WRAT assessment maths

(22 Posts)
bruffin England Tue 11-Oct-11 16:10:30

DS is 16 in yr11. He has been on the SN register for SLD most of his school life since juniors.

DS is good at maths, in top set forecast and on target for A* for Maths GCSE
He finished KS3 on level 8.5 and both his current and last maths teacher have said that he is ideal for A level. However he scored 89 SS on the mathematics part of the WRAT test which is below average because he had only answered 20 questions. He was given some extra time and managed to answer 5 (4 right) more questions which brought up his score 96 which is the lower end of average.

He never seems to have had a problem with maths tests in the past. Althought the report does say he has excellent quantative skills. So am a bit confused

That with his other scores recommends Exam Provision and a Multi sensory approach to learning

Does that mean he can get extra time in exams?

Daveschooks Wed 12-Oct-11 18:02:10

Wrat 4 is purely based on arithmetic.

His scores are within the average bands, although lower average (below average is 85 and under).

You would need to talk to the person responsible for access arrangements (senco?). There are certain scores which will automatically qualify for extra time and the equivalent test for English will q qualify for extra time if the student increases the standardised score in the extra time given. Under new access arrangements, the school can also rcommend extra time if there is a proven track record of the child working slowly,but doing well if extra time is allowed.

Let us know how you get on.

bruffin England Wed 12-Oct-11 22:31:12

Thanks it did say on the report that 90-110 were average scores and specifically said that 89 was below average.
He was tested for phonical awareness, spelling, reading, comprehension and NVR.
The maths was the lowest and NVR was 125.

His problems have always been literacy, but not the comprehension side ie KS2 sats was a narrowly scrapped level 4 by one mark for writing, but a 5b for reading.

I will get an appointment with the SENCO to discuss the report,

lec0rnsillk Wed 12-Oct-11 23:14:44

I didn't think that the maths section on wrat 4 had a time limit confused

lec0rnsillk Wed 12-Oct-11 23:17:46

89 is a low average score <tsk>
less than 85 is below average
the fact that he was able to bring his score up with the extra time given could be used as an argument for extra time also

sevenoften Wed 12-Oct-11 23:23:48

JCQ has, I believe, just handed down a ruling which binds the exam boards. Under this, no pupil will get special provision unless their learning disability places them more than one standard deviation below the mean on the various diagnostic tests. On that basis, there is no way your ds would get any special provision, because his results are too good.

That said, there are loads and loads of pupils who will be affected by this, having previously been entitled to extra time, and some professionals I've spoken to think that it might be reversed in the medium-term. But my understanding is that the new regime applies now, and that it would mean your ds doesn't get anything.

lec0rnsillk Wed 12-Oct-11 23:29:18

I can't get on this year's JCQ regulations with my PC for some reason. hmm must be something there it doesn't like!

bruffin England Wed 12-Oct-11 23:46:09

this is what it actually says on the report

"All the assessments use the Standardised Scores (SS) relating to S’s chronological age. The average score for S’s age in each assessment falls between 90 -110. I have detailed all assessments and his/her results below."

for the maths part

"Mathematics: WRATE

This assessment comprises of a number of multi-choice mathematical questions. It aims to assess quantitative skills using mathematical concepts, applied problem solving and operations.

SS 89 – Below Average SS 96 – Average, with extra time

S has got excellent quantitative skills needed for maths but unfortunately only managed to answer 20 questions. Out of the 20 questions answered he did extremely well and managed to score 15 correct. When given extra time, S managed to answer a further 5 more questions and scored a further 4 correct. S would benefit from exam strategies."

He did say he didn't know how much time he had, but he thought the questions were easy. He does not have a good sense of time anyway but because he uses phone/ipod for the time he doesn't wear a watch anymore. We will get him one for next exam.
But as I said previously Maths is the one area he doesn't seem to have a problem even in exams. His main problems are spelling and writing and also revising ie trying to learn passages of text for German. He ended up having to write the same thing over and over again to retain it.
Apart from very mild word finding difficulties, he is very bright verbally and apparently an abstract thinker, just can't always get it down on paper.

bruffin England Wed 12-Oct-11 23:53:35

Cross posted sevenoften

It's a shame because we have been told he has the type of mind/asks the type of questions that would make him ideal for Oxbridge, but I can't see him getting all the A/A* he is targeted for in his GCSEs that they seem to require now.

lec0rnsillk Wed 12-Oct-11 23:55:29

I still don't think that the maths part of Wrat 4 is meant to be timed. Perhaps whoever assessed him may have timed him and then added on the 25% extra time specifically to show what difference the extra time made.

lec0rnsillk Wed 12-Oct-11 23:58:20

..although I am probably wrong...

Daveschooks Thu 13-Oct-11 11:24:48

Wrat 4 is timed to 20 mins.

