Can anyone tell me more about the PAT test? My son's teacher told me that his stanine score cannot be calculated for his age group (he's 6), but she entered him on the youngest possible, resulting in a stanine 9. This is the top 3%. What does that mean? Is there any web-site that explain more on it?
It's hard to find more direct info about the PAT tests (there are several - maths, reading comprehension, vocab & listening comprehension) because NZCER is fussy about only giving/selling info to teachers. You can glean bits of information by googling PAT + nzcer + stanines, for instance, or looking for the promo materials on www.nzcer.org.nz
What is the lowest age that your son's test is normed for? If it's 7, then he's scored as well as the top 4% of 7-year-olds who do the test, which obviously means he's well inside the top 4% of 6-year-olds, more likely the top 2% or so. (I think stanine 9 is the top 4% and stanine 8 is the next 7%. Most kids score around stanine 5, which is average.) And obviously, if the lowest age with data is 8 your son's score is even more impressive.
PAT stands for Progressive Achievement Test and as the name suggests, PATs are tests of achievement to see what level of knowledge or skill the child has reached. They are administered usually from Yr 4, though sometimes a school will start at Yr 3. Essentially, they are a ranking tool. Data generated gives teachers information about a child's achievement level in relation to others the same age and scores can be reported as stanines, percentiles or age (as in, for example, a reading age of 15+).
One of the major problems with PATs is that there is a ceiling - if a child achieves in Stanine 9, does that mean they could not have achieved higher if given a harder test? As Stanine 9 is perceived as excellent achievement, it is rare for a school to offer the child the chance to sit the next level test - they are achieving well, so why worry about it? My dd scored a stanine 9 for reading in Yr 4 and at my insistence (I am a 'pushy parent' who happens to be a teacher) was then tested with the Yr 6 reading comp test, which she also scored in Stanine 9 for. Her reading age was 15+ in Yr 4. What this all meant was that she needed a significantly different reading programme from the other Yr 4s and most of the Yrs 6s.
As a tool for identifying gifted children, it is a poor diagnostician. The asTTLe tests, developed by Prof John Hattie at Auckland Uni, are better in that they report specific skill strengths and weaknesses. However, the most effective way to identify giftedness is a multi-dimensional approach, which looks at achievement tests, behavioural characteristics, parent and teacher comments, work samples, and psychometric tests if available. Looking at all the data together provides a much better chance of correctly identifying giftedness.
Your child's results are certainly excellent and it would be worth profiling him as above for inclusion in the school's gifted ed provisions, if any exist.
My son is at year 3. He took the PAT test on listening and maths in May 2008. He score 32 in listening but I don't know what staine level he was at? Also I have been told by the teacher that he was in staine 8 in maths. What does it means?
My son is also in Year 3 and took the PAT LIstening test at 7yrs 3mths and his score was 35/50. Even though the teacher did not tell me the stanine I was lucky enough to have access to finding out what it meant. He was stanine 9, so your son would probably be similar or stanine 8.
Other than a school or NZCER, you are unlikely to be able to get hold of a PAT sample test. As they are a standardised test used across the country, they are not meant to be available for people to use - there is the remote danger that a child could 'swot up' for the test and skew the results. Some schools no longer use PATs, preferring to use STAR, asTTLe and other measures, as they provide more specific information to teachers.
PATs are multiple choice in format, which can be problematic for gifted kids as they can often see the connections which could be made with more than one answer option! Trying to tell them to choose the best option doesn't always work either - I've had kids who can argue intelligently and convincingly for an option the test says is incorrect! BTW, some gifted kids find PATs intensely boring to do and as a result do not put much effort into them, which can result in lower scores than one would expect. I once had a student who took one look at the reading PAT, saw that she could do it all and it was too easy for her, so she put her head down on her desk and dozed while others did the test. Her result showed she should be in the remedial reading group, when in fact she was reading books 4-5 years above her chronological age, with full understanding! Fortunately, her regular class teacher had the brain to ask her what had gone wrong in the test and discarded the results!
I'm curious as to why you would want a sample PAT test?
If you go to the nzcermarking.org.nz you'll probably find what you need to regarding the PAT test and maybe a sample (although I've not checked). Also with regard to what the results mean go to the following website for the stanine explanation: hoagiesgifted.org/acronyms.htm
Thanks Sue and Glenda. I just want to know what's my son doing in his PAT test. I have got the result from his teacher but not the content. I have checked the nzcermarking.org.nz, the web site is for the school only.
