August 11, 2011

About a year ago...

Robotson took his first standardized test and I promised to update with the results.  Yes, it's been nearly a year.  Sorry about that.  You might want to check out the (long) post I wrote about it at the time before I get started on his scores.

One of the reasons it took me so long to write about this is the first test results we got back were incorrect and I had to get them regraded.  The other reason is simple procrastination.  I just didn't feel like writing about it after a while, and so I didn't.

What do I mean by the first results were incorrect?  I honestly didn't care that much how he did on the test, but I found it very curious that he should have landed at the 1% national percentile ranking in science.  He was also shockingly low in word analysis.  I didn't hover over him during the test, but I found it highly unlikely that he could have done so poorly.  Yet his spelling score was 68%?  Spelling is his worst area.  There was no way.  I still probably wouldn't have called had I not noticed that the sheet said he hadn't answered every question.  In word analysis it said he marked 15 out of 30, in language expression 27 out of 48.  I had made photo copies of the answer sheet so I knew he'd answered every question.  That's when I called.  The lady realized there had been a mistake and sent me the new results a couple of weeks later.

Final results?  He did well in the areas I thought he would and not so well in the areas where I though he wouldn't.  His spelling and grammar were the lowest (12% and 9%), which makes sense because I did most of the reading.  As he took over his own reading last year those two areas improved.   There was less I had to correct in his blogging and stories.

He was lower than the average third grader in word analysis, language expression, math concepts, and social studies.  I remember looking at the social studies section and thinking we'd never talked about any of those things.  There were questions about jobs and pilgrims.  We've just focused on different areas like civics and pioneering, the revolutionary war, etc.

He scored very well in vocabulary, language comprehension, math computation (82% his highest), and science.

Overall he was smack dab in the middle in the national ranking (whatever that really means.)  His average grade level was 3.5.  Whoop de doo.   So we'll do it all again after the 6th grade and I'll probably care even less.

And look, it's not that I don't wish he was scoring in the 90th percentile in everything so I could brag about how awesome homeschooling is and how awesome we are.  It's just that he's a normal kid not an uber-genius, and he took that test with zero preparation and without ever using a curriculum.  That should maybe say something about testing and the emphasis we place on it.   Most of all, my wish for him came true - from the end of the original post:

"He still loves learning, and as long as it doesn't "feel like school" he's always interested in what's going on around him."

He is.


  1. I hope that you recognize what you are really saying? Robotson is a successful student and your homeschool program is a success too! I am anti-standardized test for a variety of reasons. One reason is that many teachers teach to the test thereby altering the accuracy of the test. In your case - there was no teaching to the test and Robotson still did well. Imagine if you were following the curriculum exactly and then reviewing past year test to find questions/topics to teach too. Robotson would have blown the test out of the water. Well done! Something to be admired.

  2. Thank you, Sadie! It's really nice to hear someone else say it :)