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Test Score Information

Preface to the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools Test Score Information

Be careful not to place too much emphasis on test scores. Other factors are much more important in choosing the right school for your child. Standardized tests are designed to compare individual students to a representative group of students from all over the country. They are not designed to compare an individual school to other schools. For school comparison, quality cannot be reduced to a standardized test score any more than a blood pressure reading or cholesterol number can indicate a person's total health.

Keep in mind that standardized test scores do not take into account the reality that some schools admit children who may start at a lower level of achievement and subsequently improve dramatically. Such schools' scores will not be as high as those of schools that only admit children who demonstrate high achievement levels. In addition, test scores must differ by a large number of points to truly represent a difference in achievement level. Keep the following equation in mind:

Initial Student Achievement Level
+ Caring, Catholic, Learning Environment
Successful Student Academic and Emotional Growth

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores are not the only measure of a school's quality. These tests are designed to assess an individual student's performance compared to all students nationally. They do not compare a schools quality to other schools. Many other factors should affect your decision about which school your child should attend, including: educational philosophy, curriculum quality, teacher credentials, class size, location, cost, availability of resources, discipline policy, opportunities for parental involvement and communications.

How Standardized Test Scores are used to Improve Student Performance Data that Informs and Enhances

Educators and researchers agree that standardized test results inform both teachers and administrators regarding academic student progress. Score results are used to guide curriculum, instruction and program decisions and also assist with identifying local and Archdiocesan-wide professional development needs. Providing professional growth opportunities for educators is a direct result of analyzing and utilizing test score data in response to student performance. This research into standardized tests scores allows professionals to gain insight as to why student performance levels may not be meeting expectations or, alternatively, are exceeding expectations. Appropriate curricular, instructional and/or programmatic adjustments can then be instituted.

Our students take the following standardized tests:

  • Stanford 10-This multiple choice test is taken every spring by all students in grades 3 through 8.
  • ACRE Exam-This test is taken every fall by all students in grades 5, 8, 9, and 12.
  • STS High School Placement Test-This test is taken every winter by eighth grade students planning to attend a private high school.
  • PSAT-This test is taken every year by students in grades 10 and 11.
  • SAT-This test is taken every year by students in grades 11 and 12.

Stanford 10 Scores

The Tenth Edition of the Stanford Achievement Test is given to all students in grades 3 through 8 every Spring. It measures students' performance in reading, language arts, mathematics, spelling, science and social science. All of the items on the Stanford 10 evaluate either basic Understanding or thinking skills. Scores on the Stanford 10 are calculated using national norms. This means that students' scores are compared to the scores of all students nationally who took the same exam. The national average is the 50th percentile.

ACRE Scores

The ACRE Exam measures students' knowledge about the Catholic faith, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes and practices. Scores on this test are determined by what percentile the students place compared to Catholic school peers on the same level of the exam. Fifth graders take the Level 1 exam and eighth, ninth and twelfth graders take the Level 2 exam. Scores below the 64th suggest improvement is needed, scores between the 64th and 86th percentile reflect proficiency, and scores above 86th percentile indicate advanced knowledge.

The test provides information regarding our students' understanding and living of their faith. Students in grades 5 and 8 are tested in early fall of each school year. Students in grade 9 are tested in the fall and students in grade 12 are administered the test sometime prior to graduation. For more complete information, visit NCEA Assessments for Learning.

High School Placement Exam

The High School Placement Exam is administered every December to students who want to be considered for admission to a Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Information on registering students to take this test can be found on our High School Information page.

See more information about the high school placement test.

Student Performance at the High School Level

The majority of students in their junior and senior years take the Preliminary Student Aptitude Test (PSAT)/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, (NMSQT) and the SAT Reasoning Test (formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test). A few students may take the ACT so a web link to more information is included with the others listed below.


Information regarding an individual Catholic High School's academic program and/or testing can be found by visiting the school's website.