Frequently Asked Questions
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Privacy, Shipping, and Returns
We do not share your name, address, email, or any other personal information with any other companies.
We use aggregated test information, including that from your student(s), for research and reporting. We do not, however, use any identifiable student information in connection with such activity. In other words, any statistical information we collect, use, or publish cannot be traced back to your student's personal information or individual test performance.
We assume that any telephone, electronic, or written communication we receive is coming from you as a parent, guardian, or authorized teacher, unless we have a valid reason to suspect otherwise. Any sharing of information that we do, including release of test results to school authorities, is only at your express direction on a one-time basis.
We currently ship orders placed online only in the United States. If you wish to have testing materials shipped to Canada, Mexico, or another foreign country, please call or email us before submiting a paper order.
We ship via US Postal Service. Standard shipping will be via First Class or Priority Mail, depending on the size of your order. USPS Express Mail will be used to ship orders requesting express shipping. For more details, see payment and shipping details for schools and home schools.
You may return most testing materials within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.
You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).
If you need to return testing materials, simply login to your account, view the order using the "Complete Orders" link under the My Account menu and click the Return Item(s) button. We'll notify you via e-mail of your refund once we've received and processed the returned item.
Note: Refunds are given only if testing materials, particularly test booklets, are received in the same condition that we sent them to you. This does not include damage caused by the shipping service that is outside of your control.
General Ordering Questions
Important information for both schools and home schools!
Achievement tests are designed to measure students' skills as accurately as possible. In order to do that, there must be no access to test materials except during the actual testing process. Any student access to tests before testing, any academic "prepping" for the test, and any item-solving assistance during the test will spoil the accuracy of those measurements. In testing terminology, such activity invalidates the test results.
Access to test results after testing must also be controlled. Most achievement test scores are not intuitively understood, and scores such as percentiles and grade equivalents are easily misinterpreted. Test results must therefore be secured and only released with proper restrictions and explanations.
By clicking on "I agree" when placing your web order, or by signing at the bottom of the order form, you agree to the following:
1. That all testing materials and answer sheets be kept securely in a locked facility with access only by authorized personnel, that they be released only for appropriate use, and, after such use, that all materials be returned to the secured area.
2. That tests be administered fully in accord with the directions given and that there be no prior inspection of testing materials in order to prepare students for specific questions on the tests.
3. That test results be reported only to those qualified to interpret them correctly or accompanied with sufficient explanation to allow correct interpretation by those unfamiliar with the tests.
4. That the confidentiality of test results be protected at all times. We do not recommend that students be given copies of their test results.
Orders for booklets and answer sheets are generally sent out within 3-5 business days, so plan your order timing accordingly.
Test scoring timelines:
1. Standard scoring service times for home schools: We will score your tests and ship the results to you within 4 weeks from the time we receive your paid, completed tests. Some times of the year, our turnaround time is considerably less than that.
2. Standard scoring service times for private schools: The same as for home schools, except because of the load of tests received at the end of the school year, we have no guarantee on tests received during the months of May and June. Processing times for those months are typically 6-8 weeks.
3. If you need rush processing, see the back of the Test Shipping Checklist sent with your order. For an additional fee, we can process your tests and have them back in the mail within ten business days. Rush processing fees are refunded in full in the rare event that we cannot meet the ten-day turnaround.
All test documents printed by Catforms Testing Service are copyrighted. Please do not photocopy them. Order duplicate test results from us instead. If you need a reprint after your tests have been processed and returned, order from Section C: Misc Items on the School Order Form.
Note to home schools: duplicate test results are already included in your prices. You can order triplicate test results when you place your order online. You can also order triplicate test results under Section B: Test Pricing on the Home School Order Form.
The 1970 CAT has five levels, covering the twelve grades as follows:
Level 1: Grades 1-2
Level 2: Grades 2-4
Level 3: Grades 4-6
Level 4: Grades 6-9
Level 5: Grades 9-12
For the grades that could be in either of two levels, a good rule of thumb is to use the lower level if the test is taken during the first half of the school year, and the higher level if the test is taken during the second half. Slower students in grades 2, 4, 6, or 9 will probably find test taking easier in the corresponding lower levels.
Note to home schools: We select your test level and form based on the grade you list on the Home School Order Form for your student. If you have two students close together they may be sent test booklets in the same level. However, scores will be adjusted by the actual grade in which they are tested.
