The New Drumcondra Primary Mathematics Test (New DPMT)
The New DPMT is a set of standardised mathematics tests developed specifically for group administration in Irish primary schools. The tests are divided into six Levels, each with parallel forms, and are designed for pupils at the end of First class through to the end of Sixth class. (Teachers who want to assess younger pupils’ mathematics skills should use the DTEN.) All material in the New DPMT was developed between 2016 and 2018, and the tests were standardised on a representative sample of primary school pupils in Ireland in spring 2018. The tests address the objectives of the 1999 Primary School Mathematics Curriculum. The New DPMT is designed to appeal to pupils in each class level; it features professionally designed, full colour images and situates a number of mathematical problems in real-world contexts.
Summary Features of DPMT
The New DPMT for Level 1 (First class) is a screening test, but provides a standard score as well as a criterion-referenced report. (STen scores and percentile ranks are not reported for this grade level.) It is recommended that this test be administered to small groups of pupils (~ 8) where possible. As well as an overall mathematics report, results are broken down by Content Area: Number/Algebra, Measures, and Shape & Space/Data. The Individual Pupil Profile (provided in the manual) allows for a breakdown of answers by Strand Unit. In addition, a question-by-question breakdown can be completed using the Concepts and Skills Report. The new Level 1 test is read aloud to pupils in full. It has two parallel forms with identical instructions, but slight differences in the numbers and images featured. This means that both forms can be administered simultaneously to a class group.
Levels 2 – 6 (Second to Sixth classes) of the New DPMT are designed to be administered to full class groups. Raw scores, standard scores, STen scores and percentile ranks can be computed for:
Content Areas: Number/Algebra, Measures and Shape & Space/Data
Process Skills: Understand & Implement and Integrate, Reason & Problem Solve
Part A of the Level 2 test uses the same approach as the Level 1 test, whereby the test is read aloud with the same instructions but different content.
While pupils at Levels 1 and 2 mark their answers directly into their test booklets, pupils at Levels 3 – 6 use answer sheets, meaning that test booklets are reusable at these levels. Levels 3 to 6 can be administered simultaneously to multi-grade classes, and teachers have the option of hand-scoring the answer sheets, or using our machine-scoring service (which provides reports that include the full subscale breakdown).
Schools can also avail of an updated version of the Drumcondra Primary Tests Scoring System. There is no linkage between the old scoring system and the new one, as the tests are based on different structures and norms.
Currently, the norms for the New DPMT are spring norms only, but the tests may be used the following autumn if schools wish to do so e.g. for pupils at the start of 4th class, Level 3 tests can be used. However, please note that this does not constitute an exact comparison of like with like, since, in this example, Level 3 norms reflect national performance at the end of 3rd class. That said, differences between spring and autumn are likely to be minor. Currently, the New DPMT does not have a test-wide scale.