The Terra Nova tests are administered to students from kindergarten to 12th grade in most of the United States to measure their capabilities in reading, language arts, math, science and social studies. These classic fill-in-the-bubble tests compare each student's scores to other students around the country to indicate where a student stands on a national level. Being able to interpret your child's Terra Nova scores can help you determine how he compares with other students in his grade level.
Read all of your child's scores for each subject area. Each area will be reported as a percentile number; for example, your child may have scored in the 89th percentile for reading and in the 70th percentile for math.
Rate your child's score compared to the national percentile score, or NP, on a scale between 1 and 100. For example, if your student scored in the 89th percentile in reading, she scored higher than 89 percent of students nationally in her age and grade level group.
Find your child's percentile score in the range of national stanines, or NS scores, provided with the Terra Nova test results. The stanines break down the percentiles into nine smaller groups, so that you can rank your child's score on a scale of one to nine, with one being the lowest and nine being the highest. A student scoring in the 89th percentile falls into the seventh stanine.
- Parents and teachers can request student scores to include scale scores and normal curve equivalent scores, which are different ways to interpret the scores based on special student needs. These scores incorporate more than just the student's Terra Nova scores and will not appear on a basic score report.
- If you have questions regarding your student's particular performance, consult a teacher or administrator at your school for help with interpreting the scores or taking steps to help your student improve.
- The Terra Nova tests used to be called the California Achievement Tests or CATs.
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