Home School Ordering Questions
1. You can order right here on our website
2. You can get a paper order form
a. By downloading it from this website and printing out a copy
b. By emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
c. By calling or writing to us
3. You can submit your paper order form to us by
a. Mailing it to us
b. Faxing it to us
c. Scanning it to a PDF or common image file (such as jpg or bmp)and emailing it to us
Please fill out the requested information completely, whether you are ordering with the paper form or online. You have 60 days from the ship date to have your tests back to our office. Please allow five days or more for return shipping time, which will give you about 45 - 50 days in which to administer your tests. We prefer payment by credit card, which will be charged the $20 per student penalty fee if your materials are returned late or in poor condition. If you wish to pay by check or money order, see the next section on payment and shipping.
Please fill out the student information completely as well. The grade level indicated should be effective on the intended testing date. We will send you the appropriate test based on that grade level. We require a birth date in order to help identify a student in future years. Out of respect for your student’s privacy, we share no personal or individual test information with anyone outside of Catforms Testing Service.
Payment via credit card is due when you place your order, unless arrangements are made otherwise. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. If you wish to pay by check or money order, you will need to use our paper order form. You will also need to provide alternate credit card information or an additional $20 per student deposit. Your deposit will be refunded and your card will not be charged if testing materials are returned in good condition within the 60-day deadline. Standard shipping is via US Postal Service; Express Mail shipping is available for an additional charge.
Please email us at email@example.com . We need to ensure that we can keep our testing materials circulating, which is why we have the 60-day deadline. If time and unforeseen circumstances catch up to you, we can extend your deadline, as long as you keep us informed of what is happening.
Generally, it is best to use the chronological grade level for placing students in achievement tests, in other words, the number of years in school. An exception would be a slow student unable to do a meaningful job in his grade level. Mark him at the grade to which you wish to have him compared.
We need the grade that is current at the time of testing.
Here's why: The 1970 CAT as we use it interprets a grade as being from September through August, with a decimal place indicating the month the test was taken. For example, a 7th grade test taken in September is indicated as grade 7.0, October is 7.1, and so on. June, July, and August are lumped together under 7.9.
There are three sets of norms tables for each grade: beginning of the school year (Sep, Oct, Nov), midyear (Dec, Jan, Feb), and end of year (Mar - Aug). The month the student is tested - or marked as being tested - will determine to which set of norms he or she will be compared.
These norms were established by testing students during the months designated, which is why we use the current grade. For example, if your student is testing in May of 8th grade, we believe that he or she should be compared to the students who tested in the March - June bracket of 8th grade.
On the other hand, use of the "grade entering" policy would be comparing your student to those who tested when they were actually in the beginning or even the end of the next grade, depending on if your scoring software selects the norms by grade and month. This may be useful if determining where to place a student in a particular curriculum at the beginning of the next school year, but is actually a less accurate comparison.
On the student's answer sheet, you can only mark the grade as a whole number and the test date. Our computers calculate the decimal portion of the grade and select the approriate norms tables.
If, therefore, for some reason you want to show a student as entering the next grade, you will need to mark the month tested accordingly.
Example: Andrew is a 4th grader tested in May; his grade level will be shown as being in grade 4.8. If, however, you wanted to show Andrew as starting 5th grade, you would need to mark his grade as 5 on his answer sheet and the test date as September 1, even if you are testing earlier than September. When you do that, Andrew's scores will be compared to students at the beginning of 5th grade instead of to students at the end of 4th grade.On the other hand, if you mark Andrew's grade as 5 and the test date as May, the computer will interpret him as being at the end of grade 5.
If you have at least 10 students in your support group representing at least 3 homes, you may order as a school and save on testing costs. Students must be tested together, test materials must be kept under lock in one location, and a school name assigned to the group. Student information will be kept under the group name, and not under family names. Please go to our School Information page and download a school order form there. We do not currently offer online ordering for schools.
First of all, make sure that you are actually required to submit test results. Many home schools object to such reporting on principle. Also, few states, even ones that require testing, actually call for test results to be sent in.
If you do need to submit test results, we recommend the Test Analysis page. It does not give your student's test history, so that school authorities cannot see possible deviations from previous years. It also does not compare your student with other tests we have on file from private schools and home schools (the Catforms Percentiles). While these comparisons are useful for you, they may show your students in a less flattering light than you would like school authorities to see them. By the way, home schools automatically get two copies of all test results, so you have professionally printed results to submit, plus your own copy. Triplicate results and reprints are also available.
School Ordering Questions
We do not currently offer online ordering for private schools. You can get a paper order form several ways:
1. By downloading it from this website and printing out a copy
2. By emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an order form
3. By calling or writing to us to request an order form
After filling out your paper order form, you can submit it to us several ways:
1. By mailing it to us
2. By faxing it to us
3. By scanning it to a PDF or common image file (such as jpg or bmp)and emailing it to us
Phone orders will be accepted only for additions to an order already placed by mail, fax, or email.
