Understanding Test Scores

The ATS Qualifying Exam - College Ability Test is designed to indicate verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities and is usually administered to high school students. ATS administers this test to 4th through 9th grade students to identify individuals who may have special academic talent to be developed. Students take the test appropriate to their grade level: 4th and 5th grade students take the Intermediate level exam, 6th - 9th graders take the Advanced level exam.

Students cannot "pass" or "fail" this test, and results should not be regarded as a definitive measure of the individual's academic aptitude. However, the scores can be useful in predicting academic success in ATS classes designed to develop specific academic aptitude in verbal and math areas.


How to Read the Score Report

Test Level
Test level is determined by student grade level. Current 4th and 5th grade students take the Intermediate level test. Current 6th through 9th grade students take the Advanced level test.

ATS Scores (Verbal and Math)
These scores provide an assessment of the student's verbal and mathematics talent base. These scores will be needed if students decide to apply for ATS classes.

The ATS verbal score suggests talent in those academic areas which rely on logic and verbal reasoning (language arts, social science, and the life sciences). The ATS math score suggests academic talent in those subjects which rely on quantitative reasoning (mathematics, computer science, engineering and the physical sciences).

Raw Score
This is the number of questions the student answered correctly out of 50 possible on each section.

National Norm (at grade level)
National Norm at grade level represents the student's score relative to a nation-wide sample of students at the same grade level. The "norm" group was established by the test publisher based on a cross-section of students in the United States. The National Norm answers the question, "How does my score compare with scores earned nation-wide?" For instance, if the National Norm rank is in the 70th percentile, that student scored as well as or better than 70% of students at the same grade level across the nation.

ATS Local Norm (at grade level)
ATS Local Norm at grade level represents the student's score relative to other students in the same grade level who took this test in the Sacramento region. The ATS Local Norm Group is composed of over 7,400 students in grades 4-5 and 101,400 students in grades 6-9 who took this test as part of the Academic Talent Search. These percentile ranks tend to be lower than the national norms, because the students in the ATS norm group scored higher on the test than the national norm group. The ATS Local Norm answers the question, "How does my score compare with scores earned by other students in the ATS program?"

National Norm
Fourth and fifth grade students receive national norm information compared to 8th graders because the Intermediate level exam is normally administered to middle school students.

Sixth through ninth grade students receive national norm information compared to 12th graders because the Advanced level exam is normally administered to high school students.

These comparisons should be interpreted with caution. We can say, for example, that if a 7th grader was a high school senior and had these scores, that student would rank at a particular level. Keep in mind that when that 7th grader is a high school senior, the student's scores on the ATS College Ability Test would undoubtedly be higher than they are today.