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Test optional for homeschoolers too?

milgymfammilgymfam 708 replies13 postsRegistered User Member
Im trying to compile a list of colleges that are totally test optional, even for homeschoolers. Anyone know of any?
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Replies to: Test optional for homeschoolers too?

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5487 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Possibly Bard. Thry have a couple of application " pathways".
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 708 replies13 postsRegistered User Member
    It appears that UChicago is as well.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29482 replies170 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Start with the list at FairTest.org It should not be too difficult to work through that list.
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  • AllGraceAllGrace 2 replies0 postsRegistered User New Member
    My oldest daughter is at Smith. She was homeschooled and it was fully test option and very homeschool friendly.
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  • CU123CU123 3429 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Think of this from the perspective of an AO. They have to have something to let them know the capabilities of your child, so you’ll need to provide that somehow. Homeschool grades won’t do it. Standardized testing is the easiest but there are other ways.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 708 replies13 postsRegistered User Member
    edited July 10
    @CU123 , honestly I hate that your perspective assumes dishonesty on homeschooling parent’s part. My grades should be no less valid than those given by random school teachers. We all use curricula, we all assign grades based on rubrics, etc. That said, my kids have at least two years of accredited grades from full high schools, as well as dual enrollment grades. I feel that should be sufficient to gauge their abilities the same as any other student without test scores. That said, there are not other ways. The schools that are test optional but not for homeschoolers do not caveat that with anything. They don’t take into account the amount of outside validation already present at all.
    edited July 10
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  • CU123CU123 3429 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    OK well it’s not me or mine trying to get into college on home schooled grades alone so you can believe what you want. BTW the admissions offices don’t tell you a lot of things about their process.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22422 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't think it assumes dishonestly but there are a lot of things that go into gpa from a traditional school that just aren't always there in homeschooling, especially if there aren't duel enrollment or outside courses. A homeschooled student can do everything on the rubric (if the parent even uses one) and get an A while a traditional student can complete the same items and not get an A because 5 other students in the class did those things better. An AO might 'know' the high school and the curriculum and know the rigor, but not know the homeschool situation.

    There is no requirement in my state that a homeschooler follow any program, create rubrics, or have a level of rigor. I think most do, but they don't have to ever have taken a written test, or a standardized test and can have a 4.0 gpa. The schools may not require test scores, but the application may not be very strong without them.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 5754 replies89 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    a traditional student can complete the same items and not get an A because 5 other students in the class did those things better.

    Where do you live where a traditional student can complete everything on the rubric and NOT get an A? At my school all 6 students would get an A along with everyone else who completed everything on the rubric. If I did otherwise grading, I'd be the one getting into trouble.

    Our school uses rubrics precisely so students can see what is expected of A/B/C level work on a project.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22422 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    So there is no comparison of students at your school at all? All 30 kids in a class can get an A? No bell curve?

    My kids went to a catholic school. In 4th grade a girl joined the class and went from an A student to a C student fairly quickly. When her mother asked what the problem was she said "They only give you one chance on the tests! If you get the questions wrong, you can't redo them!"
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6622 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Catholic school here too, not a chance that a teacher would give out all As.
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  • allyphoeallyphoe 2357 replies57 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I've never seen a high school or lower level classroom where the teacher set the desired grade distribution in advance, then assigned kids to their spot on the curve based on their relative performance. I've seen many classrooms where the teacher understood the consequences of their grade-weighting scheme so poorly that a kid who was good with math could easily game the system.

    Most classrooms will have a reasonable grade distribution because the class has a reasonable distribution of ability and effort levels. That's different than saying, "the top five kids in this class had a 100% average, and get As. The next-highest kid got a 99%, which would normally be an A, but there are already so many As that they'll get a B instead."

    If everyone performs at the highest levels, why wouldn't everyone get an A?
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22422 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    But I've seen a lot of students get a B because some other students did such outstanding projects it makes just checking off the items on the rubric look average. I guess it is up to a teacher to decide whether everyone gets an A or only those who got 100% on everything.

