Testing & Evaluation FAQs
Key: Purchase Service Package
For our purposes, we have defined “private school” as three or more families meeting at least four days a week for regular academic instruction at a non-residential location.
Yes, your school may maintain its own supply of test booklets and purchase our scoring services separately. However, you must ensure that your machine-scorable booklets and answer documents are compatible with our scoring system. Please visit our scoring page for further instruction.
In addition, some page numbers in your current teachers' directions booklets may not correspond with our two-part local scan Stanford booklets for SESAT and Primary levels. The following pdf documents detail these differences.
SESAT 1 | SESAT 2 | Primary 1 | Primary 2 | Primary 3
Yes, your school may also purchase test booklets, directions and answer documents from us. You will order scoring services separately after testing.
We offer rebates for school group testing if certain conditions are met. For more than 300 tests, up-front discounts are available. Please see our Promotions/Refunds page for complete details.
What types of conventional private schools may order tests from you?
The publishers authorize us to provide tests to private schools under certain guidelines:
- For schools choosing the service package option, every tester must meet the tester qualifications and be preapproved by us.
- For The Iowa Tests®, the school’s total K5–Grade 12 student enrollment must be 2,999 or less. The Iowa Tests® are available to Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist schools with a maximum enrollment of 99 students. *
- For the Stanford tests, there is no enrollment limit on private schools within the United States. Overseas private schools are limited to a K5–Grade 12 maximum enrollment of 500*.
* Please contact us for possible exceptions.
May public school students test through BJU Press?
Our contractual obligations prohibit us from providing tests to publically-schooled students, including those enrolled in charter schools or online publically-funded programs.
What are our ordering options?
- Your school may purchase tests from us, or you may use pre-purchased tests and order only the scoring.
- A testing materials service package option is still available as well. See the Iowa and Stanford comparison charts to help your school make a decision regarding which option is best for you.
Please see General FAQs for more information.
What grade level test should we order?
Generally, the test level should correspond to the current grade level of the student’s core subjects—reading, language, and math. Please refer to page 2 of the Checklist & Guidelines to see what test you should order for the specific time of year you are testing.
Do you have a grade placement test?
A standardized achievement and/or abilities test can be used as a general guideline when admitting a new school student, but achievement tests should not be used alone to determine a student’s grade placement. BJU Press publishes a “Scope and Sequence” that lists the concepts taught at each grade level in the BJU Press curriculum; this information can guide you in your grade-placement decisions.
How many Identification Sheets should I order for my school?
For The Iowa Tests®:
- One purple Building Identification sheet is required for the school/group.
- One blue Class Identification sheet is required for each class.
For Stanford Achievement Tests:
- SESAT 1 through Primary 3—two purple SSID (Scoring Service Identification) sheets are required per class;
- SESAT 1 through Primary 3 with OLSAT—three purple SSID sheets are required per class;
- Intermediate 1 through TASK 3 with or without OLSAT—one purple SSID sheet is required per class.
Do these tests have essay questions?
Because these tests are designed to be an objective measure of a student’s achievement, they are presented in a multiple-choice format.
May we administer more than one achievement test to a student?
It is unethical to test the same student within a short period of time (less than three months) with
- Multiple levels from the same publisher
- A test from each test publisher
- The same test level
Whether intentional or not, the first administration essentially becomes a “practice test” for the subsequent administration, a practice that is unethical and forbidden by the test publishers. If you have an unusual situation that you believe warrants special consideration, or if you need further assistance in selecting the most appropriate test level, please feel free to contact us.
How often should we administer the CogAT® or OLSAT®?
It is recommended that the CogAT or OLSAT be administered every 2 to 3 years. A learning abilities test may be particularly helpful in the elementary through middle school years, in combination with an achievement test.
What does it mean when tests are “embargoed”?
Sometimes a test publisher makes an agreement with a state department of education or a local school district granting them exclusive use of a particular form of the test for a limited period of time. In these cases, BJU Press Testing & Evaluation is prohibited from shipping that particular form of the test to the area covered by the agreement. In most cases, we can provide an alternate edition of the test. However, occasionally an embargo may be so broad that no other form of the test is available. In those situations, our customers may use the other publisher's test (Stanford in place of ITBS/ITED or ITBS/ITED in place of Stanford).
Should we use Stanford tests or The Iowa Tests®?
Both are top-rated, nationally standardized tests, designed to accomplish the same purposes. Both provide thorough results reports. Although both tests are similar, there are some differences that may affect your decision. The Iowa Tests Forms C and E are newer than the Stanford 10. Whichever test you choose, there are advantages to using the same test from year to year.
- Stanford 10 is administered untimed; ITBS/ITED is timed.
- ITBS permits a wider grade range of students to be tested at the same time. Stanford tests evaluate listening skills through grade 8, The Iowa Tests® through grade 3. Both tests require administrators to meet certain qualifying requirements.
When should we order our tests?
