High School Proficiency Exams

I guess all I can say is, Wow!  Wow, because there is no consensus online at least on the meaning of the different terms used to describe tests.  Take this site for example.  She uses the term diagnostic test to refer to assessment exams.  Her definition can easily be used to describe assessment exams and do.  But why isn’t there some continuity with regard to at least the terms that people use?  I don’t get it.  I know that the terms change based on what state they’re from or even country


Some terms are in order.  

Proficiency is the ability to use language in a real-world situation.

Performance is the ability to use language in a limited and controlled situation such as a classroom or controlled situation-based exchange.  

Achievement is the ability to repeat language elements that have been taught and mastered at some level. Each has a role in language learning, but only proficiency is what people use to communicate in the real world. 

What are they?
General assessment tests measure a student’s comprehension of acquired skills and content.  In education, Achievement Test Scores are used to determine the level of instruction for which a student is prepared. High achievement scores can indicate mastery of grade-level material and the readiness for advanced instruction. Low achievement scores can indicate the need for remediation or repeating a course grade.

What are they used for?
Used as criteria for college and military entrance.  To place students in appropriate level of college courses and help students get additional help if they need it.
1. Standford 10 Achievement Test Of all of the achievement tests, the Stanford 10 Achievement Test is considered the most rigorous.
2. Iowa Achievement Test California Achievement Test, CAT. Of the three achievement tests–Standford 10, Iowa Basic Skills, and the CAT–the CAT is considered the easiest.
3. What is the CAHSEE?  CAHSEE is the acronym stands for California High School Exit Exam.  California Department of Education explains it thus.  The CAHSEE is given to 10th graders each March.  Despite the school’s campaign for passage, the state puts very little pressure on students to pass.  If a student does not pass the test in the 10th grade, she has more chances to take the test. Students can take the test 2 times in the 11th grade.  And as incredible as this sounds, incredible because the test is easy, students can take the test up to 5 times in grade 12.  In 2013, the CAHSEE was given on March 12 and 13.  If you’re looking for help in the CAHSEE Math, then I suggest signing up at the Khan Academy (it’s free) and watch the videos posted there as they progress from easy to more difficult.
4. AP Exams.
5. CLEP, College-Level Examination Program.  If your child wants to test out of a number of classes in his college freshman year, have him take CLEP Exams while in high school, starting in the 9th grade.  Want to save money on college?  Then have your son take CLEP exams in high school.  For the English Literature CLEP exam, start here. And here is a sample question for the American Literature test.   Please note: **You must get a statement in writing in advance regarding the college’s acceptance of CLEPs, APs, and DSSTs.  Each school is different.
6.  HiSET, High School Equivalency Tests.

Books you need to read for a CLEP English exam:

1. Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence
2. Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth
3. Ernest Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms
4. Ernest Hemmingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises
6. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
7. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise
8. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick
9. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
10. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
11. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter
12. Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man
13. Richard Wright’s Black Boy
14. Richard Wright’s Native Son
15. Stephen Crane’s Maggie, a Girl of the Streets
16. Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage
17. Stephen Crane’s War Is Kind
18. Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop
19. Willa Cather’s My Antonia
20. Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!
21. Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark
22. William Faulkner’s The Light in August
23. William Faulkner’s The Sound and Fury