Standardized Tests in Australia

Australia, the “land of Kangaroos” is known for its vast infrastructure, relaxed and easygoing lifestyle, high quality education and educators. Australia is a popular destination to both study and live. Education in Australia has been booming in recent years, with well-known and respected institutions that feature cutting edge curriculum and high calibre teachers.  

Standardised Tests- An Introduction

Standardized tests yield quantifiable information such as scores, proficiency levels and so on and can be used to evaluate students' progress over time. Standardized tests provide a multifaceted estimate of students’ level of achievement. The most important benefit of Standardized tests is that it gives teachers detailed information about the kinds of skills their students have mastered and those they need to learn.

Standardised Tests- Primary and Secondary Schools

ACER is a recognized international leader in the development of educational assessment and reporting tools for schools and systems. Following are the standardized tests:
  • Compass Literacy and Numeracy Tests: Developed by ACER and shows the level of proficiency in literacy and numeracy of the students. 
  • International Benchmark Tests (IBT): IBT is an internationally administered program of assessments for students in years 3 to 10.
  • International Schools' Assessment (ISA): is an external achievement test for international schools from Grades 3 to 10 and measure skills in mathematical literacy, reading and writing of students.
  • Measures of Student Development (MSD): Gives an insight of students potential and accomplishments.  
  • Progressive Achievement Tests in Mathematics (PAT Maths): is an Australian online as well as paper-based test for Grades 3 to 10. It is designed to provide complete information to teachers about the level of achievement attained by their students in the Mathematics.
  • Progressive Achievement Tests in Mathematics Plus (PATMaths Plus): developed to measure the skills and understanding of mathematics, students have acquired over a course of time. This test is for students from grades 3 to 10.
  • Progressive Achievement Tests in Reading (PAT-R): designed to assess progress in reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling of the students.
  • Progressive Achievement Tests in Science (PAT Science): It is designed for students from year 3 to 10, to assess their scientific knowledge, scientific literacy and understanding of scientific principles.
  • Progressive Achievement Tests in Written Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (PAT-SPG): measure student’s skills and understanding of English Language.
  • Tests of Reading Comprehension (TORCH): Developed to determine and understand the students reading comprehension skills. Year 3 to 10 students are eligible for TORCH. 

Higher Education Tests

  • STAT – Special Tertiary Admissions Test, aptitude test for non-school leavers for entry into an undergraduate program at Australian Universities.
  • UMAT – Undergraduate Medical Admissions Test, administered by Australian Council for Educational Research, is required for entry into health science courses including medical and dentistry courses of study.
  • GAMSAT – Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test, required for graduate entry to many Australian Universities. Candidates applying to study medicine, dentistry, podiatry, pharmacy and veterinary science at Australian Universities must sit for GAMSAT.
  • PQA – Personal Qualities Assessment, required for entry into health sciences, including undergraduate Medicine.
  • HSC – Higher School Certificate is for those students who have completed senior high school level studies (years 11 and 12 or equivalent) in the state of Victoria, Australia.
  • ACT Scaling test (AST): It is the aptitude test for Year 12 students to rank students and colleges for the calculation of an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. 
  • GMAT- Graduate Management Admission Test is a standardized test, primarily intended to aid the graduate schools of business for assessing the candidates for study. The test is a required part of the admission process for most of the MBA programs. 
  • uniTest-is an aptitude tests required for Universities. Major areas of study include humanities, science and social science.
  • ISAT-International Student Admission Tests: is a computer-based tests for international students to enter into the undergraduate and post-graduate courses of study.

English Language Tests

  • IELTS: IELTS or International English Language Test is administered by the British Council. 
  • TOEFL: TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is an alternative to IELTS. This test is carried out by ETS and accepted by most Australian universities.

Tips & Tricks

Standardised tests are enormously useful.  Each standardized tests is different. Prior to taking the standardized tests, familiarize yourself with how the test works. Most tests are broken down into separate sections with different subject matter and question formats. Become familiar with the format of each section of the test. Read the test directions carefully and thoroughly. The key to crack the standardized tests is “Time Management”. Budget your time and review your strategies, topics and sections again.

Believe in your abilities and you will sail smoothly through these standardized tests. Good luck!
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