Like asTTle, the new PATs do provide reports on strengths and weaknesses. They arguable contain better written test items, and appear to be have been more carefully trialled and normed. Many teachers feel that they measure achievement more reliably.
I agree. I think I said in my earlier post that asTTle tests provide more specific information for teachers - I personally think that they are a superior test to PATs, as the skill sets are broken down in much more detail. As a teacher, I find them of more value than PATs, but also as a parent - my kids schools share the asTTle results with parents, even giving us a copy, whereas in the days of PATs all we ever got told was a stanine number.
OK - I meant that arguably the new PAT tests contain better written test items than asTTLe, and appear to be have been more carefully trialled and normed. Many teachers feel that the new PAT tests measure achievement more reliably than asTTLe too - the later results can "flip flop" from test to test. My school shares the new PAT reports with parents and children. The new PAT tests shouldn't be equated with the old. At the end of the day of course, the test result has to be considered with what you know about the child as a parent and through other assessments.
The best use for PATs for gifted kids is to use off-level testing. If a child scores a 9 (or9+++ as can happen) stanine, it gives no useful information to the teacher. If that student then sits a PAT that is standardised for 2 years (or more) above their class level and they are still scoring a 9 stanine, it gives the teacher an indication of how high they should be setting the challenge level.
There are a couple of reasons why PATs arenít very useful in identifying gifted kids. They are actually standardised to Ďaverageí students so gifted kids are out of sync with the tests. The sort of questions that are asked (particularly in Maths) donít relate to characteristics of giftedness. Multi-choice questions are particularly difficult for highly creative kids who can often see why more than one of the suggested answers could be right. Thatís why its useful for a teacher to sit down with a kid who hasnít scored as highly as they might have expected and get them to talk bout why they gave the answers they did.
Often students who score well on PATs are high achievers rather than gifted Ė thereís an excellent article on that here - http://www.bertiekingore.com/high-gt-create.htm
PATs can also be culturally biased although the newer tests are much better on this score. I remember years ago when I was working with a teacher in my team who had a bi-lingual class of bright kids. Her kids didnít do as well as the kids in my class on PAT reading and we had expected they would. We analysed the tests and discovered that her kids had all bombed out on one set of questions. When we looked at it, it was an extract about asparagus, so we asked her class (remember this was years ago lol) what asparagus was and noone knew! This could still happen with the new tests with kids from different cultures and ESOL kids.
If you want to see your child's test just ask the teacher - they can't with hold them from you and I can't see why they would want to anyway.
I do not know too much about PAT testing and all the teacher says that our son is doing well. He is a Year 3 child. However they gave him the Year 4 test for Maths and English. He scored a Stanine 9 for Maths and a Stanine 8 for English. He is in a mixed Year 3/Year 4 class and is in the top group for all subjects. The teacher said that most children in the class would get a stanine 5 or 6 so he's doing well. He gets all his maths work right at school during class time but the teacher hasn't given him any harder work as when she gives him a basic facts test for Year 4 he gets around 80 - 85 questions out of 100 answered and they are all correct but she says he needs to get 100 questions answered and correct to move up to the next Year 5 class. I think it's the time limit that is a problem. He is a VS child. Does anyone else have this problem?
VS children often struggle with the basics facts tests, largely because of the timing factor.
If your son is scoring at STanine 9 on the Yr 4 test, the teacher needs to test him with the Yr 5 test (this is called 'off level' testing), and keep going until he does not score at Stanine 9! Basics facts tests are not an indicator of mathematical ability, simply of recall at speed - you may have to push this line with her. At the very least, your son should be doing Yr 5 maths as with a Stanine 9 score for Yr 4 maths he is already at the top of that level!
For what it is worth, my VS daughter struggled with the jolly basic facts tests all through primary and intermediate school, and was convinced she was no good at maths because of these weekly tests, which she usually scored 70s or 80s in. However, she is now in Yr 10 and in the accelerated maths group, doing NCEA Level 1 maths - and not a basic facts test in sight. She can recall basic facts when she needs to, though not quite as fast as others, but at secondary school she is permitted to use a calculator when she needs to and the basic facts are now not an issue at all!
