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Scoil Mhuire CBS, Dublin

STen Scores in Standardised Tests


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 him.
  • 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 him 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.  

When are Standardised Tests carried out in Scoil Mhuire?    
English-medium schools are required to implement standardised testing in English reading and Maths during the period May/June for all children in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes with effect from 2012 onwards.    

How will the results be communicated to parents?   
Your child’s class teacher will share the test results with you, typically at a parent/teacher meeting or in a school report. You will see the results of the tests on your child’s school report at the end of in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes in the form of a STen score.  

What is a STen Score?  
STen scores go from 1 to 10. The table below describes what the different STen scores tell you about your child’s achievement in English reading and maths.  

STen score   What the score means   Proportion of children who get this score
 8-10      Well above average  1/6
 7  High average  1/6
 5-6  Average  1/3
 4  Low average  1/6
 1-3  Well below average  1/6

If your child’s STen score is 5 or 6, you will know that their performance on the test is average. About one third of children in Ireland have STen scores in this band. You can see from the table that there are also STen scores above and below the average. As with other tests your child does in school, their result on a standardised test can be affected by how they feel on the test day or by worry or excitement about a home or school event. This means that each test result is an indication of your child’s achievement in English reading and maths. You play an important role in encouraging and supporting your child no matter what they scores on the test.  

Should I help prepare my child for these tests?  
No. The teacher gathers information about your child’s learning all the time. Your child will take the standardised tests on a regular school day as part of his daily work in the classroom. Indeed, your child may not even realise he has taken the tests!    

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.