TerraNova Test (Meaning, Description, Uses, Skill Assessment)

TerraNova Test

The TerraNova test is recognized as an achievement test usually given to students in the Kindergarten grade to the 12th grade.

It is a test that assesses students’ achievement in language arts, reading, science, mathematics, spelling, social studies, vocabulary, and other areas.

CTB/McGraw-Hill published the Terra Nova test and, so far, has raised the bar as the highest standards in technical quality, research, and item validity and reliability.

What the TerraNova Test mean?

Terra Nova tests are typically multiple-choice questions, answered using bubble sheets.

Providing answers to the different sections could take between fifteen minutes to a few hours, and in some cases, the tests could extend beyond a day.

There’s an inclusion of short answers for fifth graders and above. 

Generally, results are norm-referenced nationally, meaning that the scores of students are a reflection of their achievement compared to all students who took the test across the nation.

Technically, it is first expressed as a raw score; then, a percentile ranking is conducted.

This is, however, distinct from criterion-referenced tests, which assess students’ performance depending on their mastery of the material.

In 2015, a new version was introduced by CTB, recognized as TerraNova 3 Online.

TerraNova 3 online is a test taken online and includes a whole battery of both selected responses and constructed-response test items.

More so, it provides well-detailed diagnostic information on students’ fundamental and applied skills.

In addition, students’ scores are listed in percentiles.

For instance, if a student gets a 50 percent score, the student performed as well as half the other students in their grade throughout the nation.

Uses of the TerraNova Test:

Generally, a TerraNova standardized achievement test is designed to provide valid achievement scores used for most decision-making types in education.

Other uses of TerraNova Test include: 

  • To assess processes, concepts, and objectives taught across the nation.
  • To examine and recognize areas of strength and weaknesses through the performance of students.
  • The test serves as a basis for reports to both students and parents.
  • For comparison of students with all students in their grades who partook in the assessment across the country.
  • To enable teachers to become aware of their students’ needs. This assists teachers in working towards improving their students’ achievement and filling up gaps in achievement.

TerraNova Skill Assessment

The TerraNova test offers several assessments that help with the measurement of significant higher-order thinking skills as well as fundamental and applied skills.

These tests produce criterion-referenced objective mastery scores, norm-referenced achievement scores, and performance-level information.

The subjects usually assessed include Language, Reading, Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies.

TerraNova Complete Battery makes provision for detailed diagnostic information.

This series of assessments produce accurate achievement scores that are norm-referenced, which is a whole complement of performance-level information and criterion-referenced objective mastery scores.

On the other hand, TerraNova Survey is a summarized version of the Complete Battery and provides an overall assessment of achievement with a reduced testing time.

The Survey produces norm-referenced achievement scores, performance-level information, and criterion-referenced objective mastery scores.

Lastly, TerraNova Plus Tests give in-depth information about students’ fundamental skills.

They are used to measure vital Word Analysis, Mathematical Computation, Language Mechanics, Vocabulary, and Spelling skills.

Moreso, the Plus tests serve the purpose of providing diagnostic information about your child.

TerraNova Test Description on Skills Assessment

TerraNova Common Core: Form 1; this comprises of:

  • Reading (This is for grades 3–8 only)
  • Math (This is for grades 3–8 only)
  • English Language Arts (For grades 3–8 only)

TerraNova Common Core: Form 2: It consists of:

  • Science (For grades 3–8 only)
  • Social Studies (For grades 3–8 only)

TerraNova Multiple Assessments include:

  • Reading and Math (For grades 1–12)
  • Language (For grades 3–12)
  • Science, and Social Studies (For grades 1–12)

TerraNova Complete Battery includes the subjects:

  • Reading and Math (For grades K–12)
  • Language (For grades K–12)
  • Science, and Social Studies (For grades 1–12)

TerraNova Survey: This is made up of subjects on

  • Reading and Math (Specifically for grades 2–12)
  • Language (For grades 3–12)
  • Science, and Social Studies (For grades between 2–12)

A breakdown for the TerraNova Tests


This includes oral comprehension, analyzing text, basic understanding, introduction to print, Reading and Writing strategies, and evaluating and extending meaning.


This includes editing skills, writing strategies, and sentence structure.


This includes number and number relations, operation concepts, computation, and numerical estimation, measurement, statistics, and probability, geometry and spatial sense, data analysis, functions, patterns, problem-solving and reasoning, algebra, and communication.


This includes life science, physical science, earth and space science, science inquiry, personal and social perspectives in science, science, and technology, and history and nature of science.

Social Studies: 

This includes historical and cultural perspectives, geographic perspectives, economic perspectives, and civics and government perspectives.


The State of California initially used TerraNova as part of the California Achievement Tests, 6th edition, also recognized as CAT/6 all around the state’s testing program, STAR. 

For quite some time now, the CAT series of tests have been available, even before many states in the United States began formulating their standards-based tests.

Moreover, in the early 2000s, the United States recognized the CAT as part of their general testing movement.

The CAT was also vastly utilized outside of California to examine the achievement of students.

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