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.

PAT Test Schedule for 2018 to 2019 (PDF, 163 KB)

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, schools receive the official Individual Student Profile (ISPs), which 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. (PDF, 31 KB)

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.

2017 to 2018 PAT highlights

  • Strengths and areas for improvement varied this year and are only one indicator of student abilities
  • The percentage of students reaching the acceptable standard is at a 5-year high in English Language Arts 6, Français 6, Science 6, Social Studies 6 and Science 9
  • Grade 6 math results improved with students performing significantly better on non-calculator questions in 2018 than in 2017
  • Performance on Grade 6 math problem solving questions improved from the previous year. There is a strong correlation of results on non-calculator questions and problem solving questions

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

To connect with Student Learning Assessments and Provincial Achievement Testing:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Nicole Lamarre, Director, Student Learning Assessments and Provincial Achievement Testing
Phone: 780-427-6204
Email: nicole.lamarre@gov.ab.ca

Address:

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