Basic facts are the bane of my life! and my son's too I think. We have been homeschooling for two and a bit terms now and what surprises us is the damage done to this lad in his confidence from regular school. He started school at 5 with what I believed to me a good grasp of maths, but being VS he could solve the math equation but as he was not able to explain how he got the answer (he once said - oh for two of them I used my head and for one I used my fingers) and therefore failed maths. This has left him believing he cannot do maths at all. Now we are slowly repairing this, he can do basic addition but it is a nightmare at times, multiplication however he does in a fraction (no maths pun intended) of the time. Quite intriguing really. Also when he sat the WISC IV at 6 years old he hit the ceiling with the processing speed test where you put the mark within the symbol, when he repeated this as an 8 year old where the symbol was changed to a number where you had to associate the correct mark, his speed was painfully slow, as soon as he saw the number he froze even though it had nothing to do with maths and was being used purely as a symbol, something that needs to be considered during testing these children. Anyway we are making headway everyday and homeschooling has brought about a huge improvement in ability and confidence, quite frankly I don't care how he got the answer, just that he did!
***to explain how he got the answer he once said - oh for two of them I used my head and for one I used my fingers ***
Please may I use that as a quote - that is positively delightful!
I would actually be quite interested in seeing if my own "processing speed" has improved since I started using my brain more the way it was designed rather than the way I have been taught - I expect their would be .... although after 35 years of using it the wrong way for me, I doubt I would "recover" what I lost through education completely.
I must confess that I am still afraid of numbers though - even though I did really well at the mathematical tasks during assessment, its an area of ability I will never really use - I still think of myself as mathematically retarded
Basic facts!!! Oh, my daughter also struggles with basic facts. She's 8 and yesterday had to ask 'Oh, which was does 'e' go again?'! When I showed surprise, she said 'well, I've got so much going on in my mind that I forgot this'. I guess that says it all. These bright children are thinking about so much stuff at any one time that many of these things that are automatic to us, and become automatic over time still require thought at a young age. It's not that they haven't learnt these facts, it's just that for whatever reason they are either not being retained or not being retrieved as they should be able to. My suggestion is that the children can't learn She (can't retain) single facts on their own, in no order whether by rote or other. I know for myself I need to be able to see the full picture before I can remember/learn/retain any single part of that picture. For example, take a bike. How can we expect a child to understand what part a chain plays in the workings of a bike when they can't see the rest of the mechanism or bike? However, when they can see the pedals, chain, spokes and wheels etc they can understand (and therefore learn, retain) very quickly what part the chain plays in making the bike move.
Chugga, my friend is a mathematics wizz as are her gt children. She has managed to convince me that I'm not as mathematically challenged as I have always thought I was! She has explained things to me in a way that makes them actually very easy and very logical - which I never thought algebra especially was!! There's always hope - just how the knowledge is presented!!
The ability to do basic facts has as little to do with giftedness as the ability to spell has to do with giftedness at writing! Being gifted in Maths is about the ability to solve complex problems and build your own strategies.
I once heard a brain researcher speaking and he said that when gifted mathematicians are involved in high-level problem solving, the linguistic parts of their brain are physically inhibited. There seems to be a lot of sense in this Ė it may explain why kids who are gifted in maths can come up with accurate answers but canít verbalise the process they have used. I also believe it just has a lot to do with the speed of processing in the gifted brain. I havenít seen any further research into this but it sure made me think.
This makes it difficult with educational mathematics, which marks kids on their ability to explain the processes they have used. Whilst Iím not good at Maths (BAD experiences at school), I find that if I relax and donít concentrate too hard its actually easier for my brain to work logical things outÖ. if that makes sense. Iím also highly visual so am likely to draw a lot Ė but donít ask me the process Iíve used because I just cant explain it!
Thanks everyone! There are many times our son says I know that answer it's .... and we ask him how he knew and he just says I know. At school they are forced to show their workings. He did some maths the other day - got all the answers right but didn't show how it got there. She wrote in his book - you did not show me how you got the answers - and she didn;t mark them. He went to her and asked are the answers correct and she said Yes but I ask you to show me how you got to those answers. He said in my head! and walked away. It must be frustrating for them. He is very creative also and draws all the time and is very advanced in his drawing ability. He loves to draw but hates to write things down. He loves going on the computer though and finds that a lot easier. He starts at a boarding school for boys next year so it will be interesting to see how they work. They seem to be switched on with giftedness but time will tell. They do alot of there maths on computer so that will fit in well with R. Like Sue said .. when they get to college - basic facts tests don't matter. It's only the time thing as when I have my niece who is 13 with us - we have maths games of adding, subtracting and time tables and R wins everytime. Thanks again for all your experiences.
You may quote my lad anytime, he has some gems as I am sure they all do.
What damage is done freedomnow to these little brains that look for acceptance and praise and get torn down, what is wrong with acknowledging the successes and marking the *&^( work, do they ever stop to think about what they are doing to these children.
