NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Superior Test Scores for Home Schoolers

February 11, 2000

No one knows for sure how many youngsters are being taught at home rather than in traditional classrooms. The figures range from 750,000 to 1.5 million. What is certain, however, is that they are acing their public school counterparts on such college entrance exams as the SAT and ACT.

  • Home schoolers have bettered the national averages on the ACT for the past three years running -- scoring an average 22.7 last year, compared with 21 for their more traditional peers, on a scale of 1 to 36.
  • Home schoolers scored 23.4 in English -- well above the 20.5 national average.
  • In reading, they scored 24.4, compared with a mean of 21.4.
  • The gap was closer in science, and home schoolers performed below their peers in math -- 20.4 to 20.7.

On the SAT, home schoolers scored an average 1,083 -- amounting to 67 points above the national average of 1,016. Similarly, on the 10 SAT2 achievement tests most frequently taken by home schoolers, they surpassed the national average on nine -- including writing, physics and French.

Family income of home schoolers tends to be below the median, but their parents have more education than the national norm.

A recent survey by the National Center for Home Education found that 68 percent of colleges now accept parent-prepared transcripts or portfolios in place of an accredited diploma.

Source: Daniel Golden, "Home-Schooled Pupils Are Making Colleges Sit Up and Take Notice," Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2000.


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