Payment is due when you place your order, unless arrangements are made otherwise. We accept checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Standard shipping is via US Postal Service; Express Mail shipping is available for an additional charge.
Generally, it is best to use the chronological grade level for placing students in achievement tests, in other words, the number of years in school. An exception would be a slow student unable to do a meaningful job in his grade level. Mark him at the grade to which you wish to have him compared. We cannot score a student in a grade outside of his/her test level. For example, if a Level 4 student writes in his grade as 10, we must change it to grade 9 in order to score it.
The grade level indicated should be effective on the intended testing date. September 1 is our computers’ cutoff date for a grade level; test answer sheets dated before September 1 are assumed to be at the end of the grade level indicated, tests dated after September 1 are assumed to be the beginning of the grade level. Test dates can be adjusted if necessary. Example: if you wish to test a student as beginning 4th grade, enter the test date on the student’s answer sheet as September 1, even if the test is actually being taken earlier than that.
Test booklets and Examiner's Manuals are available for schools only from Christian Light Education (CLE). For a test order form, call CLE at 1-800-776-0478. Test order forms from CLE are not available online. We can also fax or email you a CLE test order form on request.
Level 1 and 2 test booklets must be hand scored by the school. We have a Raw Scores Form on which to record the student information, test information, and raw scores from each section of the test. Price on the order form is per student, and you can record information on up to 20 students per form, which may be photocopied if needed. You will receive an Achievement Test Profile for each student in Levels 1 & 2, but not an Achievement Test Analysis.
After doing the hand scoring, please fill out the complete Raw Scores Form, including the student information and the raw scores. Keep your booklets until you have received your completed test results from us; please DO NOT send us the booklets.
Please email or call us right away, and we will help you figure out the best solution.
If you have home school students testing with your school, learning disabled students, or other students whose tests you do not want to have included with your school results, please add the homeschool student surcharge for each of those students. Scoring is more expensive for these students because of the additional record keeping required for them.
General Test Terms and Concepts
There are several types of scores used in the CAT, some of them a bit difficult to comprehend if you are new to achievement tests. The following descriptions may help:
Raw: The number of correctly answered items in a section; not a meaningful measure of performance
Possible: The total number of problems in a section, not really a score at all
Percentile: Percentage of students in the same grade that scored lower on the test (The comparison, or norm, group is 203,684 public school and Catholic school students from 1970). The percentile score is NOT the percentage of items answered correctly.
Grade Equivalent (GE): The student did as well as the median student from the norm group did at the given grade and month in school. If a student does as well as an average 8th grader in the 7th month of school did, his GE score would be 8.7. Note: GE scores alone should not be used to determine a student's grade placement, since a student can make a high score without necessarily mastering all the concepts up to that grade level.
Stanine: A simplified ranking scale of one through nine based on the percentile score. The 1970 CAT Examiner's Manual describes the levels as follows:
9 - Highest level
8 - High level
7 - Well above average
6 - Slightly above average
5 - Average
4 - Slightly below average
3 - Well below average
2 - Low level
1 - Lowest level
Achievement Development Scale Scores (ADSS): A ranking scale of approximately 100 to 900 that measures the student's skill level; it is consistent for all levels and forms of the CAT, and is mainly used to track a student's progress from year to year. This is probably the most difficult score to explain, since it is not linked to grade levels or comparisons with other students.
Catforms Percentile: Percentage of Catforms tests in the same level that had lower 1970 percentile scores. Catforms tests are 1970 CAT tests recorded by Catforms Testing Service, and come predominately from conservative Mennonite schools. This norm group represents better students, on the average, than those of the original 1970 norm group from public schools. This creates a tougher standard of measurement; therefore, your students' Catforms percentile scores will usually be lower than their regular (1970) percentile scores.
Average Level X Catforms student: (found only on Current Percentile Scores graph on the Achievement Test Profile) Plots the 1970 percentile scores of the average Catforms test for comparison with the bar graph of the student's 1970 percentile scores. This method of comparing a student's test results with those of his peers today may be simpler to understand and explain than the Catforms percentile scores.
Norm referencing refers to comparing a student's performance on a test with that of his peers. Most achievement tests are norm-referenced. A nationally-normed test uses a large cross section of students from various backgrounds and locations to establish the comparisons. Scores such as percentiles, grade equivalents and stanines are norm-referenced scores.
A criterion-referenced test measures a student’s knowledge against certain defined standards and reports to what extent those standards were met. For example, a criterion for a third-grade math student may say, "The student will round a whole number, 9,999 or less, to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousand." (Taken from the Mathematics Standards of Learning, State of Virginia) The student would be given several problems relating to that standard. The test then reports to what extent the student appears to have mastered the concept.
