Q. Is the California Achievement Test (CAT) still available for testing?

A. Some test suppliers no longer carry the CAT-5 version of the California Achievement test because it is considered an old test; it was nationally normed in 1992. The CAT-5 has outdated vocabulary and pictures to which many young students cannot relate. The demand for the CAT-5 is now so low that the publisher no longer prints and scores that particular version of the CAT.

Some test suppliers have the CAT-5 and are able to provide their own scoring; however, the kindergarten and first-grade test supply is dwindling because young students write in the test booklets, and the booklets can’t be reused. The CAT-5 for grades 2-12 is more readily available because it includes reusable test booklets with separate score sheets for recording the answers.

Many suppliers have changed to the CAT/6, normed in 2005. The CAT-6 has had a name change—it is also known as the TerraNova 2nd Edition®. It is the same test as the CAT-6. You can expect to see less reference to the CAT (California Achievement Test) since the TerraNova name is replacing the CAT name. There is also a TerraNova 3rd Edition®, normed in 2011.

The CAT-5, CAT-6, and TerraNova® tests are used by homeschoolers and accepted by superintendents. The law does not refer to specific norming dates.