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Assessment Details

Junior Science: Thinking with Evidence
Assessment Area Science
Year level 4-6
NZ origin? Yes
Standardised? Yes , in March 2017.
Administration to individual or group? Either . Tests can be completed only online.
What does it assess? The assessment has been designed to assess how students use evidence to think about scientific contexts and issues, rather than assessing science facts. Items draw on contexts from all contextual strands (Living World, Material World, Physical World, and Planet Earth and Beyond). Questions model the Nature of Science strand by focusing on the science capabilities.
Purpose The assessment is intended to help teachers gather evidence of learning in science. Schools can monitor student progress, or compare students’ results against a national sample. Tests are designed to be used formatively.
Validity Evidence of validity.
Reliability Evidence of reliability.
What measures does it give? Scale scores and reports are available as soon as the students have completed the test. The tests complement Science: Thinking with Evidence (Years 7-10), but are scored on a separate scale.
How long does it take to administer? The tests take an hour to run. Allow 15 minutes for test set up and administration and 45 minutes testing time.
How much training is needed? Minimal training. The online teachers' manual has very clear information.
Scoring and data analysis Because the tests are online, all scoring and data analysis is done automatically.
Does it provide 'what next' strategies? Yes , provides ideas for next steps and links teachers to further resources. Formative assessment resources are currently under development. (September 2017)
Is it available in te reo Maori? No
Cost? A school needs to subscribe to the NZCER’s assessment website www.nzcermarking.org.nz to access the assessment and reports. This subscription covers all subject areas covered by NZCER reports. The service costs $250 for the yearly subscription and each subject area costs $25. For online testing there is a $2.00 charge per student, per test. (September 2017)
Author, date of publication and publisher NZCER Science team, 2017

The NZCER website has all the information you need to access the assessment. The How do I get started page has clear information on the steps in the process. The Teachers' Manual is available online. 

Further Information

The tests can only be completed online.

  • Each student will need a computer device, preferably with a full size screen. The tests will run on IPAD tablets or chromebooks. Be aware that the smaller the screen size, that more difficult it will be for students to read the text.
  • All questions are automatically marked.
  • Scale scores and reports are available as soon as your students have completed the test.

You can administer the test at any time during the school year. 

  • The trial to gather data to establish test norms was conducted in March 2017.  If tests are used at the end of the school year, your students will be closer in age to the next year level up, and you should consider comparing your students to the norms for the next year level.
  • Read the full administration details.

There are three tests, each with 30 questions.

  • The first test (JS1) is recommended for Year 4, the second test (JS2) for Year 5, and the third test (JS3) for Year 6.
  • In each test there is a range of  interactive question types including:
    • multiple choice, dragging and dropping, selecting the correct image, filling in blanks in sentences, and sorting images.
  • We recommend teachers make sure students practise each question type before starting the test.