Each year fourth- through eighth-grade students in South Carolina take a standardized test called the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, or the PASS. Students are tested on writing, English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Parents receive scores months after the children have been administered the exam, and sometimes it can be difficult to decipher the results. The PASS scores come in two formats: a total scale score, which is a numerical score, and a performance-level score.

Scoring Specifics

The total scale score is determined by the number of correct answers that the student has for each section. The scale score ranges from 300 to 900. The performance-level score will be listed as: “Not Met 1,” “Not Met 2,” “Met,” “Exemplary 4” and “Exemplary 5.” The “Not Met” categories indicate that the child did not meet the standard level of achievement in that section of testing, while the “Met” category means he did. The “Exemplary” categories mean that he exceeded the standard-achievement level.

The “Not Met 1” scale scores fall between 300 and the mid-500s. If the student scores between the mid-500s and 599, she will be designated in the “Not Met 2” category. To meet the standard, scores must fall between 600 and the low mid-600s. “Exemplary 4” scores are mid-600s to upper 600s and “Exemplary 5” scores are upper 600s up to 900. The PASS system will also list sections of the exam where the student’s performance was strong or weak.