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PAT Pānui | PAT Reading Comprehension (and PAT: Reading Vocabulary)

What's changing for schools using PAT: Reading Comprehension in 2024

Our refreshed PAT Pānui | PAT Reading Comprehension is now available online alongside our existing PAT Reading Comprehension, which will continue to be available online and as paper tests throughout 2024. 

PAT:Reading Vocabulary remains as a separate test either online, including a computer adaptive version, or as a paper based version. 

  • Schools can continue using the existing Reading Comprehension paper tests throughout 2024 and expect a shift to refreshed paper tests in late 2024. 
  • The refreshed tests have new designs and content to ensure all ākonga are reflected in the assessments.   

Purchase Paper Tests       |        Purchase Online Tests via NZCER Assist

About PAT Pānui | PAT Reading Comprehension 

PAT Pānui | PAT Reading Comprehension can be used as a formative or a summative assessment which can contribute accurate, relevant and informative data about the progress of ākonga in reading comprehension. It is designed to support kaiako and school leaders to:   

  • understand where ākonga are at in their learning at a specific point in time   
  • identify what progress ākonga are making    
  • identify patterns of strengths and areas of need for individuals, classes, and groups    
  • make informed decisions about the kinds of teaching methods, programmes, and materials that are most suitable for their ākonga.  

Each of the refreshed assessments has been designed with a year level in mind. However, each assessment can be used productively at other year levels. Texts cover a mix of genres and the multiple-choice questions test a range of comprehension and meaning-making skills.  

For full information you can download the PAT: Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary information brochure.  

Get the most out of this assessment by registering for one of our workshops.  

Features  of PAT Pānui

  • Through NZCER Assist, PAT Pānui | PAT Reading Comprehension is a separate test to PAT Reading Vocabulary.   
  • Test scores allow for formative as well as summative reporting.  
  • Scale scores enable a student's level of achievement to be tracked from year to year.  
  • Diagnostic reports can be generated using NZCER Assist.  
  • The tests can be used administered at any time during the school year.  
  • Tests can be used at two or more-year levels.  
  • Qualitative descriptors accompany the progress measurement scale in the Kaiako Guide, which can be used to assist reporting. 
  • Designed to assess Years 4–10 students
  • Includes materials from contemporary New Zealand, Māori and Pacific authors 
  • Focuses on equity, social and cultural diversity, to better reflect communities and environments from across Aotearoa and the wider Pacific
  • Improved accessibility options for ākonga
  • Questions have been recategorised to test a broader range of reading comprehension attributes – including retrieval, local and complex inferencing, integrating and interpreting information, and critiquing and evluating texts.

Benefits of PAT Pānui

  • Multiple tests reflect expected progress through the curriculum. Kaiako can select the assessment that best suits the level of individual ākonga.  
  • Student-centred and relevant, giving an immediate picture of how students are achieving and progressing in relation to their year level. Provides trustworthy evidence of achievement, usefully contributes to transition data.  
  • Complexity of the texts and the multiple-choice questions develop across the series of assessments, supporting teachers to develop a consistent understanding of student progress across the year levels.  
  •  All students’ results end up on one scale no matter which test they sit. This allows for accurate school-wide and/or Kahui Ako-wide reporting for strategic goal setting, planning and reporting to whanau. 
  • Kahui Ako/multi-school analysis reporting for trends, patterns and shift helps to target improvement in teaching and learning.  


PAT: Reading Vocabulary  

PAT:Reading Vocabulary is designed to assess students’ ability to understand the words they read. Each question is based around a key word that is printed in bold and embedded in a short sentence. The students’ task is to choose a synonym that best represents the meaning of this word from a list of five plausible alternatives.  

An effort has been made to choose alternatives that are higher frequency (more common) than the key word. This can mean the correct alternative is not necessarily the best possible synonym, but it should be the best synonym of the five alternatives provided.  

The words used in the test have been selected to represent the 10,000 most frequently used word families in the English language, drawn from both the New Zealand Component of the International Corpus of English (School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 1999), and the British National Corpus (BNC Consortium, 2001). These corpora sample language from a wide variety of sources.  

Features of PAT: Reading Vocabulary  

  • Features seven vocabulary tests, each aimed at a year level between Year 4 and Year 10 (inclusive). Each test can also be used at adjacent year levels to suit particular groups of students in different schools. An adaptive test version is also available. 
  • Deliverable in paper format (combined with PAT: Reading Comprehension) or digitally as a standalone test through NZCER Assist.  
  • Through NZCER Assist, schools can access comprehensive reporting on student progress at student, class, school and Kahui Ako level.  
  • Has a qualitatively described measurement scale to assess progress, with scale scores supplemented by stanines. Student results can be compared with those of a national reference group at specific year levels.  
  • Tests can be administered at any time during the school year.  

Ordering paper tests

Tests can only be purchased by schools, registered teachers, or parents/caregivers of homeschooled children with a current exemption certificate. 

If you can't shop for tests online you can download the order form attached below and email to

Find out more information on pricing and testing online.