General Questions

Q: How is the Assessment of Religious Knowledge (ARK) different from other testing?

A: ARK allows you to see how individual students are learning from 2nd through 12th grades and not just a snapshot of aggregate scores across just three grades. Also: 

  • ARK shows students’ longitudinal record and growth scores to track individual and aggregate performance over time
  • ARK offers the opportunity to include custom questions to assess your own diocesan initiatives.
  • ARK offers belief & behavior questions linked to six domains of the Faith to better assess Catholic Identity and culture.
  • ARK does NOT include intrusive questions regarding your students or faculty’s private lives.
Q: Why test so many grades?

A: Only testing 3 times, or as much as 3 years between testing provides no opportunity to take corrective action. As in testing for other academic subjects, research has shown that having a longitudinal record for students more readily predicts issues with their assimilation of knowledge. As we know our Faith is difficult to teach, having a better understanding, grade-by-grade of the improvement areas allows you to adapt to the students’ needs.

Q: Can I see sample questions?

A: Absolutely! Navigate to: ARKTest.org/Sample-Questions

Q: Can I test my school without the diocese having a contract?

A: Absolutely. We have pricing options to fit many needs and are happy to discuss your specific situation and how we can best help you accomplish your goals.

Q: When can I see results?

A: Our testing window runs till early May. We will be validating our calculations and algorithm post-test, and anticipate results to be available in late-May. We will update our subscribers as we near test-completion.

Test Administration

Q: How long is the test?

A: The test length varies according to the age group. A typical 2nd or 3rd grade test should take about 25-30 minutes. A high school test can take up to about 45-50 minutes.

Q: Can ARK support students that need accommodations or are on IEPs?

A: Yes! The Proctor can allow extra time for students in need. For students who need reading support, the test works with all major device text-to-speech features (Accessibility Features) for questions and answers.

Q: Is the test web-based?

A: Yes! We designed the test to be easily taken on mostly any device students will have. Navigating to a simple URL allows the student to login with unique credentials provided by the teacher/proctor. This can even be completed remotely! Most modern computers, tablets and chromebooks running an up-to-date browser will work.

Q: Can the test be taken remotely for students learning at home or in a hybrid environment?

A: Yes! The ARK platform supports testing from anywhere with a good internet connection.

Q: Is there a paper test option?

A: YES! There will be an additional cost to administer the test on paper to defray the cost of shipping and scoring the paper results. Please contact us to discuss logistics and administration differences from the digital-only approach.

Q: Is there a pre-test available?

A: No.

Q: Why don’t you offer practice or pre-tests?

The Assessment of Religious Knowledge is not an achievement test. Therefore, we do not encourage studying for it or completing any preparatory materials in an effort to earn higher scores. The purpose of ARK is to help schools and parishes understand what people in the community know and believe about the Catholic faith. It is meant to offer supports and illuminate paths for helping people grow in their knowledge and practice of the faith. 

Results Reporting

Q: Can I see the questions the students answered incorrectly?

A: Yes. In the reporting tool, a teacher will be able to see incorrect answers coupled with the recommended resources we provide. This should provide clear direction and content to help augment the student’s needs.

Q: Should I give ARK for a grade in my class?

We do not recommend assigning grades to scores on the ARK test. 

Q: I want to reward teachers and students who do well on the test. What do you recommend?

We commend your desire to affirm those in your school who know their faith well! Very few things contribute to the Catholic identity of a school then the knowledge and beliefs of the teachers and students who are on fire for the Faith! However, we discourage assigning any rewards or punishments based on scores.

Teacher Testing

Q: Do the teachers take the test?

A: Yes! We include faculty testing with the student test. This gives you the best understanding of all factors impacting the student results.

Q: What questions are on the teacher test?

A: The faculty takes a test that is an assortment of questions from the various ARK grade levels. 

Q: What if my teachers aren’t Catholic?

A: This is certainly a growing concern in schools across the country. ARK will support measuring the effectiveness of the mission of your schools and improving Catholic Identity.   Helping all teachers understand basic tenants of our Faith will help our non-Catholic teachers exemplify the Catholic values we’re trying to instill in our students. The goal again is to help identify development areas for these teachers to be more effective in leading their students.

Q: When do teachers take the test?

A: Teachers should take the test around the same time as the students. This will allow the most direct correlation between the performance of both populations. 

Q: Can I have non-religion teachers take the Teacher Test and/or as part of a diocesan-level certification program?

A: We encourage all faculty to take the test. This will provide the broadest view of the school’s identity, strengths and opportunities to improve. School leaders can use this information to offer a variety of resources based on clear needs of their teams.

Parish Testing

Q: Can our Parishes take the test?

A: Yes! While we clearly expect there will be differences in results. The topics tested are found in all religion publishers series’ across 2nd through 12th grades. In fact, we encourage conducting the testing to give you a more comprehensive view of what is working well and what may need attention in your diocese.

Q: We do not have access to technology, what can I do?

A: Great news! You can use ARK even if, like most parishes, you do not have a computer on hand for every student. We offer three ways you can choose from to best meet the needs of your families:

Model 1: Students Use Their Own Tech
With parental permission, students can use a phone, tablet, or laptop from home on the day they will take ARK.

Model 2: Students Test at Home
Designate a day and time where all students will meet via Zoom (or other online meeting tool,) and test from home, with their parents’ supervision.

Model 3: Paper Tests*
You can have all the benefits of ARK, including dashboards, growth-tracking, and curated recommended resources, while having your students test on paper. Contact us for more information.

*Paper testing is available at an additional cost, and may have a shorter testing window to ensure timely reporting. Contact us for more information!