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Academic achievement, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Numeracy, Screening tests, Predictive validity, High achievement, Core curriculum, Skills, Secondary education


This report presents three studies examining research conducted in Queensland on Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) published by Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). In study 1 ‘Predictive Validity of the Progressive Achievement Tests for Boys’, a battery of tests was used to assess vocabulary, comprehension, and numeracy skill levels of students commencing study at a regional high school. The tests were used as a screening tool to identify students who might benefit from additional instruction and also to select high achieving students for participation in extension work, maths competitions, and the like. Test results were later correlated with performance in various school subjects. Given that the tests were sampling behaviours that are required in most school subjects, a strong relationship was expected between test scores and school grades. This showed that the PAT was capable of predicting a significant proportion of the variance in school subjects taken four to five years after the PAT testing sessions. It used a methodology with four independent cohorts returning almost identical data. Study 2 ‘Predicting Core Skills at Year 12 from PAT scores in Grade 8’ set out to extend these findings by including individual Core Skills results in Year 12 as a criterion variable. This project involved the same students in Study 1. Measures used in study 2 included the PAT Comprehension, PAT Vocabulary and PAT Maths; and academic grades and scores on the Queensland Core Skills (QCS). The first two studies were based on data collected from boys. Study 3 ‘Predictive Validity of the PAT for Female Students’ used a similar methodology to test the predictive validity of the PAT for girls.

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Camberwell, Australia


Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

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