Testing with Basic Skills

Basic Skills provides the California Achievement Test (CAT)/TerraNova 2 year-round in both group and private settings. The test is available for students in grades K-12. The CAT/TerraNova 2 is a standardized test that meets state requirements for home schoolers in Oregon, and also provides valuable information about the educational level at which your student is working.

Why Test?

Test scores are useful for:

  • Assessing academic strengths and weaknesses
  • Planning future lessons
  • Complying with state requirements
  • Recording student academic progress

2018 Test Dates & Registration Instructions

Test DateGrades OfferedTime
+ Optional Plus Tests offered on only these dates at Basic Skills. Grades K-2 by appointment only.
May 53-12Location:
Basic Skills Office in Oregon City.


9AM - 11:30AM

Test Results:
Sent by mail two weeks after test date
May 19
June 153-12+
June 293-12
July 133-12
July 273-12
August 33-12
August 103-12

The dates listed above are hosted at our main office in Oregon City.  To reserve student seats for one of the tests above, use the registration form on the right, call our office, or email us at testingservices@basicskills.net.

Please contact the coordinator listed for testing details and to sign up.

LocationTest DateCoordinatorContact Info
The DallesMay 7Erica Jacobsenhomeschooltesting@columbialutheranschool.org
PendletonMay 8Janet Haddockphsa.bcmi.net/testing-information/
HermistonMay 9Janet Haddockphsa.bcmi.net/testing-information/
Klamath FallsMay 10Basic Skillstestingservices@basicskills.net
Bend-1May 14Kathie Martinezkathie4testing@gmail.com
Bend-2May 15Kathie Martinezkathie4testing@gmail.com
RedmondMay 16Kathie Martinezkathie4testing@gmail.com
PrinevilleMay 17Linda Hehncraiglindahehn@gmail.com
Grants PassMay 18Basic Skillstestingservices@basicskills.net
Happy ValleyTBA
WarrenMay 22Shelley Harley dwharley@centurytel.net
DamascusJune 4Sheena Pedersensoutheastchristianhomeschool@gmail.com
Beaverton-1June 5Basic Skillstestingservices@basicskills.net
SalemJune 6Michele Lehnergatewaychristiancoop@gmail.com
Beaverton-2June 12Karen Pautzkmpautz@yahoo.com
BoringJune 13Basic Skillstestingservices@basicskills.net
McMinnvilleJune 14Geri Ann Hortonhappy2behortons@gmail.com
Bend - 3TBA

Please contact the coordinator below to reserve a spot for that test date. Please, whenever possible, contact the coordinator via email.

LocationTest DateCoordinatorContact Info
VancouverMay 25Tracy Neis360-569-4897

To reserve a seat for testing by email, you must include the following:

  • Student first and last name(s)
  • Grade Level(s) for testing
  • Contact phone number

If you are choosing a group that offers the Plus, please clarify if you want the Survey or Survey with Plus test.

Once a student’s seat has been reserved, a Group Test Registration Form can be completed on the day of the test.

Please note that private tests can be scheduled year round. To schedule a private test, please call our office

About the Test

The main portion of the CAT/TerraNova 2 test is called the Survey, and is comprised of four timed tests:

  • Reading & Language Part 1
  • Reading & Language Part 2
  • Mathematics Part 1
  • Mathematics Part 2

The test will measure concepts, processes, and skills taught nation-wide. Students are allowed to bring a calculator for a portion of the math. Basic Skills provides pencils, scratch paper, and rulers.

An optional test, called the Plus, can be taken in addition to the Survey test. It measures skills in the categories of Word Analysis (grades 1-3 only), Vocabulary, Language Mechanics, Spelling, and Math Computation.

An additional report, called the Performance Evaluation Report (PER), breaks down the Survey (and Plus) into subcategories. The report is designed for parental use, and shows how the student responded to specific learning objectives measured by the test.

A note to our testing clients: Test results are kept confidential and mailed directly to the parents, generally within 2-3 weeks of the group test date. Basic Skills does not send anything to the ESD. The test report will provide the raw score, national percentile and grade equivalent for each of the subtests and the total score. We will send two copies of the test report to parents: one for parental record and one to pass on to the ESD, if necessary. A third copy is kept on file at our site until December 31 of the following year.

Practice Tests

We produce a series of practice tests, available as E-book downloads or printed booklets.

Administering Tests

Do you have a bachelor’s degree or teaching certificate, and are you interested in ordering and administering tests through Basic Skills? You may want to apply to become one of our qualified examiners.

Testing Rates (per student)

Test TypeSurvey OnlySurvey PlusSurvey/
Plus PER
Private tests are available throughout the year at our Oregon City office. Call 503.650.5282 for reservations.
Private Test$80$120$10/$15
Semi-Private Test$65$85$10/$15
Group Test $50$65$10/$15

This form will allow you to reserve a seat at one of the group tests held here at our office in Oregon City.

