathematics skills, and cognitive skills is important.  There really is no way to study for this test.

What does a typical testing day look like?

  • Students will test with their homeroom.  They will take one or two subtests, take a break, and then continue to test.  Lunch and recess are built into the schedule for all grades.  Kindergarten students are tested only in Reading and Math.  For them, testing does not take an entire day, so after they complete testing in the morning, they engage in fun activities for the afternoon.

My Kindergarten student has never taken a test like this.  How will she know what to expect?

  • The Kindergarten class takes a practice test in March.  It is administered by the teacher, so they are familiar with the surroundings, the teacher, and expectations.  This practice test is sent home with the students.

Are calculators permitted?  

  • Calculators are permitted for grades 3-12 and for one mathematics subtest only.  No calculators with graphing capabilities or internet connectivity are allowed.  (No cell phones).

Are mechanical pencils permitted?

  • Mechanical pencils are not permitted.  Only No. 2 pencils with a soft eraser are allowed.

Can older students see examples of practice questions?

  • Yes.  There are electronic files available with practice questions.  Please contact the Homeschool Office.

Is Chick-fil-A offered during testing days?

  • Yes.  Chick-fil-A is available for everyone and on both days.  Please sign up here.


Will I get a copy of the results?

  • Yes.  When the testing is complete, the answer sheets and booklets are sent to be scored.  Once we receive the results, a copy will be sent to your home, while another copy will remain in your child’s school file.

Is this test for only DC Homeschool students?

  • DC Homeschool does open limited slots for independent homeschoolers to test with us.  If you have friends that are not connected with Dayton Christian, but would like a standardized testing experience for their child, please have them call the Homeschool Office at 937-291-7240.

Why did ACSI choose the TerraNova, Third Edition, for its achievement-test program?

  • TerraNova 3 is one of the most respected and widely used achievement tests, measuring mastery in the core subjects.  Its design is fresh and user-friendly, and its content is current. TerraNova 3 provides detailed diagnostic information, norm- and criterion-referenced scores, and performance-level data.
  • Schools will have test results available online just a few days after submitting them for scoring. Paper reports will also follow in a timely manner.
  • Decreased cost for schools is also a major reason ACSI chose TerraNova 3.

What type of information does TerraNova 3 provide?

TerraNova 3 generates…

• precise norm-referenced achievement scores

• criterion-referenced objective mastery scores

• national performance-level information

What does all of this tell me about my child’s learning?

  • The Terra Nova 3 (achievement) scores indicate how well the child is doing in relation to students across the country.
  • No test, however extensive, can measure a person’s total ability or achievement, or pinpoint it exactly.

What is the Percentile/Percentile Rank?

  • The percentile is a score that shows the relative standing of a student compared to other students.  For example, if a student received an 84 national percentile score on a specific subtest, she scored above 84% of students in a control group that took the same subtest.  This control group has the same characteristics as the national population of students, which is why the score is known as a national percentile.
  • TerraNova 3 is standardized so that the majority of students in the control group score close to the 50th percentile and fewer students at the lower and upper ends of the range (bell curve).
  • If that same student received a 62 ACSI percentile score, she scored above 62% of all ACSI students that took the same subtest.  Within ACSI Data Online, the ACSI comparison will be known as the Local Percentile.
  • A student’s ACSI percentile score is always lower than her national percentile score because the ACSI student population’s percentile on all subtests is higher than the national percentile, which is 50.  ACSI students score higher overall than the national population of students on TerraNova 3.  When an individual student is compared with each of these groups, her score will appear lower when compared with the ACSI group and higher when compared with the national group.
  • A percentile that stays the same from one year to the next reflects normal growth.

What is Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE)?

  • The Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) is derived from the percentile.  They are similar in that both scores range from 1 to 99.  Because NCE scores have equal intervals from 1-99, schools can use an NCE score to find average scores for groups.  This is not true of the percentile.  An NCE score that stays the same from one year to the next reflects normal growth.

What is a Stanine?

  • The term “stanine” is a blended word that originates from the phrase, “standard of nine”, or a standard score on a scale of nine units.  A student’s stanine score is related to his percentile score, but is more simplistic.  Generally, a stanine of 1,2, or 3 is considered in the “below average” range of achievement; 4,5, or 6 is in the “average range”, and 7,8, or 9 is in the “above average range”.  Since the stanine is derived from the percentile rank, the two scores are often listed together in the same column, e.g., 65-6.

What is a Scale Score?

  • The scale score describes achievement on a continuum that in most cases spans the complete range of Kindergarten –Grade 12.  These scores can range in value from 100-900.  In other words, we would expect to see a child’s scale score rise each year in a given content area.
  • Scale scores have no readily apparent meaning when viewed alone, but when compared with a class, grade level, or national group average, you get a picture of how that student is achieving compared to these groups.  Scale score comparison charts are accessible in ACSI Data Online.

What is the Objectives Performance Index?

  • The Objectives Performance Index (OPI) is a very diagnostic score.  It provides detailed information about a student’s mastery of specific objectives with a content area.  The OPI is not a comparison score like percentiles, stanines, and scale scores, rather , it is a performance score, reflecting how the student performed based on a set standard.
  • OPI is based on a scale from 0-100.  For example, a student obtains an OPI of 78 in Reading-Basic Understanding.  If there had been 100 questions that addressed Basic Understanding, the student woud have gotten 78 of those questions correct.
  • Next, experts in the area of reading determine levels of mastery for each objective.

For example:

Below Mastery 0-47

Mid-Mastery 48-70

Mastery 71-100

  • Mastery level OPI scores suggest that the student is ready for the next grade level in a specific objective.
  • Scores in the mid-mastery range suggest that the student has partial mastery in that objective, and that more instruction in this objective would be beneficial.
  • Scores in the below-mastery range should be of concern, and intervention activities should be considered.

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