FAQ about the TerraNova3 Standardized Testing. Taking a standardized test doesn’t have to be scary! Kindergarten through 8th grade DCSS 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.
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.
• 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.
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 an extremely timely manner.
Decreased cost for schools is also a major reason ACSI chose TerraNova 3.
Is this a timed test?
What subtests are included in the TerraNova 3?
Reading, Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies
Will this test also include a Bible assessment subtest?
Yes. The Bible Assessment Subtest has been reviewed and is included in the TerraNova 3.
Performance Levels for the Bible Subtest
• Below Basic
Which grade levels will TerraNova 3 test?
While the TerraNova tests grade levels K–12, Dayton Christian Homeschool will test only K-9.
Are the tests all multiple-choice or will there be writing assessments included?
The ACSI edition of TerraNova 3 will be multiple-choice only.
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
For Dayton Christian Homeschool Students:
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.
Below Mastery 0-47
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.