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Do Private Schools Take Standardized Tests?

October 03, 2023
By Bayshore Christian School

Most private schools, like public schools, require their students to take standardized tests. However, private schools have a lot of testing options to choose from, whereas standardized testing in public schools are determined by the state. Christian schools in South Tampa Florida choose to administer standardized tests to help monitor the success of their curriculum. Standardized testing is also required for schools to accept state scholarships.

Types of private school standardized tests

The type of standardized tests that private school students take depends on the school. There are a lot of testing options, and each school has the choice as to what test(s) they utilize. Some of the tests that private schools administer are:

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). The ITBS is a standardized test that assesses reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies skills.

The TerraNova test. This test is a standardized test published by McGraw-Hill. It primarily assesses reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, vocabulary, and spelling.

MAT testing. The Metropolitan Achievement Test is a test administered twice a year that measures a student’s language arts, math, science, social studies, spelling, and reading skills.

The i-Ready assessment. The i-Ready assessment is used to determine a student’s needs and progress in the areas of reading and mathematics.

All of these assessments are available for K-12 students. At Bayshore Christian School, a Christian school in South Tampa Florida, kindergarten through eighth grade students take the ITBS. High school students take multiple tests for college admission or their future career, including the PSAT, the SAT, the ACT, the ASVAB (the military entrance exam) and the Strong Interest Inventory.

Public school vs. private school standardized tests

Some standardized tests in public school are different from private school standardized testing. Up until April of 2022, Florida public schools were required to administer the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) to students third through tenth grade three times a year. However, starting in the Fall of 2022, the FSA will be replacing the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T.) test. Private schools can choose to give this standardized test, but most do not.

College entrance exams

Both private school and public school students are required to take either the SAT or ACT to apply for college in the United States. The SAT consists of writing, language, and mathematics sections. The ACT includes a science section in addition to reading, English and mathematics.

Schools can elect to hold these tests on their campuses. This gives students the opportunity to complete the test during school hours. If a school does not choose to do this, their students will have to sign up to take the tests on other campuses or testing locations.

The only tests that colleges are interested in are the SAT and the ACT. Other standardized testing does not affect college admission.

Why standardized testing?

Standardized tests given in elementary through high school, such as the FSA and the ITBS are for the school’s benefit. They assess the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching strategies. Additionally, they allow private schools to accept money from state scholarships. Standardized testing also benefits the parents in that they can see where their child is excelling and struggling in school.

Bayshore schools

Bayshore schools are pre-K through 12 private Christian schools in Tampa, FL. Our mission is to educate our students while providing them with an uplifting atmosphere that nurtures their faith in Jesus.

Contact us, today, if you have any questions about standardized testing at Bayshore Christian schools, or if you would like to learn more about our admissions process!

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