Measures of Student Development (MSD)

Measures of Student Development (MSD) is administered by ACER in Australia to measure the ability of the students and to assess a range of general reasoning skills at primary and secondary school grades.

Measure of Student Development: Purpose

MSD Tests are conducted to measure the ability of school children. This test gives an insight about the students potential and accomplishments.

MSD: Eligibility

Students at primary and secondary levels are eligible for MSD test.

MSD tests are applicable to these four levels - middle primary school, the end of primary school, the start of secondary school and middle secondary.

MSD: Format

Following are the tests

a. V&Q (verbal and quantitative reasoning abilities)
  • This section checks the verbal and quantitative abilities of the students.
  • Duration for Primary Students: 60 minutes
  • Duration for Secondary Students: 90 minutes
  • Structure: Multiple-choice
b. A (abstract reasoning abilities)
  • This test enables students to apply what they learn in complex ways.
  • Duration for Primary Students: 30 minutes
  • Duration for Secondary Students: 40 minutes
  • Structure: Multiple-choice
c. W (written communication)
  • This test is basically for students to express themselves clearly and demonstrate their creativity. The Structure, Style and Content are the main elements to concentrate on.
  • Duration: 30 minutes

Test Levels: Duration

 Test LevelNumber of Questions
 Target Year Level
 T 50 60 mins 5-6
 A 68 1 hr 30 mins 6-7
 B 681 hr 30 mins 8-9

Measures of Student Development: Advantages

  • Timing: Time of the year the test is to be conducted is a school decision
  • Scoring and reporting is provided by ACER
  • Track Performance:
    - MSD can assess student performance within a year level
    - MSD allows improvement in performance to be monitored over time
    - MSD can predict performance at year 12

MSD: Ways and Means of Reporting Scores

All V, Q and A results are reported to the school in numerical and graphical way. The raw scores and overall scale scores are provided on XL Spreadsheets to the School.

Reporting W scores
The W scores are achieved by assessing the following are the three areas:
  • Language i.e. the syntax and semantics are considered. The language must be elegant, lucid and simple.
  • Spelling i.e. the lexicon used must be error-free.
  • Content i.e. the thoughts, the description, key points must be identified and then framed in a concise and interesting manner.

MSD: Advantageous to teachers

The MSD school reports are being provided stating the standardized scores for each level. These reports are advantageous for teacher as it helps them to keep track of the performance of the students.

Scale Scores

Performances of the Secondary Schools are grouped into six ranges of scale scores:
  • Level 6: It is for those whose score lies between 130 – 150. These schools have great expertise to solve the complex problems.

  • Level 5: It is for those whose scores lie between 110 – 129. These schools know how to make difficult tasks easier.

  • Level 4: It is for those whose scores lie between  90 – 109.These schools are average and working towards building the strong base to solve a broad range of problems.

  • Level 3: It is for those whose scores lie between 70 – 89. They are evolving and learning to deal effectively with broad range of tasks.

  • Level 2: It is for those whose scores lie between 50 – 69. They are the beginners.

  • Level 1: It is for those whose scores are less than 50.

Pricing Structure

The MSD V&Q, A, and W tests prices varies. The MSD V& Q test cost per student is $ 19.80, MSD A costs per student is $7.70 and MSD W is $6.60 per student. The Set includes instruction manual, test materials and school report.
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