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Diagnostic assessment occurs BEFORE learning

What this looks like in mathematics and statistics

Diagnostic assessment occurs at the beginning of a year or unit of work and enables a teacher to:

Specific activities

Have you thought of:

  • previous school assessments
  • pre-test
  • PISA released items
  • interviews
  • practical activities, for example, a measuring task as a diagnostic tool
  • using a rich task used as a diagnostic tool
  • cooperative learning activity used as a diagnostic tool
  • teacher questioning.

See also:

Further information

  • Assessment Online – Covers the key aspects of assessment in the context of The New Zealand Curriculum.
  • PISA released items – A selection of items that could be used as diagnostic activities. Includes marking information.
  • Mathematics PAT – PATs are multiple-choice tests designed to help teachers determine achievement levels of year 4-10 students in mathematics, Reading comprehension and vocabulary, and listening. The test results help teachers decide what kinds of teaching materials are needed and which methods or programmes are most suitable for their students. PATs are also important because they identify the progress a student is making from year to year.
  • e-asTTle – Primarily for teachers of students in years 5–10 and curriculum levels 2–6. Many schools using asTTle have also found it to be a great tool for planning purposes, for helping students to understand their progress, and for involving parents in discussions about how well their children are doing.
  • Numeracy diagnostic assessments on NZMATHS – The SNP Diagnostic Assessment consists of two parts, the strategy interview and the knowledge test. The knowledge test can be carried out as a whole class assessment, but the strategy interview is a one-to-one, discussion based interview.
  • Assessment Resource Bank – mathematics – The Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs) are collections of classroom assessment resources in English, Mathematics, and Science. They are developed by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research under contract to the Ministry of Education. They are aligned to the New Zealand curriculum statements in English, mathematics, and science at levels 2 to 5. ARBs are intended to support classroom assessment for learning within New Zealand schools. Many of the resources include support for teaching and learning discussions. ARBs consist of tasks for students to complete, a teacher information page, and, in some cases, have examples of students' work and include a broad range of assessment tasks.
  • CEM Canterbury Entrance Test – These tests are administered to students prior to entrance into year 7 or year 9.
  • Australian Mathematics Competition – This links to the practice papers which could be used as a diagnostic assessment.

Last updated March 23, 2023