Test dates between early March and late June
For those purchasing tests, we encourage ordering as early as possible but no later than 6 weeks prior to your test date to allow adequate processing and shipping time. Priority shipping is available if needed (see shipping chart for applicable fees).
Test dates between July and February
Orders generally ship within 7 business days. Order 3 weeks prior to your test date to avoid priority shipping/handling fees.
Schools ordering the service package will receive their tests approximately two weeks prior to their test dates. These schools will have 21 days from the test date to administer the tests and return all test materials. Once we receive your completed tests and signed Student Roster, results generally will be available to you online within 10 business days (allow two extra weeks in May and June).
Does it matter what time of year I test?
Testing is available year-round. Students' scores are compared to standardized scores for the time of year the testing was administered (based on when tests arrive in our office for scoring). This means that a student testing in the beginning (Fall) of 4th grade would be compared to other students who were also beginning 4th grade. The “Norms Period/Norms Week” on the results report will indicate the time of year used for calculating scores.
How do I tell whether my order has been shipped?
Log in to your school’s account at bjupress.com and enter the order number or find the order from the View All Orders link on your My Account page. If the status says “Shipped,” your order has been shipped, and you may click on that link to see the tracking number and find shipping details. If your Order Status is “Waiting for Resale Verification,” the school administrator must click on the status link and sign his/her agreement to the terms before the order can ship.
What can delay the processing of my order?
The following practices will cause delays in receiving orders and/or results:
- State sales/use tax is not computed and included in the order.
- The necessary signatures or test date are missing from the order.
- One or more testers have not been pre-approved and registered with us.
- The school's address is inaccurate.
- Testing booklets and other materials are not returned following testing or are returned in unacceptable condition.
- One or more testers fail to return the signed and completed Student Roster included with each shipment.
- The school administrator has not signed the Contractual Agreement for the purchase of test materials.
- Insufficient or incomplete Identification Sheets
Should students guess?
Guessing is appropriate ONLY if the student has sufficient knowledge to eliminate at least half of the answer choices. Random guessing lessens the clarity of the scores, making it difficult to distinguish between weak areas (many wrong answers) and areas not yet covered (questions left unanswered).
Are calculators allowed?
On the Stanford test, calculators are optional for Math Problem Solving, but they are NOT allowed for Math Procedures (through Grade 8). Calculators are allowed on all TASK (high school) levels. On The Iowa Tests, calculators may be used for math subtests ONLY when permitted by the Directions for Administration.
What information do I fill out on the answer document?
See links to sample answer documents for the Stanford and ITBS®/ITED® achievement tests. The actual format may vary slightly for different test levels. The blue Checklist sent with the tests will also provide small images of these sample pages.
My student has educational difficulties. What special accommodations are available during testing?
Students with diagnosed disabilities may qualify for certain accommodations during testing. Generally, the student's IEP will list the appropriate modifications. Be sure to include a note with the returned test(s) listing any accommodations given. For further details, see this info from the publisher, or call us at 800.845.5731.
How do we order scoring of our tests?
When testing is complete, create your scoring order before sending your documents to us. When you create your scoring order online, you will have the opportunity to import your list of students, which will expedite the scoring process. At the end of your scoring order, be sure to follow the instructions linked from your “Scoring Service Order” confirmation email to create the return label and paperwork to identify your shipment.
How do we organize our test documents for scoring?
Please organize test documents in grade order from lowest to highest with student names facing up. (Paper banding is optional.) Place Identification Sheets at the top of each corresponding class.
How should we return materials?
- For service package, test booklets, directions, answer documents, and signed Student Roster should be returned, whether used or unused, within 21 days of the test date.
- All schools should return materials/answer documents by an INSURED and TRACEABLE method (UPS, other private service, or USPS insured mail). When losses or damages occur, claims are generally handled more easily through UPS or another private delivery service.
- Multiple shipments may be combined for return.
What if my courier delivery service doesn’t want to insure the materials?
In rare cases, delivery services may claim that they “do not insure paper.” However, most of them do insure stocks, bonds, event tickets and other valuable documents. Testing materials are nationally standardized tests and therefore are valuable documents. If you have run into this problem, please feel free to present this letter to your shipping provider.
Do you offer any refunds or rebates?
- If testing materials are a service package, unused testing items generally qualify for a 75% refund. Rebates are available if certain conditions are met. Please see our Promotions/Refunds page for complete details. Materials returned late or in damaged condition may be subject to lower refunds or none at all.
- For schools purchasing testing materials, any unused achievement test materials returned in original condition within six months will receive a 50% refund; any unused ancillary materials will receive a 75% refund. See School Refund page for more details. Materials returned late or in damaged condition may be subject to lower refunds or none at all.
When will we receive our test scores?
Once we receive your completed tests and required paperwork, results will generally be available to you online within 10 business days. (Allow two extra weeks in May and June.) We will send an email notification when the results are posted online.
How do we access our online results on the My Tests page?
Results are now posted online to give you the fastest possible access to scores!