Am a bit horrified at the assessor's improper use of average. It is within 85-115

See if you can get extra time based on the reg where proof of enhanced progress from classroom evidence of improved performance with extra time (or proof of working slowly) can be given, this can't be assessed for in an access arrangement assessment and there doesn't necessarily have to be a below 85 score. His is just about borderline on assessment (86)

camptownraces Fri 14-Oct-11 19:54:15

"Am a bit horrified at the assessor's improper use of average. It is within 85-115."

The teacher did in fact use the proper terminology in this case.

The problem with tests is that the different publishers of educational tests assign verbal descriptors such as "average range", "low average" and "below average" differently.

The WRAT test is published by Wide Range Inc. The manual for WRAT 4/WRAT E describes the range of standard scores 80-89 as "below average". Most UK tests would use the range 85-115 as the "average range". Wechsler derived tests, USA based mostly, uses the term "low average" for the range 80-89.

Whatever words are used as a descriptor, a standard score of 89 always corrresponds with the 23rd percentile, and a standard score of 96 with the 40th percentile.

Please don't imagine that the WRAT test is a predictor of GCSE performance. There are far more reliable tests for that.

bruffin England Fri 14-Oct-11 20:52:46

I have just realised it was WRAT3 if that makes a difference.
What I still don't understand is Ds has never had a problem with maths.
He was a mid level 5 at ks2
a level 8.5 at ks3 and targetted A* for gcse, so really don't understand why he scored so low.

Daveschooks Sat 15-Oct-11 09:45:53

Camptown speaks wise words, I will go and have a peruse of my Wrat 4 for fun later!. However, as a qualified assessor I will stick with the bands I was taught by the bda when writing up my assessments for access arrangements and for dyslexia.

Listen to what camptown says regarding performance and book an appointment with his teachers if you are concerned about what the assessment may imply.

camptownraces Sat 15-Oct-11 14:04:50

Am puzzled in this situation as to who carried out the assessment on OP's son, which seems to be connected to access arrangements for GCSE exams. Was the assessor on the school's staff? If not, has the school accepted the assessment report? Could Bruffin enlighten us?

WRAT3 is pretty similar to the later version. But, quite why assessors use the WRAT "maths" test for UK pupils beats me. As Daveschook says, the questions are purely arithmetic. The score of 89 is an indicator that he is a bit slow at arithmetic calculations, which in the scheme of things is only a tiny part of a GCSE in Maths. [A bit slow in this case means on the 23rd percentile.]

To the best of my knowledge, this subtest of the WRAT3 is not a valid test for access arrangements, eg extra time. Even if it were, with the tightening up of the regs this year, 89 is not weak enough to put him in the frame for extra time.

On what tests did the assessor base the recommendation for "Exam Provision"? What provision was recommended?

PS for Daveschooks, the BPS is adamant that the verbal descriptors given in each test manual should be used.

bruffin England Sat 15-Oct-11 16:17:19

It was carried out at school by SENCO at request of English teacher and maybe German teacher after last parents evening. It was supposed to have been done before summer holiday but in the end was only done at end of September.
He has been on the SN register since primary. He had lots of extra one to one help using Wordwall and Stareway to Spelling at the end of primary.

His problem is there is quite a bit of difference between his vocal/comprehension ability and his writting ability. ie at KS2 he scraped a level 4 by just 1 mark for writing (after all the intervention) but got a 5b for Reading. His humanities teachers rave about his analytical skills in class but he doesn't seem to be able get them down on paper. He also has problems with organisation and seems to have no sense of time.

I will be going back to the SENCO this week to arrange a meeting.

Daveschooks Sat 15-Oct-11 16:46:32

Let us know how you get on with senco.

Thanks Campbell. What's throwing me here is that I was trained for my masters, ambda, and accredited by Bangor (& patoss) who observed me administering the Wrat across all of the assessments and who drew reference to the ss 85. In my recent access arrangements top up the scores on the updated arrangements criterria have to be below 85 to qualify. Since I'm shortly to become a lecturer and assessor of trainee ambda candidates for the bda I will have to iron this out with the powers that be. Thank you.

Daveschooks Sat 15-Oct-11 17:58:40

Sorry, camptown (dyac!)

lechildrenofthecornsilk Sat 15-Oct-11 23:06:12

I have also been instructed that assessed criteria is below 85. I would not use wrat maths though. It is a horrible test.

Specialistassessor Sun 31-Mar-13 23:41:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

bruffin England Mon 01-Apr-13 16:59:55

As someone bumped this to advertise I might as well update

DS got 20% extra time for maths and 10% for written exams. He was retested for A level and it has stayed the same.
He got A in maths and physics for gcse and AAE for his first AS results. He concentrated so much on decision maths he forgot to revise for the mechanics where is a lot more comfortable. He got the A for physics.

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