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Testing Details

For our CAT Testing participants, the information below will help with some instructions and helpful hints.  Day One is a heavier testing day than Day Two, but as a word of caution, do not say those words to your children in case that makes them feel anxious in any way. You could just let them know that the longer test segments will happen first and then get shorter and shorter as the testing goes along.

At check-in, make sure we have your cell phone number for the testing days in case of an emergency. Also, verify that we have your correct mailing address to send the test results.

Please read over the following instructions carefully and with your children. The list of instructions will help ALL have a better understanding and allow testing days to go more smoothly.

California Achievement Test Student Instructions

  1. Listen closely to all instructions.
  2. This is not a pass or fail test. This is just a measure of what you remember.
  3. NO CELL PHONES, calculators or electronic devices of any kind. These will be powered off during testing or (preferably) left at home.
  4. Use the pencils and scratch paper provided.
  5. Colored paper is provided to help prevent “bleed over” from your pencil lead.
  6. Darken your bubbles completely. Erase entirely all unwanted marks and answers.
  7. Do not write on the test booklet (applies to Levels 3-5).
  8. Do not write your name on the answer sheet.
  9. There are no restroom breaks once a session has started. Go before we start.
  10. We will have a break time with snacks between testing sessions.
  11. Make sure you understand the instructions for the section and have asked all your questions before the timer is started for the section. Once the timer has been started, it cannot be stopped.
  12. You may work only in the current section. You can go back to review your answers only in that section.
  13. There is no extra time provided for working calculations.
  14. Don’t spend too much time on any one question.
  15. You will NOT know everything on the test. THIS IS NORMAL!!
  16. If you don’t know an answer, make your best guess as quickly as possible. Questions left blank are marked wrong.
  17. Your proctor will tell you for each section when you have one minute left on the timer. When you hear this, make sure you fill in all unanswered questions.
  18. Relax and do your best.

There are a few additional things to emphasize:

  1. The environment in the testing rooms WILL be one of complete quiet and obedience from the children and respect for the proctors. The children need to have the very best environment possible with the least amount of distractions to maximize their recollection, computation, and focus. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Please make sure your children know that their best behavior is expected.
  2. Please make sure your children know that if they need assistance that they should raise their hands to get the proctor's attention. Believe it or not, homeschoolers do not necessarily know to do this.
  3. Also cover with your children to not look around the room--most especially at other students--while the timer is going during the test. Again, homeschoolers may be innocently wandering their eyes around the room collecting their thoughts, but this can EASILY be interpreted as cheating. Cheating is--OF COURSE--not tolerated on any level and will result in your student being disqualified from testing and your forfeiting your test and test payment for an offending student. This has never happened, but please make sure you have a discussion with your child about being deliberate with where their eyes are looking so a misunderstanding doesn't occur.
  4. Pencils, scratch paper, and erasers are provided for your children so there is no need to bring any of these items to testing. The only allowable item to be brought in the testing room with your student is a jacket and a book to read. ABSOLUTELY NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES OF ANY KIND.
  5. In case a family member needs to contact your child for an emergency, please give them MY cell number for them to call and I will pass the information along as necessary. MY CELL NUMBER IS 910-382-2121.
  6. Typical noises that distract in the classroom are: the sniffles, chewing/smacking gum, rolling the pencils or tapping fingers on the table. This is another conversation to have with your students. They may be completely unaware that these things could be/are affecting the students around them.
  7. While these all might seem nit-picky, these items are not geared to create more anxiety in your student. Please don't present these to them in that way. I'm saying all of these things because of past experience(s) and because I don't want to assume that we're all on the same page. I want us to all BE on the same page.
  8. In the way of a suggestion, I recommend that you not cram new concept material with your student in preparation for the test. Merely continue to follow your current curriculum at your current pace. You will find it helpful, however, to have your children practice filling in circles and staying in the lines--filling the circle completely. Levels 3 through 5 fill in bubbles on a separate answer sheet from their test booklet while Levels 1 and 2 fill in bubbles IN their test booklet. Those upper level students may need practice in matching the number of the question to the number of the answer on the bubble sheet--especially if they are skipping a question.
  9. Note for testers: "Standard English" means proper English or correct grammar.
  10. There is a snack break built into the schedule each day. It is our recommendation that you pack a LIGHT snack for the younger children (Levels 1-3) as they take a short rest break. Students in Levels 4 & 5 are testing all in one day so their snack should be a bit heavier, but easy to prepare and navigate.
  11. Odd note: Since we had a question previously, I will highlight that there was a mention of an instance in which a child did not know what a card catalog or a phone booth was. I've looked over the tests briefly and cannot locate those particular questions, but this is a side effect of using a 1970s test. Please review with your students what these are in case they are in the version of the test that this pops up. I will add that not knowing what these items are do not impact the question itself and have no affect on whether the student gets the question correct. For example, not knowing what a card catalog is does not prevent a student from identifying the author of the book from a multiple choice list.
  12. Reminder e-mails will be automatically generated by the Agape website to remind you of your testing dates. Make sure you are completely aware of all your test dates/test levels so we can make sure everyone knows when and where to be since testing is being done over a period of two weeks. All the levels are testing on separate days so it will be very important to pay attention to that information.