Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Homeschoolers and Subject Tests

Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement (Photo: eddieisflying)
by Lee Binz

In addition to admissions tests, homeschoolers who are planning to attend college should look into tests such as the SAT and AP subject tests.

A subject test is a test that covers just one subject, which means it's not a standardized test assessment and it won't meet your state's testing requirements.

Both tests are offered overseas, and if you're a missionary or in the military and are stationed overseas, you may have to travel to another country to access the tests, but it's not like traveling back to the US.

SAT subject tests are high school level tests, and include twenty different subjects, including French, American history, chemistry, and math. They are one-hour exams, and some colleges require all students to take them to demonstrate proficiency.

A few colleges that are not particularly homeschool-friendly only want to see these tests from homeschoolers, but those schools are in the minority. Some very selective colleges require a score of 5 on this test, while many don't ask for any particular score.

AP subject tests also measure one subject at a time, and like the SAT tests, they do not satisfy your state's requirements for a standardized test assessment. The difference between SAT and AP subject tests is that the AP is a college level test, and has 34 different subjects.

Some colleges will award college credit for the AP subject tests. Sometimes AP scores will be required or strongly suggested by some colleges. Public and private schools both offer the AP exam, but they are not required to let you participate, so it's a good idea to look around ahead of time for a school where your child can take the AP.

The AP exam is an essay test, including long essays, short essays, and a couple of multiple choice sections. All of the questions are pretty hard. The possible score for the exam ranges from 1-5, and the scores on this exam may indicate the grade you may get for college. A score of 5 is perfect, so some colleges will give you a grade of an A for that. That also means that some colleges will give you a B if you got a 4, and passing is a 3 so they may give you a C.

The questions are multiple choice, as well as some free response. The test is offered in May, and takes about two or three hours to complete. Currently the cost is $87, and some scholarships can be given.

For information about creating great homeschool records and incorporating those AP scores into your high school transcript, visit my website!

Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is a homeschool high school expert. Both her two boys earned full-tuition scholarships at their first choice university. Look for her on Facebook!

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