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Interpreting Terra Nova Test Score

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: Test scores for Terra Nova taken at 1.7 grade he is 7 years old.

Reading, Vocab, Reading Comp, science, Social Studies, word analysis and total score all at 99%

Math 95
Math Compu 62
Math Composite 84

Can you tell me what these scores mean and if he should be tested further for gifted?
Thanks.

A: I have not administered the Terra Nova test but I believe the following information would help you further understand the scores. The Reading Composite, the Math Composite, and the Language Composite score are the most important scores. These are your child's overall scores; the other bars represent sub-tests that contribute to these overall scores. The Total Score is the average of these three scores.

National Percentiles (NP)

Represents the percentage of students in the national norm group whose scores fall below a given student's score. This means, a student whose NP is 72 for instance, scored higher than 72 percent of the students in the norm group. NPs scores are useful for comparing local student achievement to students' achievement at the national level. His total score is at the 99th percentile which indicates very high scores.
It appears that the scores you have given are in percentiles. The lowest percentile is for the Math Computation, which may have brought down the overall Math Composite score. These tests are used to find areas of relative weaknesses on which individual students need to work and apparently, many students score somewhat lower in this area.

National Stanine (NS)

A scale that divides the scores of the norming sample into nine groups ranging from a high of 9 to a low of 1. Stanines are normalised scores that have a constant relationship to Percentiles. That is, a given Percentile always falls into the same Stanine. Stanine 5, for example, always includes Percentiles 41-59. Stanines are single digit scores and are not likely to be confused with percentage of items answered correctly, and they can be averaged because they are equal interval scores. However, Stanines provide less detail about student performance than other derived scores because they categorise test performance into only nine broad units.

Terra Nova is an achievement test and should not be confused with an intelligence test as they capture different skills. In order to get into a gifted programme, children need to pass the gifted program entry exams which typically comprises of two types of exams Achievement Tests: a measure of things that your child would have learned in school - such as reading, math and, in some cases, science and social studies (as in this test). Aptitude Tests: a measure of intellectual ability, focusing on analytic and problem solving skills rather than specific knowledge. In this case, you may want to try for an intelligence test.
Hope that helps!.


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