K-12 Private Christian School in Northwest Houston, TX

Testing Standards

Q. Why do CCS students take the TerraNova Standardized Achievement Test and public school students take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR™) test?

A. The STAAR™ exam only tests to see if a student achieved the minimum standard (i.e.: 70%) at each grade level. It answers the question: Did the student master the basic minimum skills for third grade?

The TerraNova Standardized Achievement Test, however, covers a wider scope of learning at a deeper level. It tests for the achievement of essential grade-level objectives and beyond. And, it is a national standardized test that yields benchmarks against students in other schools across the nation as well as Christian school students in ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International).

The nationally-recognized Duke University Talent Identification Program uses nationally-standardized achievement test scores to identify academically talented students who might enjoy innovative programs to optimize their educational development.

Q. Do high school students use the TerraNova Achievement Test for their college entrance exam?

A. No. Colleges are interested in a prospective student's SAT and ACT scores. Juniors and seniors in high school are required to take the SAT and encouraged to take the ACT test for entrance to colleges and universities. Academically talented students entering seventh grade can take the SAT for a 'sneak preview' as part of the Duke University Talent Identification program.

High school freshmen and sophomores take the ACT Corporation’s nationally standardized ExPLORE and PLAN exams. The ExPLORE exam is designed to help freshmen explore a broad range of options for their future. It prepares students not only for their high school coursework but for their post-high school college choices as well. The PLAN exam builds upon the ExPLORE exam helping sophomores develop a solid foundation for future academic and career success. It is a comprehensive guidance resource that helps students measure their current academic development, explore career/training options, and make plans for the remaining years of high school and post-graduation years.

Q. What does CCS do with the achievement test results?

A. CCS tracks trends in student performance for each subject across the grade levels. CCS has over 10 years of data which provides an excellent history for evaluating specific classes of students and trends in the school. While not the only parameter we use for evaluating our school programs, achievement tests do provide a useful metric for evaluating the end results of implementing new textbooks, classroom programs, teaching styles, etc.

Q. Which tests are taken at each grade level?

A. Comprehensive achievement testing programs for CCS students consist of the following:

• Grades K-8 take the TerraNova Achievement Test

• Grade 1 takes Primary Test of Cognitive Skills

• Grades 3, 5, and 7 take In View Cognitive Abilities Test

• Grade 9 takes ACT ExPLORE

• Grade 10 takes ACT PLAN/PSAT

• Grade 11 takes PSAT/SAT

• Grade 12 takes SAT/ACT