There are certainly distinct, and sometimes heated, opinions about the use of standardized testing in the early years of homeschool. Some will say that they like having their children tested for the peace of mind that they are ‘on track’ and that their homeschool is being successful by the public system’s standard. Some will have their kids tested just so their family is as compliant and congenial to the system as possible, without adopting the entirety of the public system’s philosophy. Some have their kids tested simply so they have practice answering tests like this! And others would simply never have their children tested because they are so confident that they are providing a superior education to whatever the public school system might test for.
However, when it comes to homeschooling through high school, having your child write some of the high school standardized tests certainly helps in the ease with which they gain admission to their postsecondary institution of choice. Homeschoolers are still, in certain circles, an ‘unknown commodity’ so being able to present your child on some measure of standard comparison makes the registrar’s job easier, and that works in your favour. Still there is debate as to the usefulness of the testing and the validity of the marks, but standardized tests may just be a hoop to jump through, regardless of your opinion on the matter. (Some Canadian tests to consider: http://www.canadiantestcentre.com/Homeschoolers.php)
While it is known that American universities ask for SAT scores as part of the application process, you should know that Canadian universities and colleges also ask for these scores. Because they are a well-recognized benchmark test, the SATs are certainly a good item to have in your child’s portfolio. However, CATs, SATs, or ACTs should be considered as only one part of a good portfolio: you cannot rest your child’s ability to get accepted to a Canadian university on that one test result. You will want to present the most complete picture of who your child is. Standardized test scores are not a secret password to unlocking your child’s post-secondary career. For more details on pursuing SATs and other details of admission to university and college read the information on the Postsecondary pages.