To schedule a private test (available year round), please call our office. For test dates around the state, please contact the coordinator for your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which test do you administer?

We provide the  CAT (California Achievement Test)/TerraNova 2 for grades K-12 in both group and private settings. This test is approved for home school families according to the Oregon Administration Rule, OAR 581-021-0026. The test lasts about two hours and consists of 80-87 questions broken into two sub-tests. Questions are multiple choice and students are provided with pencils and scratch paper. Calculators are allowed on one portion of the math test.

When do I have to test?

The Oregon State Law states that students who are home schooled must test for grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. We recommend that you test your students every year to get an accurate picture of their progress and to keep them familiar with the testing process. The law states that students in the required grades, mentioned above, must test by August 15th of that school year.

Do you send test results to the ESD for me?

We do not send anything to the state regarding your student. We believe that it is your right, responsibility, and decision to provide information to the ESD. After your student has tested with Basic Skills, we will process the test results and create three copies of the test report. We send two of those reports to you, one for your own records and one for ESD, should they request results. The final copy we keep on file at our site until December 31 of the following year, for future reference or in the event that your results get lost.

I have a 12th Grader. Do I need to test?

According to the Oregon law, home school students must be tested by the end of grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. After tenth grade, there are no testing requirements, not even for the CIM/CAM. Diplomas are not awarded to home school students by the state so whether or not your student has earned a diploma is left up to your discretion. We do, however, suggest that your student take either the GED, SAT or ACT.

The GED will be required by most employers if your student is not college bound; they just want to make sure that they are hiring a person who has completed high school. The SAT or ACT are more for college bound students. Almost without fail the college your student is applying to will request these test scores. This is to assure that the student is working at the caliber they require, and is also quite helpful for getting scholarships. If your student knows where he/she wants to apply, we would suggest calling the office of admissions there and asking which test they would prefer, some lean more toward the ACT, some prefer the SAT.

Do you give the SAT or the GED testing?

We do not. To find out how to sign up for these tests you can visit the following websites:

I missed the group test that was in my area, and your site in Oregon City is too far away. Is there any other way I can still get tested without coming out to Oregon City?

We have examiners in many cities and towns throughout Oregon and Southern Washington. These examiners often times will come to your house, administer a private test to your student and then send the results to us for processing. Fees vary for these private examiners. To find out if there is an examiner in your area, call our office or email us at testingservices@basicskills.net.

I have had my student tested. How long before I get the results?

For group tests we promise a two week turn-around time. That means that if you tested on June 15th, you should have the results by no later than June 29th. For private tests, you will receive the results about 20 minutes after that test has been completed.

I just received my results, and I have some questions. What should I do?

First, please read through the Interpretive Guide that was included with your test results. This guide will answer many of the basic questions you may have. Secondly, read the rest of these “Frequently Asked Questions.”
If you still have questions after reading the Interpretive Guide, please call Basic Skills (503.650.5282) if you would like someone to help you interpret your test scores.

I don't understand the national percentiles on the test report. What do they mean?

The national percentiles are not a grading scale of your student’s performance, they are a ranking scale. In other words, if your student received a 65% on his Reading Comprehension test, that does not mean that his grade would be a “D.” It means that if there were exactly 100 students who took the Reading Comprehension test and then were placed in a line according to their scores (100 being the 1st place and 1 being the last place), your student would be in the 65th spot in line.

My student's score on one of the subtests was 20/20 but her national percentile was 98. Why didn't she get a 100?

Please read the question and answer above first to better understand this answer. Often times many students will score high on a particular test. This means that the highest national percentile rank goes down because students are essentially sharing the highest rank. For example, if four students score 20/20 on a test, those four student share the top spot in the national percentile so the highest percentile would be 96.

What is the Grade Equivalent and what does it tell me?

The grade equivalent shows the theoretical grade and month in the school year for the student based on the norm level. It represents placement in the thirteen years of school, kindergarten through twelfth grade. So, for example, 4.6 means that your student, for that particular test subtest is working at the fourth year, sixth month. This score does not mean that a student has mastered all of the skills taught up to the grade level indicated. Grade equivalents are not intended to be used for placing students in grades.

What is the Performance Evaluation Report (PER)?

The Performance Evaluation Report is an additional report that will provide more information about your student’s performance. The general test report will give you your student’s raw score and national percentile for each of the sub-tests. The PER will tell you specifically which concepts were presented and which ones your student got correct and which ones your student missed. This report is $10.00 (when the Survey Only is taken) and can be ordered at the time of the test or after you receive test results.Please click here to view a sample of the Performance Evaluation Report.