The provincial achievement tests (PATs) measure knowledge and skills in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The tests reflect a common provincial achievement standard for students in a grade. They are based on what students are expected to know and be able to do as set out in the programs of study.
Students registered in grades 6 and 9 and ungraded students in their sixth and ninth years of schooling are expected to write provincial achievement tests.
Provincial achievement tests are administered annually in English language arts, Français, French language arts, mathematics, science and social studies in grades 6 and 9. Grade 9 achievement tests based on the Knowledge and Employability programs of study in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies are also administered. French versions of all mathematics, science and social studies achievement tests are available for students in Francophone and French immersion programs. Accommodations are available for students who require specialized supports and services when writing achievement tests as specified in the General Information Bulletin: Provincial Achievement Testing Program Grades 6 and 9.
Results are reported in such a way as to encourage improved learning, while minimizing possible harmful effects of testing for individual students. The numbers of students who achieve the acceptable standard and the standard of excellence are reported to facilitate interpretation of local results and to enable comparisons of local results to provincial and local targets. Group results for fewer than six students are reported to the school authority and the school but are not reported publicly. Alberta Education encourages comparisons of local results with local targets, not comparisons of individual scores with other students’ scores.
Schedules for administering achievement tests are mandated by the province and communicated to schools in the General Information Bulletin: Provincial Achievement Testing Program Grades 6 and 9. Information about student achievement is provided to schools and school authorities, parents and the public so that they may know how well students in their schools are meeting local targets and provincial outcomes. Guidelines for Interpreting Achievement Test Multiyear Reports is provided along with the results.
For more information on provincial achievement testing, see the following: