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FAQs for CTP

What is CTP?
Can I order sample tests?
How should my student prepare for CTP?
Does ERB construct the test?
What kind of a test is CTP?
What does the test measure?
Why is it necessary to have two reasoning tests in addition to the achievement tests?
How accurate are the scores on CTP?
Is CTP fair to all students, or are some at a disadvantage because of race or gender?
What if I have trouble understanding reports that are sent home?
What are Lexile and Quantile measures?


What is CTP?
CTP, Comprehensive Testing Program, is a reasoning/achievement test battery that is available to more than 1,600 ERB-member public and independent schools. It is designed as a challenging test to measure learning and distinguish achievement even among the higher-level students.

Can I order sample tests?
No, the CTP is a secure test and may not be released to the public. Since similar forms of the test are used by schools each year, the security and confidentiality of the test must be maintained.

How should my student prepare for CTP?
The purpose of the test is to determine what a student knows and can do at the time of testing—helping to identify strengths and weaknesses in achievement. It is intended to help teachers and administrators make decisions about curriculum or classroom instruction. As such, there are no test prep materials available for this assessment.

Does ERB construct the test?
CTP was developed for ERB by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey, a leader in test development.

What kind of a test is CTP?
CTP is a series of tests with multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The tests are administered to groups of students over the course of several days, either in the spring or the fall.

CTP has 10 levels; a different level is used with each grade from 1 through 11.

Students in the early grades take the test under untimed conditions and mark their answers in the test booklet or on a computer with CTP Online.

Students in the middle and upper grades take CTP under generously timed conditions and mark their answers on a separate answer sheet or computer with CTP Online.

There is also an option for schools to include open-ended reading comprehension and mathematics questions for full, partial, or no credit, available in the paper-pencil version only.

What does the test measure?
All 10 levels of CTP include achievement tests that measure what a student has learned in the areas of reading and mathematics.

Levels 1 and 2 also test word analysis and listening skills.

Beginning with level 3 (introduced in the spring of grade 3), there are tests that measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, certain kinds of writing skills, and vocabulary.

Why is it necessary to have two reasoning tests in addition to the achievement tests?
In general, achievement tests—such as vocabulary, reading comprehension, and mathematics—measure mastery of skills and knowledge acquired directly from instruction in the classroom.

Questions in the reasoning tests are intended to describe the student’s facility with subtle, abstract relationships expressed in words or numbers. These tests yield measures of a student’s ability to recognize logical relationships in unfamiliar contexts.

Having both achievement and reasoning tests in the same battery enables the school to compare the results as a guide in working with individual students. Taken together, these scores may help determine if a student is working up to potential, explain classroom performance, and inform appropriate responses .

How accurate are the scores on CTP?
While CTP scores are reliable and useful, no test measures perfectly. Test scores are subject to error, in part, because many factors affect a student’s test performance, including motivation, energy, level of concentration, and understanding of directions. Moreover, the test questions are merely samples of all the questions that might be asked about a particular subject.

Accordingly, several consecutive years of test results usually provide a better estimate of a student’s knowledge and abilities than the scores obtained in any one year. CTP provides schools with data to assess patterns or trends in student achievement within and across grades to be viewed alongside other work done by students at school day to day.

Is CTP fair to all students, or are some at a disadvantage because of race or gender?
Fairness is something that was given careful attention in the development of CTP. Editors and others specially trained to identify bias in text or illustrations reviewed each CTP question to ensure that it would not offend or be unfair to members of minority groups or either gender. In addition, statistical tests were performed to determine for each question whether significant differences existed between the performance of girls and boys. Any questions that were flagged as a result of these tests were again reviewed and, when necessary, changed before CTP was released for use.

What if I have trouble understanding reports that are sent home?
The score reports for parents have been designed to be easy to read and understand. However, we urge parents to meet with school personnel who will assist you in interpreting test results. A school conference is the best means of learning how your child is doing in school, and how you may be able to help him or her do even better.

What are Lexile and Quantile measures?

You may see reported Lexile and Quantile measures on your child's report. A Lexile represents your child's reading ability and can be used to match him or her with books and other materials at an appropriate difficulty level. Visit www.Lexile.com. A Quantile measure describes your child's mathematical ability and can be used to determine his or her readiness to learn new mathematical skills and concepts. Visit www.Quantiles.com.

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