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PAT: Mathematics Adaptive

NZCER has developed Computer Adaptive Testing for PAT: Mathematics. It is the first truly computer adaptive testing for schools in New Zealand.

About computer adaptive testing

Advances in technology and increased student access to the internet made it possible for us to provide an online option for our PATs (and other assessments). We have now made PAT: Mathematics interactive, active and adaptive, creating a personalised experience for those taking the test. 

Adaptive testing accurately assesses a student during the test by continuously adapting the assessment to give them questions that best fit their overall level of achievement. The student is given an initial question and if they get it right they’re given a harder one, or if they get it wrong they’re given an easier one. 

It is not helpful from a learning point of view to always get everything right in a test. But getting everything wrong is equally unhelpful. Adaptive technology means everyone gets the test that is right for them, from students at the lower levels to those who need additional challenge.

Read more about adaptive testing in our online knowledge base article

Features & benefits

Adaptive testing provides:

  • a test that’s truly personalised for students and their capability.
  • reporting at the individual level
  • results from assessments compare the student’s achievements to national norms
  • reporting and measurement on the same scale as PAT: Mathematics.
  • more precise information about how a student is tracking and achieving, with data that can be explored in far greater depth.
  • a more supportive experience for the student

Key features of adaptive test and static tests

Adaptive test

Static test

Each student gets their own mix of questions targeted at their achievement level. Detailed individual level reporting but no group item level reporting.

All students in the group respond to the same questions. This supports item level reporting.

The tests include a variety of question types — such as multiple choice, hot spot, drag and drop and sorting questions.

Only multiple choice questions are used.

Students need to answer each question before they can go on to the next question.

Students can omit a question and come back to it later.

Students cannot change an answer once they have answered a question and pressed ‘Next’.

Students can return to a question and change their answers.

Adaptive testing for PAT: Mathematics will be available from 2017.