New Drumcondra Reasoning Test (DRT) (2016)
The Drumcondra Reasoning Test (DRT) is an aptitude test, developed in Ireland, for use in Irish schools. The test is aimed at pupils making the transition to post-primary school, and First and Second year students in post-primary school. It was revised and re-normed in 2016.
The DRT is a group-administered test of cognitive skills, divided into two subtests, Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Ability. Verbal Reasoning assesses the ability of students to understand, think and reason in and with words. Four types of items contribute to the Verbal Reasoning subtest: Synonyms, Classifications, Analogies and Antonyms. Numerical Ability requires the student to reason with numbers and to manipulate numerical relationships, and is assessed using four types of items: Operations with Numbers, Relations among Numbers, Sequential Ordering, and Numerical Abstractions.
The DRT was standardised on nationally representative samples of over 6,000 students enrolled in the target grades in Irish primary and post-primary schools in 2016. The DRT is now intended mainly for delivery on the ERC’s computer-based testing platform, and five parallel Forms of the test are available on that platform. However, one Form is also available on paper. It is possible to compare results from the digital and paper versions, meaning that schools can opt to test using a mixture of digital and paper tests, should they choose.
The paper version of the test takes approximately 1½ hours to administer (overall administration time for the digital version is slightly shorter). The paper test must be administered using machine-scorable answer sheets which are subsequently scored at the Educational Research Centre.
The administration of the DRT can be carried out by any qualified teacher, supported by advice from a suitably qualified person with training in the administration and interpretation of psychological tests (e.g., psychologist, guidance counsellor, etc). Interpretation of test results should also draw on the advice of suitably qualified persons.