Using your PAIS results


This article contains information on:


Types of scores

Raw score

Number of correct responses for the test

Scale score

Raw scores are converted to scale scores and shown on the PAIS Mathematics scale. Scale scores allow you to compare performance on different test levels and track your performance from one year to the next.

Percentile rank

The percentile rank shows your standing relative to the other students who took the test. For example, a percentile rank of 65.3 means this score is equal to or better than the scores of 65.3% of students who took the test.

Achievement bands

Skills and understandings demonstrated in each test are described in each achievement band for Mathematics. Students normally move up the band levels as they move through their years at school.


A skill area within the subject assessed by this test. The Mathematics strands are: Number and Algebra, Measurement, Chance and Data, and Space and Shape.

School group

This shows your score or rank compared to all students in the group tested at your school. Note that percentile rank and average score are not reported when the group tested is less than 15 students.


Using the results

Determining students’ current levels of achievement within the PAIS subject

PAIS student achievement is measured in PAIS scale scores. PAIS tests within a subject are all equated onto a common scale using Rasch scaling methodologies. The student’s PAIS scale score establishes where they are on a learning continuum.

Observing differences in ability and inferring learning progress over time.

Using the common scale, PAIS scale scores for English can be directly compared within and across English tests and grade levels. PAIS scale scores can be used over years of schooling to monitor progress. The PAIS scale describes what typical progression looks like in the subject. The PAIS subject achievement band descriptions provide a detailed outline of the abilities that learners typically demonstrate as they progress along the scale, indicating those skills that students have likely mastered and those they are still consolidating.

Identifying particular areas of strength and weakness for individual students and groups

The Group and Student Reports allow teachers to diagnose student achievement within a particular strand, such as 'understanding and interpreting a text', 'reflecting and evaluating on a text', 'recognising correct spellings' and 'identifying synonyms'

.Supporting and supplementing the results provided by other standardised assessments

PAIS scales are unique to PAIS assessments and do not align with any other standardised assessments. PAIS results can be used in conjunction with evidence collected from other formal and informal assessments to form a clearer understanding of student ability in the subject.

The PAIS assessment can be taken alongside the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA)

The table below displays the estimated concordance between:

  • ISA Mathematical Literacy Proficiency Levels and PAIS Mathematics Achievement Bands
  • ISA Reading Literacy Proficiency Levels and PAIS English Achievement Bands.
ISA Proficiency Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
PAIS Achievement Band 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

The concordance table is provided to assist schools using both ISA and PAIS with an understanding of how student achievement is expected to correlate between the assessment tools. While there is overlap between the ISA and PAIS constructs, there are also some key differences. ISA aims to assess the application of Reading and Mathematical Literacy skills in real life contexts. This includes using open response question types. PAIS assesses English (reading and language conventions) and Mathematics skills and concepts in contexts that are more familiar to the classroom. PAIS uses multiple choice questions only in order to provide instant results.
When using the concordance tables, teachers should keep in mind that the concordance table infers a comparison between the two assessment programs and is an estimation. There will be common instances where achievement in one assessment does not directly correlate with the other assessment as per the concordance table. This is likely to be the result of differences in construct and test content. The concordance table does provide a useful reference for how the ISA and PAIS scales relate to one another.

Possible patterns to note in the reports

It must be noted that the PAIS results are just one indicator of student achievement. It is important to look at the student’s performance in the grade and how it matches with their achievement on the PAIS as well as with your expectations of student ability. The reports can be analysed to note the following patterns:

  • Students who have difficulty answering questions relating to the same skill, which may suggest that more attention needs to be paid to the classroom instruction and demonstration of that skill – order the Group Report by Strand to look at specific groups of similar skills.
  • Strengths and weaknesses in individual student responses, specifically those who may not be performing well in school tests or displaying signs of emotional or intellectual difficulties;
  • The response patterns of individual students as well as the responses of groups of students.
  • The areas or strands of the subject that prove to be a strength or weakness for a particular student or the entire class;
  • Differences evident between sections of the same Grade in different strands or difficulty levels;
  • Comparisons of a student’s performance to the grade performance;
  • Comparisons of your student/grade performance with the regional/national and international percentiles as an indicator of the level of your students.
  • Trends in incorrect answers – whether a group of students that answers a question incorrectly tends to give the same incorrect response, indicating confusion in the application of concepts;
  • High instances of students missing questions which often indicates a lack of understanding of these questions;
  • Students who have answered many easy questions incorrectly and got some hard questions correctly, which suggests that they may have been guessing.
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