Provincial Achievement Tests

Information for educators on Provincial Achievement Tests administered to Alberta students in grades 6 and 9.

Explore pages in:
K to 12 provincial assessment

Grade 6 English Language Arts and Literature (ELAL) and Mathematics Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) will not be administered in the 2023/24 school year.

Field testing will be offered between April and June 2024. These optional field tests will help inform the development of future PATs for Grade 6 in ELAL and Mathematics that align with new curriculum in these subjects.

Overview

Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) are administered annually to all Alberta students in grades 6 and 9. These standardized tests reflect the essentials that all Alberta students are expected to achieve, regardless of school choice or location.

PATs help:

  • determine if students are learning what they are expected to learn
  • report to Albertans how well students have achieved provincial standards at given points in their schooling
  • assist schools, authorities and the province in monitoring and improving student learning

The tests occur in January, May and June for English and Français/French language arts, math, science and social studies.

Some grade 9 students write PATs in January of each year.

Grade 9 achievement tests based on the Knowledge and Employability programs of study in English language arts, math, science and social studies are also administered.

The General Information Bulletin helps support school authorities, school administrators and classroom teachers in implementing the Provincial Achievement Testing Program in their authorities and schools.

Digital tests and exams

Alberta Education is transitioning to a new digital platform for provincial student assessments, meaning that eventually students will write diploma exams and provincial achievement tests in a digital environment rather than pencil and paper.

The transition to digital assessments will be done in an incremental and measured way to allow school authorities, administrators, teachers, and students time to learn and interact with the new platform. For the 2023-24 school year, Alberta Education is in touch with school authorities directly to offer them opportunities to participate in a variety of optional implementation activities. Teachers, parents and students can navigate the assessment platform and access practice exams and resources. Questions and feedback may be directed to [email protected]. If you have questions about whether your school will be administering digital assessments this school year, please contact your school principal.

Principals can contact the [email protected] to request access for their school so they can set up their account and add other administrators and teachers. Once teachers have been added and set up their account, they can administer practice written response assignments. Instructions on using the system can be found in this user guide.

Local performance targets

Each school board in Alberta sets targets for school and board performance in provincial standardized tests.

Evaluating results in the context of these targets can help school boards identify which areas students need more help in to improve learning.

Tips for setting local targets

  • Consider past performance on each test.
  • Focus on a limited number of subjects at a time where performance can improve.
  • Collaborate with teacher colleagues across different grade levels.
  • Students’ performance on tests reflects their learning in all years.
  • Teachers in all grades can contribute to setting targets.
  • Use school reports on achievement test results to identify which aspects of a subject need attention.
  • Focus on what supports students need to succeed instead of focusing on problems.
  • Expect to set different targets in different grades and subjects depending on past results and current priorities.
  • Collaborate with other schools to identify areas of common strength or weakness.
  • Keep students and parents informed and report to them on achievement targets and results.

Provincial tests are a useful tool but only one way to see how well a school is performing.

Schools and boards may also choose to set targets for other measures of student achievement according to their local needs.

Targets can also be set for goals that fall outside of student achievement and reflect local priorities and parent and community involvement.

PAT results

Schools are responsible for sharing preliminary PAT results with parents and guardians.

Every fall, Individual Student Profiles (ISPs) are made available to schools on PASI and to parents on myPass. ISPs are kept on the students’ records in accordance with the Student Record Regulation.

Interpreting results

Careful examination and interpretation of results help educators identify areas of relative strength and weakness in student achievement.

Teachers and administrators can use this information in planning and delivering relevant and effective instruction.

View the guidelines for interpreting achievement tests.

PATs are only one of many ways to evaluate student learning and are not meant to replace day-to-day teacher observations and classroom assessment. They are sources of information that must be interpreted, used and communicated within the context of regular and continuous assessment by classroom teachers.

PAT results by school and authority

PAT results are available for each school authority and individual schools.

Search the database to find 5-year reports for each writing period and participation rates for each school and authority or view the documents below:

Key educator resources

The information provided is intended primarily to support school authorities, school administrators and classroom teachers in implementing the Provincial Achievement Testing Program in their authorities and schools.

General resources

PAT forms

Toolkit for staff

Teacher involvement

Parent guide

Quest A+

  • Quest A+ (access to online practice tests)

Subject area resources

These resources are developed to support classroom teachers in understanding provincial standards in the form of statistical analyses of selected responses, examples of student work, scoring guides and released materials.

Contact

Connect with Provincial Achievement Testing:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Test format, content, confirming standards, marking, and results reporting

Email: [email protected]

Test security, rules, scheduling, and policy issues

Email: [email protected]

Address:
Student Learning Assessments and Provincial Achievement Testing
Alberta Education
6th Floor 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6