    Homeschooling has the advantage of moving at that student's pace, of scheduling tests or other evaluations at the best times for that student, of repeating work until it is mastered (which is a great thing). It's up to the parent to set the rules.

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  • CreeklandCreekland 5754 replies89 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    So there is no comparison of students at your school at all? All 30 kids in a class can get an A? No bell curve?

    Of course there's comparison, but yes, technically every student could get an A. On some projects, most do, but in general, not every student wants to get an A. Some look at the rubric and feel, "That's all I need to do to get a C" and stop there on purpose. My "Generally A" lad had many students tell him, "You know you don't need As to pass. You only need a C." That's just as much of a mindset as the top "driven" student mindset TBH - perhaps even more common than it where I work.

    Tests don't have rubrics. Those have set numerical numbers to get an A (93 or higher). If every student got a 93, they'd all have As (well, A- if I get technical, a true A requires a 95). No different with rubrics.

    Classes are not the same. Technically they might be Bio Level 2 (our average level - generally college bound), but within the first block class you might have 2 really good students and in the 4th block class you might have 15. Bell curve grading wouldn't suit at all. It'd be awful.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77125 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    So there is no comparison of students at your school at all? All 30 kids in a class can get an A? No bell curve?

    Seems uncommon for high school courses to use curve grading. Usually, they have a preset percentage like 90% = A, 80% = B, etc.
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  • JanieWalkerJanieWalker 415 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
    I agree the test-optional-except-for-homeschoolers thing is ridiculous. If the homeschooler is taking a ton of classes through accredited institutions with actual certified teachers (dual enrollment at colleges, respectable online courses, etc) then they have outside validation for the grades...my oldest will end up with 36 credits from community colleges and our four-year state college...she is taking in-person classes right alongside full time college students for 11th and 12th grade along with online AP courses with certified teachers/professors....yet she can’t go test-optional.? There needs to be caveats. She doesn’t get to take tests over or schedule things on her own time...there are too many blanket assumptions about homeschoolers out there. So far she is doing well with all her standardized exams, but the extra hoop jumping is irritating when she already has more AP scores and advanced courses as a rising junior than do the majority of the rising seniors at our local public school.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 5754 replies89 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @JanieWalker Email admissions at schools she's interested in to see if they will make an exception. My lad had some different things from his homeschooling years and only Emory wouldn't make an exception. Therefore, he cut Emory from his list. Their loss, not his. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with two majors and two minors at the school he attended, so I'm pretty sure they were happy to have him and glad they made the exception.

    He had an ACT test score though. (And a couple DE/AP.) That wasn't the exception. (No SAT or SAT II and not quite a traditional transcript with courses.)

    The worst admissions can do is tell you they won't make an exception. Then the student has the option of jumping through the hoops or going elsewhere. It was an easy choice for my lad when literally every other school he was interested in was more than willing to accept his app as it was (they accepted him too). Why test for one school? (Emory wanted SAT II from homeschoolers and wouldn't budge. Again - their loss - though honestly I'm not sure it would have been his first choice over where he went when he made his decision.)
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  • JanieWalkerJanieWalker 415 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
    @Creekland - thanks - good idea. The only grades my kids have that were assigned by me are art and PE. Every other subject is/was taught and graded by teachers or professors. She has one solid SAT2 score (740 Chem) but participates in regional competitions each month which always seem to fall on SAT dates. Also, if for whatever reason her SAT scores don’t break 1500 (practice tests are all in the 1400s thus far) she would like the option of not sending them to extremely selective otherwise test-optional schools.
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  • mamaedefamiliamamaedefamilia 3408 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @JanieWalker Has she tried the ACT? My older kid consistently scored low 1400s on practice SATs and the real thing. She got a 35 on the ACT.
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