Progressive Achievement for International Schools (PAIS)

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Assessment overview

The Progressive Achievement for International Schools (PAIS) is a series of assessments in Mathematics and English that schools can administer to students on-demand multiple times per year and receive instant results. The tests enable teachers, parents and school leaders to longitudinally monitor the educational development of students in Grades 1–10. PAIS can assist educators in establishing the points that individuals have reached in their learning, in setting personal targets for further learning and in monitoring the progress that individuals make over time.

The PAIS program assesses and monitors the subjects of English and Mathematics. The tests require students to think about topics rather than just recall information, and to apply their subject knowledge rather than just remember facts. Each test level has two forms that enable schools to administer two assessments at each year level per academic year. Tests from Grades 3–10 include international cohort comparisons and school performance benchmarking data.

The PAIS assessments do not follow any single national curriculum. This allows students from all countries to be compared fairly. Each subject has been influenced by curriculum content found in the national curricula of UK, Australia, Singapore, USA and others. However, the PAIS assessments are skill-based, not content-based and as such do not rely on specific content from the curricula. The PAIS program has a similar curriculum coverage with that of large-scale international assessments such as TIMSS and PIRLS.

View our webinar Progressive Achievement Approach and PAIS presented by Dr Jarrod Hingston.

Development process

The PAIS tests were developed by expert test developers with many years of experience in assessment and curriculum development. Using sophisticated psychometric analysis, every test question and every participating student is placed on a developmental scale for that subject area. This enables teachers to easily see the subject areas where students are performing above the standards and the areas where students may require additional support. The reports help teachers analyse student performance by grade, section (classroom), strand and item level to link learning outcomes from the test directly into the classroom and use the data to improve their teaching.

When to assess

PAIS is designed to provide teachers with an opportunity to administer assessments twice per year to students. Ideally the first assessment should be administered early in the school year and the second assessment towards the end of the school year. In both instances, the instant reporting will provide the teacher with detailed diagnostic information about where each student has reached in their learning and what their next steps in learning are. ACER also recommends that schools remain consistent in the time/s of the year that they administer PAIS. This will help to build robust learning growth measures for individual students and cohorts of students each year and within the school year.

Choosing the right tests

The following table is a guide to which PAIS test level is appropriate to each school year.

Region PAIS test level 1 PAIS test level 2 PAIS test level 3 PAIS test level 4 PAIS test level 5 PAIS test level 6 PAIS test level 7 PAIS test level 8 PAIS test level 9 PAIS test level 10
Australia Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10
Brunei P2 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 F1 F2 and 3 F4 F5
China 小1 小2 小3 小4 小5 初1 初2 初3 高1 高2
Egypt Y2 Y2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10
England and Wales Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
French Lycee CP CE1 CE2 CM1 CM2 6 ème 5 ème 4 ème 3 ème 2 nde
Hong Kong P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 F1 F2 F3 F4
Indian subcontinent1 C2 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10
Indonesia Y3 Y3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
International Baccalaureate P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 MYP1 MYP2 MYP3 MYP4 MYP5
Malaysia Std 2 Std 2 Std 3 Std 4 Std 5 Std 6 F1 F2 F3 F4
Middle East2 C2 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10
New Zealand/Pacific3 Y3 Y3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Netherlands Groep 3 Groep 4 Groep 5 Groep 6 Groep 7 Groep 8 Brugklas 2e Jaar 3e Jaar 4e Jaar
Singapore P1 P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 Sec 1 Sec 2 Sec 3
Southern Africa4 G2 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 G10
United States Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10
1 India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh
2 United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman, Turkey, Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Jordan and Pakistan
3 Papua New Guinea and Fiji
4 South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Namibia

Administering the tests

Schools should take care in planning the administration of PAIS to ensure consistency. PAIS is a standardised assessment that must be completed in 60 minutes. Time must be managed by the teacher invigilating the assessment. Students will not be automatically timed out by the online system.

Students’ focus and energy levels are important factors in their capacity to accurately demonstrate their ability on the assessment. For this reason, it is generally best to test students in the morning and not immediately before or after an exciting school event.

Prior to administering the tests to students, teachers should download or print a list of student login details as well as the test administration instructions. It is recommended that the school’s unique account URL is saved as a shortcut or link on students’ devices or on the school intranet for easy access.

Supporting documents

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