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St. Bernard's Catholic School

Terra Nova Testing Information

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The TerraNova is a test designed to measure achievement in the basic skills taught in schools throughout the nation. The subject areas measured are Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Word

The TerraNova Test is a norm-referenced, standardized achievement test. Norm-referenced means that each child's achievement in a broad area, such as language or mathematics, can be compared with other students' achievement in about the same grades. Achievement means just that--the test provides a "snapshot" of how much learning the student has achieved so far. The test measures the basic content and skills that are most common to curricula throughout the country.  It cannot possibly measure, nor should it attempt to measure, the full curriculum of a particular classroom or school. 

  • How will I know how my student performed on the TerraNova?

  Information pertaining to your student’s test results will be mailed to you in a Home Report.  This report gives parents an overview of how their child is doing in all areas tested when compared to students across the nation. The scores are returned in National Percentiles and are represented in a bar graph. The 50th percentile means that the student is on grade level.

  • How can I help my children do their best on the test?

Explain the purpose of the test to your children. Let them know that the test will be useful in identifying the skills and knowledge that they have already mastered and those that they need to learn.

Convey a positive attitude about the test and encourage your child/ren to do their best. Let them know that some items on the test may cover material they have not yet studied, and they are not expected to know all of the answers.

However, encourage them to try all of the items, to pay careful attention to directions, to use their time efficiently, and to review their answers if time allows.  Let your child know that you consider the test important, but try not to be too anxious. Do not lead your child to expect a reward for doing well, or punishment for doing not so well. Let your child know you expect him or her to do the best he or she can.

Introduce your child to the mechanics of taking the test, and give them an idea of the kinds of questions they will be asked.  Practice Activities, designed to familiarize students with the formats and the terminology used in TerraNova, The Second Edition , should be administered a day or two before testing.

Before the test, encourage the sort of good work habits that are useful in test taking as well as in other work. These habits include following directions carefully, avoiding careless errors, and looking over the work.  Be sure that your child has a good, nourishing breakfast each day of the test.

Example of a TerraNova test question:
This is a question that would be in the Language section of an achievement test given to students in the sixth or seventh grade.

1.  Pat and I  __________  to write to each other.

a.) am agreed    b.) has agreed

c.) have agreed  d.) is agreeing

The student decides which of the four phrases is the best one to fill in the blank. Then he or she would mark (c) to be correct.

St. Bernard's Catholic School