An Individual Report maps how well a student has performed on the different questions within a test. Although the Individual Reports for PAT:Mathematics, PAT:Reading Vocabulary and PAT:Reading Vocabulary look quite different, they are all built on a set of common concepts.
Understanding the report
The Individual Report for PAT:Reading Vocabulary displays the questions against the PAT:Reading Vocabulary scale. The keyword used in each question is shown, as well as the question numbers themselves. Questions that the student has answered correctly are printed in bold. The student’s overall level of achievement is indicated by the dotted line, which intersects the scale and the stanine score distributions for three different year levels. The highlighting around the dotted line is used to indicate the measurement error associated with the student’s score. If the test could be repeated we would expect the student to score in the range indicated by the highlighting about two thirds of the time. Students who achieve very highly or very poorly on a test will have a larger error associated with their score.
Typically, a student is more likely to answer correctly the questions listed below the dotted line than above it. When a question is located well below the line there is a strong expectation that the question will be answered correctly. In contrast, it is very unlikely that a question located well above the line will be answered correctly. The scale is colour coded to show the changing expectation of a correct answer. Students will typically answer all, or nearly all of the questions located at the dark green part of the scale and very few or none of the questions at the dark red section. A student will usually answer about half of the words in the yellow part of the scale.
Gaps and strengths
Evidence that a gap exists in a student’s knowledge could be indicated when a student has incorrectly answered a question that he or she was expected to find easy. Similarly, when a student has correctly answered a question that was expected to be difficult it could be evidence that he or she has a particular strength in an area.
It is important to remember that the aim of PAT:Reading Vocabulary is not to test mastery of particular words. Answering a vocabulary item correctly does not necessarily mean that the student has a full and flexible knowledge of the key word used in the question. The difficulty of a vocabulary question is dependent on the context in which the key word is embedded, the sense in which the key word is used, and the difficulty and precision of the words presented as possible alternatives. At times, a correct answer may indicate only a moderate knowledge about a key word’s meaning; for instance, that the word can be associated with a particular context.