Top Tips for TerraNova Test Prep + Printable Practice Test PDFs!

TerraNova Test Prep

The TerraNova assesses K-12 student achievement in areas such as Reading, Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Its purpose is to inform instruction and measure student progress toward college and career readiness.

TerraNova is most commonly used by Christian schools and homeschools. While the information available on the TerraNova assessment is limited, we’ll give you all available information on the test.

If your child will be taking the TerraNova assessment, you can use the information, TerraNova test prep tips, and practice tests here to put your student on the path to success.

You can access a TerraNova test (2nd edition, which is very similar to 3rd edition -- see differences below) by clicking on one of the buttons. In addition, you will receive a bonus PDF "5 Proven Test Prep Strategies for Using Practice Tests" to help you develop a study plan.

TerraNova Basics

The most recent version of the TerraNova is the TerraNova 3rd edition. TerraNova 3 is one of the most widely used achievement tests, and it’s designed to measure mastery of the core subjects: Reading, Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

TerraNova 3rd edition differs from previous versions of the test in a few ways. To reflect more recent national standards, some test questions require a deeper level of understanding. Students may now be asked to synthesize and evaluate information.

The assessment also includes an optional Bible Assessment Subtest, which schools can select to administer if preferred, as well as optional tests on Word Analysis (grades 1-3), Vocabulary (grades 1-12), Language Mechanics (grades 2-12), Spelling (grades 1-12), and Math Computation (grades 2-12).

These optional subtests are short, lasting 15-20 minutes and asking 20-25 questions.

Because TerraNova 3 was designed in 2007, three years before the release of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), it is not CCSS aligned.

However, subtests are aligned with standards of national curriculum groups such as the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

As a short-term solution while an updated norm referenced test is being developed, there is a TerraNova Common Core (TNCC) test. However, it is limited in scope and is only used to test grades 3-8 on English Language Arts and Mathematics.

The TerraNova 3rd Edition test is administered to students in Grades K-12 (or Levels 10-22). All Complete Battery test questions are multiple choice.

TerraNova Test Prep - TerraNova Test Levels

TerraNova Test Prep - TerraNova Test Levels

Test times are as follows:

TerraNova Test Prep - TerraNova Test Times

TerraNova Test Prep - TerraNova Test Times

There are no specific qualifications required to administer the TerraNova. Parents may administer the test and submit it to the testing company to be scored.

In the next several sections, we’ll discuss the type of content that is included on each of TerraNova 3’s required subtests.


The Reading subtest measures student’s ability to read and comprehend grade-level appropriate texts. Content is aligned with the standards of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Passages are authentic literature that is high interest and rich in graphics. Many of the texts are written by well-known authors who are popular with children and teenagers.

Students are expected to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Oral Comprehension (Levels 10, 11 must demonstrate literal and interpretive meaning of texts that are read aloud)

  • Basic Understanding (All levels must demonstrate comprehension of texts by identifying stated information, indicating sequence of events, and defining grade-level appropriate vocabulary in context)

  • Text Analysis (Levels 11-21/22 are expected to draw conclusions, infer information, and identify themes and story elements such as climax, character, and setting)

  • Evaluate and Extend Meaning (Levels 11-21/22 should be able to make predictions, apply ideas to other situations, distinguish between fact and opinions, and make judgements about an author’s purpose, point of view, and effectiveness)

  • Reading Strategies (Levels 11-21/22 should demonstrate awareness of techniques that enhance reading comprehension, such as using prior knowledge, summarizing content, comparing information across texts, using graphics, etc.)
  • Below are some sample Reading questions at the 6th grade level:

    TerraNova Test Prep  - 6 Grade  Reading Question - Sample

    TerraNova Test Prep - 6 Grade Reading Question - Sample


    The Language test is only administered to students beginning at Level 13. Prior to this point, students are not required to take the Language test.

    This subtest assesses key aspects of language proficiency: sentence structure, syntax, grammar and word usage, and paragraph development.

    For example, students should be able to recognize subjects, predicates, run-ons, parallel structure, fragments, correct placement of modifiers, and how to correctly combine sentence elements.

    Students will also be asked to demonstrate an understanding of using information sources and topic sentences, concluding sentences, transitional words and phrases, supporting sentences, and sequence of ideas. They will need to determine the relevance of information to a paragraph or topic.

    Lastly, students should show editing skills by identifying the proper use of capitalization, punctuation, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in a provided text.


    On the Mathematics subtest, students answer questions with real-world context related to contemporary, high-interest topics suggested by students and teachers. Content is aligned with the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

    The first set of questions on the Mathematics section assesses computation and estimation, and no calculator is allowed for these questions.

    Beginning with Level 13 (3rd grade), students are permitted to use a calculator for certain math questions. The Test Director is responsible for informing students when a calculator is appropriate.

    Mathematics questions are based on the following skills:

  • Numbers and Number Relations

  • Computation and Numerical Estimation

  • Operation Concepts

  • Measurement

  • Geometry and Spatial Sense Data Analysis

  • Statistics and Probability Patterns

  • Functions

  • Algebra Problem Solving

  • Communicating Reasoning
  • To give you an idea of what TerraNova math questions look like, here are a few sample questions designed for tenth grade students.

