What are norms?


Norms are comparison rankings that can be used to compare how test results from students in a particular year level at your school compare to the distribution of test results from Australian students in that same year level.

In the process of developing PAT norms, Scale Score results are collected at each year level from students from government, non-government, independent and Catholic schools. As well as from the six states and two territories, in metropolitan and regional locations with varying school socioeconomic status. 

The PAT Norms reflect the distribution of scale scores at each year level for each PAT Assessment. They tell us the range of scores that students in each year level are typically capable of achieving. 

Norms are updated periodically and not year to year.

Norm data PAT Reading and PAT Maths was collected in the months of October to November to reflect the test sitting period that schools commonly administer PAT tests. When making comparisons between students’ results and the norms, we need to pay attention to the time of year that tests are administered. 

Comparison rankings will be most accurate if your students completed their tests at a similar time of year to the norm data collection period.

If a student in a Year 3 class is being assessed at the beginning of the school year, it would be fairer to compare their achievement with the Year 2 norm which is taken at the end of the Year 2 school year.

Year 3 students at the beginning of the schooling year have yet to complete the 9 – 12 months of teaching and learning as a Year 3 student in October – November.

In this example, our student in Year 3 completed a PAT Maths assessment and attained a scale score of 133.4. As a Year 3, this places them on the 97th percentile. In other words, their scale score is equal to or better than 97% of year 3 students in the national norm sample. 

Stanines and percentiles are the comparison rankings that provide this information. These comparison rankings do not always provide a measure of learning progress. To measure students’ progress over time, We use scale scores and achievement bands.

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