the Tests

I found some UK kids tests in my teachers college stuff, we must have been given them as a ‘this is kinda like a P.A.T test with out us giving you one’ thing. They are for year 5, level 3-5. I have taught in the UK but couldn’t tell you if that us the same as an NZ year 5, or our maths levels. H would be a year 6 if she was at a school – based on age. I got them out to show Helena what a test was like. She has decided to do them because she wants to! And was aghast that I would let her have as long as she wanted as she had read the instructions which said 45 minutes…

I have given her no hints as to how to get the best results, like moving on if you are stuck – she read that in the instructions. She did not sit them at a desk, nor was she silent but she did them. She did ask me some questions- How many bits in a pound, a reasonable question as we do dollars.

  • She knows a lot more than I knew she knew
  • She can concentrate for 45 mins no trouble mostly… and even better can see that that part is crucial to finishing

Of course we have no answers! We marked them together. Then just for fun and because he said she shouldn’t use a calculator we got her 88 year old grandpa to sit the maths one as well. H got 31.5 out of 35 in 45mins. Dad got 32.5 in 21 minutes and sat at the table. He did not use a calculator. H’s mistakes were things she left out as she didn’t know them, Dad’s mistakes were errors in counting, units and an explanation – stuff that had no bearing on ability or understanding just details. The mistakes I would have made would have been similar- bad reading.

There are tests that are called formative – checking what someone knows before you teach them to suck eggs. Then there is summitive assessment where you see if they understood what you told them. Thinking about the maths test and the two participants who got very similar results I can see that H has gaps (calculating % and now she has sat a test we have reason to do this) but Dad knows his primes from his fibonacci numbers and weird stuff about individual numbers. So his test just tells me he’s like me, sloppy. If I just had the test results I would not know this, the results would be meaningless but if we streamed they would be in the same group..

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