The Terra Nova score
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughter has entered 8th grade this September, she has
been put into a Reading/Writing Lab based on her Terra Nova
test results (score 682) from 7th grade, that this is an
academic intervention. Yet, she was an honor roll student 3
out of 4 semesters and her year end average was
93%....should I been concerned? And can someone please
explain to me what that Terra Nova score actually means?
A: The Terra Nova is a
standardized achievement test used to provide consistent,
accurate, and objective information about students'
achievement in various areas of the curriculum. Being a
standardized test, standard testing procedures (with exact
directions, time limits, and scoring criteria) ensure that
testing conditions are the same for all students.
In the administration of the test, individual or group
scores may be compared with a criterion or with the scores
of other students in the class, school, district, or
national norm group. Test results can also be compared over
time intervals, which is one indication of growth for an
individual or group of students.
A single scale for each content area across all tests and
all grades is used to enable comparisons over time. However,
as the test has different content areas, each are scaled
separately and cannot be compared with scores in another
content area. In this case, for example, a scale score of
682 on a reading test would not have the same meaning as a
scale score of 682 on a mathematics test. Therefore, only
converting of scale score for each content area to a NCE, Normal
Curve Equivalent (range from 1 – 99) allows comparisons that
are meaningful. These tests determine strengths and
weaknesses of a student and thus enable the school to
provide academic intervention.
If you have concerns, which I think is quite normal since
she has been an honor roll student, you may want to see her
teachers to perhaps understand better the distribution of
the results and what can be done to help your child.