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Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs)

Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs) are multi-choice standardised assessments for ākonga in Years 3-10. There are PATs for Pāngarau (mathematics), Pānui (reading comprehension), listening comprehension, punctuation & grammar, and reading vocabulary.

Tests can be used in a pen-and-paper format, or an online format through our NZCER Assist platform.  NZCER – an independent, public good organisation - continues to be the owner and administrator of the PATs, and supports schools with comprehensive reporting and PLD to implement and administer the assessments.  Schools’ data is private, confidential and owned by the schools - NZCER does not pass on individual or school level assessment data for 3rd party analysis without prior written consent from participating schools.

PATs’ primary purpose is to support teaching and learning. They are intended to be formative, low-stakes assessments – one of several tools schools should use to determine how ākonga are progressing, rather than a solitary indicator of progress. PATs should not be used for high stakes assessment, including teacher evaluation at a national level, funding allocations, streaming processes, public reporting of aggregated school by school achievement, evidence of teaching to the test, or gaming the system. 

For further information, please see understanding PATs - for parents and the community, which explains what PATs assess and how they are marked.

NZCER supports the purposeful use of assessment for focussed inquiry and provides support and advice to schools about using these assessments to support learning. You can phone or email our support specialists, register for an online workshop, or engage our education advisers to discuss the decisions you have to make.

To set up PAT and other assessments for online or paper administration, please log in or sign up at NZCER Assist. 

Throughout 2024, NZCER is continuing its refresh of the PATs. This is an equity-focused refresh of design and content of our assessments, with improved system-level reporting, new tests suitable from Year 3 to Year 10, and improved accessibility (including audio support). This began with the introduction of the refreshed PAT Pāngarau | PAT Mathematics in 2023 (now available online and on paper), and continues in 2024 with PAT Pānui | PAT Reading Comprehension (digital-only for Term 1, 2024). For schools using PATs in 2024:

  • You will need to replace your older paper tests for PAT Mathematics for 2024 or move to online assessment. Our refreshed offering, PAT Pāngarau | PAT Mathematics, has now replaced older PAT: Mathematics assessments in digital and physical formats.
  • If you wish to use paper tests for maths in 2024, you will need to purchase these refreshed items. Alternatively, you can move to our online PATs through NZCER Assist. 
  • Additionally, refreshed assessment PAT Pānui | PAT Reading Comprehension is available for the beginning of Term 1, 2024 online-only. This is a separate test from PAT: Reading Vocabulary. 
  • Schools can continue using the current PAT: Reading Comprehension paper tests throughout 2024, and expect a shift to refreshed PAT Pānui paper tests in late 2024.

PAT Pāngarau | PAT Mathematics

  • recently refreshed design and content with an equity focus 
  • increased accessibility options, including audio support
  • designed to assess students in Years 3–10
  • assesses number knowledge, number strategies, algebra, geometry and measurement and statistics
  • 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 are provided in the teacher manual
  • the tests come as reusable booklets with separate answer sheets
  • Computer adaptive testing is available 

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

  • designed to assess Years 4–10 students
  • older PAT: Reading Comprehension tests remain available for 2024
  • 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.
  • 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 are provided in the teacher manual
  • tests are standarised and easy to mark
  • tests are multiple choice and maps student progress on a scale

PAT: Punctuation and Grammar

  • designed to assess Years 4–10 students
  • questions fall into three categories: punctuation, grammar use and grammar knowledge
  • questions are aligned with the Literacy Learning Progressions
  • multiple-choice for easy, accurate marking
  • able to be reported using scale scores or stanines
  • able to be hand-marked or marked in NZCER Assist 
  • includes recommendations about using results for further teaching and learning.

PAT: Listening Comprehension

  • designed to assess students in Years 3–10
  • there are 8 tests; one for each year level
  • multiple-choice for easy and accurate marking
  • professional sound recordings of texts, questions and each multiple-choice answer on CD
  • user-friendly layout of teacher and student booklets
  • able to be marked in NZCER Assist
  • progress over time can be tracked on a scale
  • starter kits are available


For more information about purchasing PATs

Please call us on (04) 802-1450 or email

Assessments can only be sold to schools, teachers with a current teaching certificate, or parents/caregivers of homeschooled children with a current exemption certificate.  

Please note: Due to increased printing and shipping costs, the prices of our paper assessment items are increasing from 1 July 2022. The new prices are included in the web pricing and the downloadable order forms. Prices last increased in 2018 and we have tried to keep the increases to a minimum. 

NOTE:   The use of photocopied test material (including answer sheets) is a breach of copyright.