What are Standardised Tests?    
Standardised tests are used to:

  • Report to you as a parent on your child’s achievement in English reading and Maths.
  • Help to find out if your child has learning difficulties in English reading or Maths so that the school can put appropriate supports in place.
  • Help to find out if your child is a high achiever in English reading or Maths so that appropriate learning experiences can be provided for them.
  • Help your child’s teacher plan for further learning across the curriculum because your child’s achievement in English reading and Maths is important for all his learning.

Are Standardised Tests Intelligence Tests?   
No. Standardised tests are not intelligence tests. The main purposes of using standardised tests are to help the teacher plan your child’s learning, and to inform you about how well your child is doing in English reading and Maths. When the test scores are used alongside other information gathered by the teacher through observing your child at work, talking with them and looking at his work, they show how your child is getting on in English reading and Maths and help the teacher to identify your child’s strengths and needs.

It is also important to bear in mind that tests do not measure and identify talents, abilities, emotional intelligence and resilience; all skills which are essential components of education and learning.

Test scores are estimates
When looking at your child’s scores, it is important to remember that a result from a standardised test is only an estimate – it only represents a sample of the child’s performance, on a particular day, and with a particular set of test questions. Therefore, there is a margin of error associated with each test score. It is important to pay particular attention to the teacher’s feedback on your child’s performance in literacy and numeracy in the day to day classroom context as opposed to focussing on standardised scores. The test score is just one piece in the jigsaw of information about your child’s progress.

Where can I get more information?   
Additional information can be found on the NCCA website or from your child’s teacher(s). We hope that you have found this information helpful in understanding the purpose of standardised testing and interpreting results.