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Parenting & Education in Ireland

Understanding Standardised testing or Stens Test


Standardised testing are tests that children partake in at primary level. They begin in May/June for all children in 2nd, 4th and 6th class, but many schools use standardised test in other classes too.

What are Standardised Tests?

STens test are exams that measure the level of child’s achievement in English and Irish reading and maths. They compare children’s score with other children in the same class or age level. The reading test give information on your child’s level of reading, and the maths test find out how well your child is at solving mathematical problems and use of numbers.

What do teachers do with this information?

The purpose of STen tests are to gather information on the level of your child’s reading and maths to help them plan your child's specific learning, and to inform the parent on how well their child is doing in school. They can also help the teacher discover if your child has learning difficulties and can provide suitable support for their education.

Do I need to prepare for these tests?

This is not necessary as these tests are a measure of your child’s achievement in reading and maths. Teachers gather information on their students’ learning all the time as part of their daily work in class. Your teacher will share the results with you at parents/teacher meeting and in end of year report cards.

What do the STens scores mean?

The STen score ( standard ten ) is a score out of one to ten of your child's achievements with a particular subject. See the table below courtesy of NCCA.


If you're worried about your child’s STens test score and for more details on standardised tests please read the guide published by the NCCA. Alternatively, join in and read our forums on STens test results.


Read more about STen Test Results
Read more about Standardised Tests
Sten Tests on our Discussion Forums