Q. Why would the PSAT, SAT or ACT not qualify for a homeschooler’s standardized achievement test?

A. The PSAT, SAT, and ACT provide different types of information than a standardized achievement test. The homeschool law states that a parent must submit the results of a standardized achievement test or an independent evaluation each year.

Standardized achievement tests such as the CAT, Iowa, or Stanford are tests that measure your student’s progress compared to the progress of other students at the same level who take the same test across the nation. The student’s achievement test “composite score” (language arts and mathematics only) must be at or above the 23rd percentile in order for a parent to continue to homeschool. The PSAT, SAT, and ACT do not provide a composite score, and the score is not given as a percentile.

The PSAT provides firsthand practice for the SAT and gives students the opportunity to qualify for National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs. The SAT and ACT tests measure a student’s ability to reason and indicate academic readiness for college.

I am aware that a handful of superintendents have accepted the PSAT, ACT, or SAT in the past, although they did not meet the requirements of §22.1-254.1 (C). I don’t know the circumstances—it’s possible the student was a senior and test results were not really required in order to continue homeschooling.