My partner who is not E's dad is beginning to see what has happened, and where previously he couldn't see why E behaved the way he did or did not attempt things, he now can see what has happened to his confidence and therefore his desire to try new things and challenge himself, what if he gets it wrong? If I can't explain it then what's the point, I just get in more trouble? At least now if E gets it right he gets it right and if he can apply it to a variety of problems then he can generalise the principle even if he can't articulate it, he's 8 so I am sure there is time to worry about that later.
I would suggest that a gifted mathematician would use the linguistic area of the brain if they are Auditory Sequential but, if Spatial (and being spatial would actually lend itself well to mathematical giftedness) then naturally, the linguistic area of the brain would be "inhibited" because that area is not central to the processing of spatial individuals.
There is also the issue of "terms of reference" .... if one is gifted then, there is a very good chance that the "understanding" and the processes used to problem solve are beyond the terms of reference available to describe them.
For example .... Spatial processing is dimensional .... but, due to the way in which different aspects intersect, 3 dimensions become 7 all space, no space and infinite space all co-exist "simultaneously" - except it isnt actually simultaneous at all because you cannot have simultaneous occurance without time being present.
The concept I am working with is mathematical/scientific - quantum physics I suspect .... and the issue is not what part of my brain is working in order to explain it but, rather an issue of access to the terms of reference to adequately explain the mechanical workings of the spatial mind.
Then again - if I did have access to the "appropriate terms of reference" it still wouldnt make much sense at all to most because the terms of reference are specialised.
The other issue with VS kids is, because the "mechanics" are generally not at all well understood, they arent getting sufficient "handling practise" in order to be able to maintain connection with a spatial concept in order to articulate it .... (language is processed in the same area rather than in the linguistic area so, unless they have sufficient opportunity to develop "multi-management" skills instead of sequential skills they end up having to try and cope with switching back and forth which often results in "losing their place")
When it comes to VS individuals (and they make up a good percentage of the population) I would be very wary of any "brain research" that is based around the assumption that different types of tasks are processed in different areas - because that isnt how the VS brain works.
Just a quick enquiry if anyone knows for sure. Daughter doing test in a wek...the school will stream her maths and science based on results, so we are studying now. She is using the calculator and I am concerned that they will not allow it when she gets to the test. Thanks,
Calculators, Rulers and protractors are NOT allowed for PAT Tests. The test covers the strands Number Knowledge, Number strategies, Algebra, Geometry and Measurement and Statistics.
No special practice is needed for these tests. If your daughter has been doing well in Maths up to now, she shouldn't have a problem! I would advise her to read the questions carefully and go back and check her work if she happens to finish within the 45minutes given!
Jala, are you at school in NZ? PATs are simply tests of achievement used by some, but not all, schools for students from Yr 3-4 on. They are only 45 minutes long, and no, they can't be used to 'kick people out'. The test are used mainly just to check on a child's progress in developing particular skills. Some schools also use them to help work out appropriate student groupings for instruction. The most common tests are done for reading comprehension, vocabulary, and listening, but there are also maths tests. And, no, they are not 'hard to get into' - they are routinely done with all students over a certain age level in the schools which use them.
They are nothing to be worried about or panic over.
So is it worth going back to a school when a child is stanine 9 and sitting a harder one? My daughter loves maths and does a lot in her spare time. She is feeling a bit fed up as there doesn't seem to be much going on that's new. Has anyone asked for a test that is harder to determine a true level?
@Nikki - In my opinion you don't really know how well they are doing if they get a stanine 9 as it doesn't show up any weaknesses. If they can do the next year level PAT it could be very helpful. My daughter was already accelerated by 2 years so I couldn't convince the school to do another year ahead but it is worth a try.
Hi all. My son (year 5 but a year ahead of himself) recently sat his PAT tests in Maths, Vocab & Conprehension. He scored stanine 7 in maths (hates maths as it is too hard???!!!!!???), & only got one answer wrong in both the English ones. After convincing the school to test him out of year for Vocab & Comprehension he sat the year 8 tests & again only got 1 wong in both! The school sais they can't test any higher with the PAT's as they don't have assess to the papers. Does anybody know anything about the asTTle tests? I really want to find out what he doesn't know so we (the teacher & I) know what he needs to work on. Thanks.
I have found these tests very uninformative. I am thirteen and in year nine. I have scored nines on all my tests for quite a while, and this year 100 percent on reading, vocabulary and listening. I am in the top third or so of my class. The tests really aren't giving me much information at this level, and I would love to do a harder/higher test, or at least get some more information about what the results actually mean in class. There is a remarkably small amount of information on the Internet about it, too.