In Maryland, home-instructed students are not required to take any tests. If the parent chooses, the student may participate in the standardized testing conducted in AACPS. Currently, this includes PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) in grades 3-8 and PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in grade 11. Home-instructed students may take these tests at the public school to which their home address is assigned. Parents should contact that school approximately three weeks before testing to find out when and where to report for testing. When you enroll your child in home instruction, the local, public school is informed if you have chosen to participate in standardized testing.
Special Education Testing
At the parent's request, AACPS will assess a home-instructed child for special education needs. If the formal evaluation determines that special education services are needed and appropriate for the student, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is prepared. If home-instruction is continued, it is the parent's responsibility to provide those services or seek those special educational services outside of the school system.
Advanced Placement Testing
If, through online courses or other instruction, a home-instructed student feels he/she has mastered course work that is equivalent to AP (Advanced Placement) high school courses, the student may arrange to take AP exams through their local high school. All students who sit for AP exams in May, whether home-instructed or enrolled in AACPS, are required to pay the fee charged by the College Board for each test.
Students who have completed a home instruction program through grade 12 do not receive a diploma from AACPS or the State of Maryland. If desired, students age 16 or older may apply to test for a Maryland GED diploma. Unless enrolled in an online school which awards its own high school diploma, this is the only way home-instructed students in Maryland may receive a high school/equivalent diploma. While college admissions offices typically welcome applications from home-instructed students, it is wise to check with each particular college to find out their admission policy regarding high school diplomas and GEDs. Please note that it is not always possible to apply for financial aid without a high school diploma.