Adaptive testing with NGRT

The NGRT digital edition comprises the unaltered content of the paper tests. However, this is presented in a way that allows students’ reading to be tested according to their performance as they are taking the test rather than by age or year group. An analysis of the difficulty of all questions in the paper tests has been carried out in order to create the adaptive, digital test.

Like the paper edition, NGRT Digital comprises three sections: phonics, sentence completion and passage comprehension. However, the digital test is adaptive and each student’s performance is assessed as they complete the test and the questions adapted to be in line with the ability they demonstrate. This is a benefit, particularly to students with weak skills – they can be tested with material at a lower level than that determined by age – and for students with high level skills as they can be tested with material that better reflects their ability.

Students enter the test according to their age. All start with the sentence completion section. Depending on the score from this part of the test, they will be moved on to the passage comprehension section or be given the phonics tasks. Those who complete the phonics tasks will not be presented with the passage comprehension. Testing time will be approximately 30 minutes. However, please note that as NGRT Digital is adaptive the time taken to test each student will vary, so some will finish before others.

The sequence of questions in the sentence completion section is based on the probability of a student answering a question correctly based on those questions answered correctly on the basal set (which is determined by age). This will make testing shorter and, importantly, place the child at an appropriate level for the hardest part of the test, the reading comprehension.

Most students will complete the sentence completion section followed by the comprehension section and read and answer questions on one, two or three passages at the appropriate level of difficulty. If students perform poorly on the sentence completion section they will complete the phonics section and will not be administered any comprehension passages.

Each form of the digital test should be considered as a single test with several parts:

  • Sentence completion (a bank comprising all questions across all levels)
  • Phonics section (the full content from Test 1)
  • Reading comprehension – passage by passage rather than grouped by level as students will be directed to an appropriate initial passage on the basis of performance on sentence completion. Generally, this should be a secure basis for selecting the next part of the test but some students’ skills may be stronger or weaker in sentence completion than in passage comprehension so the program will adjust to performance on the initial passage too.

So:

  • All students will start the test with sentence completion
  • The program will determine the first question based on date of birth
  • Each student will progress through the test according to performance
  • Students with very low scores will move to the phonics section
  • Students will be presented with one, two or three passages; this will shorten test time and is possible because the level of passage will be suited to the individual on the basis of their sentence completion score.