Interpreting Placement Test results

The Placement Test is designed to identify the appropriate level of instruction for each student. Initial placement within Imagine Language & Literacy and selection of developmentally appropriate activities in the program are determined by student performance on the Placement Test.  Placement tests data carries over from year to year and serves a dual role as an initial benchmark test. The Placement test is comprised of a series of sub-tests.   

Student Placement Test performance is reported via two metrics. These metrics and a brief explanation relevant to their interpretation are provided below.

Information Reported Placement Test Overview Placement Test Sub-test Interpretation/Use
Raw Score No Yes Sub-tests results are shown as a percentage of correct answers out of the total number of items for each sub-test.
Overall Score Yes No Students' Overall Literacy and Overall Oral Vocabulary Scores are based on their sub-test scaled scores* and represent peak performance on the most difficult sub-test they attempted during testing.

*Scaled scores are the product of a statistical transformation of raw scores that places all results on the same scale and allows for meaningful comparisons across sub-tests.

The proficiency level demonstrated within each sub-test is displayed as the student’s percent of correct responses. 

Overall scores are holistic measures of student performance on the Placement Test. They increase when students demonstrate proficiency on sub-tests they attempt, but they also increase for lower-skill sub-tests the program allows them to skip. For example, if a student demonstrates she can proficiently recognize words, she is not tested in letter recognition, a lower-level skill. However, her overall score will reflect her proficiency in both word and letter recognition. 

Overall Literacy and Overall Oral Vocabulary scores are calculated from sub-test performance. To calculate these overall scores, the raw scores from sub-tests are statistically transformed into scaled scores, which places the results from different sub-tests on the same, fixed scale. This allows a direct mathematical comparison of scores from increasingly difficult curriculum areas. Scale scores for sub-tests increase not only as a student answers more questions correctly, but also as the assessed content becomes more difficult. 

A table of test score ranges by grade level is provided toward the bottom of the page that presents details of a student’s test results. The table can be used to facilitate a meaningful interpretation of a student’s scores. The score ranges are determined by proficient performance in content designed for the respective grade levels. Next to the table is a legend that provides descriptions and recommended actions for test statuses provided in student test results.


Grade Level Test Score Range
PreK 0-175
Kindergarten 176-550
Grade 1 551-925
Grade 2 926-1400
Grade 3 1401-1915
Grade 4 1916-2150
Grade 5 2151-2317