College Admission Tests for Homeschoolers

By Crystal Ladwig, Ph. D.
Person taking written test

A common question among those considering homeschooling is “what to do I do when my children enters high school?” Parents may worry about academic demands, transcripts and college admission. Colleges and universities nationwide not only accept homeschooled students, but many of them recruit homeschoolers. But what college admission tests are for homeschoolers?

Historically, colleges required standardized tests like the SAT and ACT for college admission. Although some have made these tests optional, these and other similar tests are still required for some colleges and scholarships. So, how do homeschoolers take these tests typically offered in public school settings?

What are my options?

Four primary tests are offered for college bound students. Although students can take these tests at other times, the PSAT is typically given to students in 10th and 11th grades, while the SAT and ACT are typically administered in 11th and 12th grades. PSAT scores can qualify students for scholarships, most notably a National Merit Scholarship.

The SAT and ACT are administered for college admission and scholarships. These tests focus on students’ math and language arts skills. Notably, the ACT also includes a science portion.

All colleges accept the SAT and the ACT as they review admissions applications. Admissions websites and advisors often share the average test scores of the most recently admitted cohort of students. It is recommended that high schoolers research the scores for the colleges they’re interested in and use that information to decide if they should retake a test.

The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is the newcomer. Commonly accepted at private and faith-based colleges, it is gaining traction in public colleges and universities. In fact, the Florida Board of Governors recently approved the CLT for admissions in all Florida public colleges and universities. This comes after the school voucher expansion law included provisions for the CLT to be accepted for students seeking the Bright Futures scholarship.

Which tests should my child take?

Consider each child’s unique skills and strengths when helping determine which tests they should take. Homeschool students can take any of these tests, but how they are administered varies. Public schools typically offer the PSAT, ACT and SAT for free, but students must register through their zoned high school. Although schools typically offer these tests once annually, they can be taken at other times throughout the year for a fee. These testing opportunities often include smaller groups that may be more comfortable for some homeschoolers. The CLT is the only college admissions test students can complete online at home. Specific guidelines are available to ensure the security and validity of the test.

How do I register my child?

If you want your child to take one of these tests at a public school, call your zoned high school
and connect with school counselor or testing coordinator. They can give you the relevant dates and times. For all other testing opportunities, Google the test and register directly from their websites. There are plenty of opportunities for homeschoolers to take college admission tests.

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