    TerraNova Test Prep  - 10 Grade  Math Question - Sample

    TerraNova Test Prep - 10 Grade Math Question - Sample


    Terranova Grade 9 Science Question

    Terranova Grade 9 Science Question

    The Science test begins at Level 11, and content is based on national science standards and frameworks. The subtest assesses the following areas of knowledge:

  • Science Inquiry (Levels 11-21/22 should demonstrate the ability to perform science inquiry and explain, analyze, and communicate the results of an investigation)

  • Physical Science (Levels 11-21/22)

  • Life Science (Levels 11-21/22)

  • Earth and Space Science (Levels 11-21/22)

  • Science and Technology (Levels 11-21/22 should be able to demonstrate knowledge of technological design and the relationship and interactions between technology and science)

  • Personal and Social Perspectives in Science (Levels 13-21/22 are expected to demonstrate an understanding of fundamental concepts and principles of science that affect personal and social issues, such as personal health, populations, resources, environment, and technology)

  • History and Nature of Science (Levels 19-21/22 must answer questions related to the nature of scientific knowledge and the history of science as a human endeavor)
  • Social Studies

    terra nova Social Studies Sample Question Grade 3

    terra nova Social Studies Sample Question Grade 3

    The Social Studies test is administered to students beginning with Level 11.

    Content is based on the guidelines of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The Social Studies test asks the following question types:

  • Geographic Perspectives (Levels 11-21/22 must demonstrate an understanding of the world’s people, places, and environments, as well as their interactions over time)

  • Historical and Cultural Perspectives (Levels 11-21/22 should be able to answer questions about the study of time, continuity, and societal change, in addition to the study of the contributions, influences, and interactions of various cultures)

  • Civics and Government Perspectives (Levels 11-21/22 are expected to demonstrate an understanding of civic responsibilities and the structures, functions, and purposes of government)

  • Economic Perspectives (Levels 11-21/22 answer questions about the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, as well as the study of economic institutions and systems)
  • TerraNova 3rd Edition Scoring

    On the TerraNova score report, you’ll receive the following information:

  • Scaled Score

  • National Percentile Rank and Stanine

  • Grade Equivalent

  • Normal Curve Equivalent

  • Objectives Performance Index
  • TerraNova Test Prep  3rd Grade  Edition   - "Home" Report - Sample

    TerraNova Test Prep 3rd Grade Edition  - "Home" Report - Sample

    First, the student’s raw score is calculated by adding up the number of questions answered correctly. This number is then converted to a scaled score using a conversion table.

    The national percentile compares your child’s score to the scores of other students across the nation. If your child scores in the 80th percentile, this means her score is equal to or better than the scores of 80% of other test-takers.

    A stanine is a number from 1-9 that is based on percentile ranks. Stanines are normally interpreted as follows:

  • 1: Very Low

  • 2-3: Below Average

  • 4-6: Average

  • 7-8: Above Average

  • 9: Very High
  • The Grade Equivalent indicates what grade level your student appears to be performing on (year and month) based on her performance on the test. This helps you determine if your child’s performance is below, on, or above grade level.

    For example, a Grade Equivalent of 5.7 indicates that your student’s performance on a particular subtest is statistically equivalent to the performance of a fifth grade student in the seventh month of the school year.

    The Normal Curve Equivalent is essentially the same as a national percentile ranking, but it is on an equal-interval scale that can be compared across tests.

    The Objective Performance Index is a score that is reported for each of the objectives measured by the TerraNova. Using your student’s actual performance on the test, the number of items your student would answer correctly if there were 100 questions about a particular objective is projected.

    For instance, if your student has an OPI of 70 for a particular objective, she could be expected to answer 70 of 100 questions correctly in that category. This helps you understand your child’s relative strengths and weaknesses.

    It’s important to understand how scoring works for TerraNova testing so that you can interpret your child’s score report and use it to continue improving in the future.

    TerraNova Test Prep: How to Ace the Test

    Now you know how scoring works, but how can you help your child achieve a high score on the TerraNova 3rd Edition?

    Much of the material that is on the TerraNova will be covered in your child’s classes. For this reason, it is doubly important that your student pay attention in class, complete classwork and homework, take notes, etc.

    If your child struggles in a core area such as Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies, you may want to ask the teacher for extra help or hire a tutor.

    You can also encourage your child to read a high interest text for a certain amount of pages or minutes each week. Reading consistently will help enhance your child’s reading comprehension, vocabulary, and language skills.

    Another important aspect of TerraNova test prep is completing practice questions. The more practice your child gets, the more familiar she’ll be with test content, and the more confident she’ll feel on test day.

    Make sure that your child takes the time to truly understand why right answers are correct and wrong answers are incorrect during practice sessions. When your child misses a question, work together to develop a more effective strategy for this question type in the future.

    If you notice your child having difficulty with certain question types in particular, begin focusing the majority of your study sessions on these areas.

    Lastly, you can prepare your child to use tried and true test-taking strategies like the following:

  • Pay attention to time and pace yourself accordingly.

  • Skip difficult questions and come back to them later to avoid wasting time.

  • Answer every question, even if you must guess at random, because there is no penalty for wrong answers.

  • Use process of elimination by crossing out obviously wrong answers to increase your chances of answering correctly.

  • If you finish early, go back and check your work for careless or rushed mistakes.
  • Before the big test, make sure your child gets a solid night of sleep and a filling, nutritious breakfast. Help ease your child’s nerve and provide words of encouragement.

    You now know all available information about TerraNova testing. Armed with this knowledge, our TerraNova test prep tips, and plenty of practice, your child is sure to perform her best on the TerraNova 3rd Edition.