- Be sure you have version 7.0 or later of Adobe Reader or Acrobat downloaded to your computer. (http://get.adobe.com/reader/)
- Log in to bjupress.com and go to the My Account page.
- The My Tests link should take you directly to your test results page. From there you can view, download, email, or print your students’ results.
- If you don’t see your order, check the date range and adjust as needed (a maximum of six months can be displayed at one time).
Will the scores tell us what curriculum level to use?
Achievement test scores can indicate possible areas of academic weakness; however, test results should never be used as the sole determiner for any educational decision.
What will the results look like?
Sample pages of our various results are available here.
Why are my students' percentile ranks on the Stanford 10 lower than their results from previous years?
BJU Press Testing & Evaluation began using Pearson Assessments 2007 norm comparisons in 2014. This document may help you understand why the percentile ranks may differ.
What does PHS stand for in the GE (Grade Equivalent) column of my student's Stanford results?
The Stanford GE sometimes lists PHS, which stands for Post High School. This means your student earned a Scaled Score that is higher than what most 12th graders earn. This does not mean your student is ready for college-level material. The higher the GE, the more thoroughly the student has mastered the material in his current grade.
Why do my Stanford results look different from other Stanford 10 reports I have received in the past?
The official Stanford local scan software (used for our in-house scoring) produces score reports that are different in appearance but contain the same essential information as those produced by the central scoring center.
What is a Lexile®?
The Lexile Framework® for Reading is a reading measurement that matches a student’s reading level to appropriate reading text. Beginning with the first grade, a Lexile measure is reported on Stanford results, while a Lexile range is indicated on Iowa results. Lexiles help parents and teachers choose reading material that their students should be able to comprehend. View a listing of JourneyForth books with their Lexile measures.
We’ve misplaced our results. Can we get copies of the scores?
Results from previous years can be posted online to the purchaser's account free of charge by request. If you need results to be mailed or emailed, please call the Testing department at 800.845.5731 for specific pricing details.
How long does BJU Press maintain test storage?
Physical tests/data files will be maintained in storage at BJU Press for six months following scoring. If you have questions regarding accuracy of individual or group reports, please contact our office within this timeframe.
How do my teachers become qualified test administrators?
They may complete online tester applications at bjupress.com/go/testerapp. The test publishers have established strict guidelines for who may administer a test. They are as follows:
For the Iowa Tests® Series, each tester
- must have a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree OR
- must be a teacher, certified by a state department of education to teach in a public school or other conventional school (homeschool or local association certification does not qualify) OR
- must be or have been a full-time academic classroom teacher in a conventional school (not a homeschool) AND
- must be listed with us as a pre-approved tester by completing an easy online application.
For the Stanford Achievement Test Series, the tester must
- Have a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree AND
- Have current state-issued teacher certification and experience administering standardized achievement tests OR
- Have at least one year’s experience as a full-time academic teacher in a traditional school and experience administering standardized achievement tests OR
- Have watched the Stanford 10 Administrator Training video produced by BJU Press AND
- Be listed with us as a pre-approved Stanford tester by completing an easy online application.
Do my teachers have to be qualified testers if our school is purchasing tests or using pre-purchased tests?
Your teachers need to meet the test publisher’s qualifications as listed above.
- For schools purchasing tests from BJU Press, each teacher/tester does not need to submit an online application, but the school administrator will be required to sign a Contractual Agreement certifying that all teachers who will administer the tests are qualified according to these guidelines.
- For schools using pre-purchased tests, each teacher/tester must also meet the publisher’s requirements.
May testers administer achievement tests to their own children?
Approved testers may administer tests to their own children (or children related to them) as long as their state law permits and there is no conflict with any other entity which may require test results for admission, award granting, etc. In these cases it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that they are following the guidelines required by their state or other entity.
What grades (test levels) may be tested simultaneously?
ITBS®/ITED® Grouping Options for spring testing*
- K5–Grade 2 (Levels 5–8) must each be administered separately by grade and may not be grouped.
- Grades 3–8 (Levels 9–14) may be administered together.
- Grades 9–12 (Levels 15–18) may be administered together.
Stanford Grouping Options for spring testing*
- K5–Grade 3 (SESAT2–Pri3) must each be administered separately by grade and may not be grouped.
- Grades 4–6 (Int1–Int3) may be administered together with minor modifications.†
- Grades 7–8 (Adv1–Adv2) may be administered together with minor modifications.†
- Grades 9–12 (TASK1–TASK3) may be administered together.
*For fall testing, please refer to the test level rather than the grade level.
†Please note that the Listening subtest must be administered to each grade level separately. Word Analysis and Listening are administered separately for The Iowa Tests
What is the difference between a tester and a proctor?
Unapproved adults (proctors) may assist only in distributing pencils and scratch paper and during breaks but may not administer tests. Every individual who does ANY of the following must be a pre-approved tester:
- Reads directions
- Times the test
- Is in any way solely responsible for the student(s) at any point during test administration
Every tester must also sign the Tester Sign-Off on the Student Roster to be returned with the completed tests.