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.
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.
Test times are as follows:
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:
Below are some sample Reading questions at the 6th grade level:
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:
To give you an idea of what TerraNova math questions look like, here are a few sample questions designed for tenth grade students.
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:
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:
TerraNova 3rd Edition Scoring
On the TerraNova score report, you’ll receive the following information:
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:
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:
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.