Other examples: Most of the tests we give our students are criterion-referenced tests more or less directly based on the curriculum we are using. Ohio public school students have to pass a criterion-referenced test, known as a proficiency test, in order to graduate.
To do any good, test results must be reported to those who can benefit by them, specifically teachers and parents. They must, however, be accompanied with sufficient explanation so that they are properly interpreted. For schools, we recommend private parent-teacher conferences as a good time to go over test results with parents. We suggest sticking to just a few types of scores, such as stanines or percentiles, that are easy to explain accurately. The individual items on the Achievement Test Analysis may pinpoint specific weaknesses that may otherwise go unnoticed, and are fairly simple to explain to those not familiar with achievement tests.
The confidentiality of the tests must also be respected. All test results should be kept from prying eyes, and we do not recommend that students be given copies of their own. What they are told about their performance should be considered carefully; benefits should be weighed against possible discouragement or inflated egos.
First, the subjects tested are the basic skills needed to function in society (readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmetic, if you will), and those skills change very little over the years.
Second, a compelling argument has been made that as public schools have declined in many ways since 1970, the norms on many achievement tests have similarly declined.
Third, as conservative, Bible-believing Christians, we are uncomfortable with much of the materialistic humanism found in many tests today.
The following information is obtained from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). It is not intended to be legal advice, but may prove useful to you. Click on a state to see the legal requirements listed on the HSLDA website. (This will open in a new browser window) Please help us keep these lists up-to-date. Notify us of any changes or errors at email@example.com.
1. States that have NO testing requirements:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California (with possible exceptions), Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming
2. States requiring a nationally normed test which can be administered by a parent (the 1970 CAT qualifies):
Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington
3. States requiring a nationally normed test which may need to be administered by a certified teacher (the 1970 CAT qualifies):
Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania (must be administered by someone other than parent or guardian), Tennessee (depending on home school option), North Dakota
4. States that leave testing requirements to local districts ( check to see if the 1970 CAT qualifies):
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island (parents are allowed to choose the test), Tennessee (depending on home school option)
5. States that require newer or specific achievement tests (the 1970 CAT probably does NOT qualify):
Arkansas, Oregon (see http://www.mesd.k12.or.us/ae/homeschool/approvedtests.php), South Carolina (depending on home school option), Vermont, West Virginia
Note: Alternatives to these requirements often exist, such as evaluation by a certified individual or detailed curriculum disclosure, among others. Check with your state's information or your local school authorities if in doubt.
See the General Ordering Questions for information and specific guidelines.
The three sections of the test are Reading, Mathematics, and Language. They are further broken down as follows:
Vocabulary: Measures a student's knowledge of words and their meanings.
Comprehension: Tests the ability to find information in books and the ability to understand what is read.
Computation: Tests the ability to do basic math operations.
Fractions (Level 3 only): Tests the ability to work with fractions and mixed numbers (Fractions are integrated in the other mathematics sections for Levels 4 and 5).
Concepts: Tests understanding of math concepts, such as signs and symbols, units of measurement, number systems (such as Roman numerals), place values, and algebra- and geometry-related concepts.
Problems: Measures the ability to comprehend and correctly answer word problems.
Auding (Level 1 only): Tests the ability to comprehend and use what is heard by answering questions about stories given orally, and by following verbal directions.
Mechanics, which includes Capitalization and Punctuation below:
Capitalization: Measures the ability to recognize words that need to be capitalized, such as proper nouns and the first word of a sentence.
Punctuation: Tests the ability to recognize what type of punctuation is needed and where it is placed.
Usage and Structure are combined:
Usage: Tests recognition of standard and nonstandard English.
Structure: Tests knowledge of sentence structure in various ways, such as recognizing sentence types, transformation of one sentence type into another (example: changing a statement into a question), recognizing complete and incomplete sentences, phrases, clauses, and parts of speech.
Spelling: Tests the ability to recognize misspelled words.
Test booklets and Examiner's Manuals are available only for schools from Christian Light Education (CLE). For a test order form, call CLE at 1-800-776-0478. Test order forms from CLE are not available online. We can also fax or email you a CLE test order form on request.
For home schools, we suggest that you use another testing service for grades 1-3, if you are required by your state or local school district to test those grades.
Update: for 3rd grade, consider testing your students at the end of the school year as beginning 4th grade. The test date should be marked as September 1 of the current year, so scores reflect the beginning of 4th grade rather than the end of 4th grade. Students should be thoroughly coached on the mechanics of using the answer sheets, including how to find the correct place on the answer sheet, and the proper way to fill in the ovals.