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Educational Research Centre Tests

Providing tests to Irish schools for over 40 years.


The Educational Research Centre draws on 40 years of experience in test development to provide research-based, reliable information to schools about their students. This page lists our new computer-based tests. These tests are currently available for post-primary schools only, but tests for primary schools will be added in the near future. All our tests have been specifically developed for an Irish population and our standardised achievement tests for 2nd Years have been designed to reflect the content of the relevant Junior Cycle curriculum. Our tests can run on any device with an internet connection – laptops, PCs, tablets or iPads – and work for a variety of configurations (e.g., your mouse and/or keyboard can be separate or integrated). See below for more details on currently available tests.

View Our Tests

For more information on our tests, please select a test from the list below.  

Drumcondra Primary Reading Test

The New Drumcondra Primary Reading Test is a set of curriculum-based standardised assessments of reading achievement for primary school pupils in Ireland. Online versions of the test are available for pupils in Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth classes. Test content has been newly developed and standardised, meaning that the norms accurately reflect current achievement levels in Irish schools. (The New DPRT is also available on paper, and there are paper-only tests for First and Second classes too; to enquire about or order paper tests, contact tests@erc.ie).

 

At each grade level, the online test has three parallel Forms. Each Form comprises vocabulary items and reading comprehension items. The comprehension items are based on a broad variety of texts, and assess a broad range of cognitive process skills. All content, including the commissioned illustrations, has been selected specifically to engage and appeal to children in Ireland in the target age groups, and to reflect the diversity of our primary schools today. 

 

Schools administering the online tests can generate automated reports immediately after testing, at no extra cost. As well as overall scores, reports provide separate scores for Vocabulary and Comprehension. The Comprehension scores are also broken down to show how pupils performed on different text types (Literary vs Informational), and on different kinds of comprehension processes (Retrieve & Infer vs Interpret & Evaluate).

 

  • Standardised on a nationally representative sample in spring 2018
  • Duration: 70 minutes (two sections of 35 minutes each). Allow an extra ~ 10 minutes for login and practice sections, and an extra ~ 10 minutes for the break between sections.
  • Target groups: pupils nearing the end of Third class, Fourth class, Fifth class, and Sixth class
  • Designed for easy group administration
  • Automated scoring and reporting

Drumcondra Primary Maths Test

The New Drumcondra Primary Mathematics Test is a set of curriculum-based standardised assessments of mathematics achievement for primary school pupils in Ireland. Online versions of the test are available for pupils in Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth classes. Test content has been newly developed and standardised, meaning that the norms accurately reflect current achievement levels in Irish schools. (The New DPMT is also available on paper, and there are paper-only tests for First and Second classes too; to enquire about or order paper tests, contact tests@erc.ie).

 

At each grade level, the online test has three parallel Forms. The New DPMT has a more practical focus than its predecessor, while still covering key content areas and process skills described in the current curriculum. The new test is also shorter than previous versions (50 items, as opposed to 75), to increase pupil engagement and concentration. The diverse population of primary schools in Ireland today is reflected in the contexts used and in the child-friendly, commissioned images.

 

Schools administering the online tests can generate automated reports immediately after testing, at no extra cost. As well as overall scores, reports provide separate scores for the strands of Number / Algebra, Measures, and Shape & Space / Data & Chance. They also provide a breakdown by process skill, using two subscales: Understand & Implement, and Integrate, Reason & Problem Solve.

 

  • Standardised on a nationally representative sample in spring 2018
  • Duration: 70 minutes (two sections of 35 minutes each). Allow an extra ~ 10 minutes for login and practice sections, and an extra ~ 10 minutes for the break between sections.
  • Target groups: pupils nearing the end of Third class, Fourth class, Fifth class, and Sixth class
  • Designed for easy group administration
  • Automated scoring and reporting

 

Drumcondra Reasoning Test

The Drumcondra Reasoning Test (DRT) is a well-known test of reasoning that was completely re-developed and expanded in 2016. It is mainly targeted at students soon to start, or who have recently started, 1st year in post-primary school. It assesses Verbal Reasoning, Numeric Ability, and overall reasoning skills. Verbal Reasoning assesses the ability to understand, think and reason in and with words. Four types of items contribute to the Verbal Reasoning subtest: Synonyms, Classifications, Analogies and Antonyms. Numeric Ability requires the student to reason with numbers and to manipulate numerical relationships, and is assessed using four types of items: Operations with Numbers, Relations among Numbers, Sequential Ordering, and Numerical Abstractions. The Numeric Ability test requires minimal understanding of written English and can be administered to students with quite limited English language proficiency.


There are five Forms of the DRT, each of which is randomly assigned to students in a class group, thereby ensuring a wide content coverage and minimising opportunity to copy. Once a test is completed, the DOTS automatically scores and scales the results, providing student and class group reports that are directly comparable across Forms. The ERC is also developing an Abstract Reasoning subtest, which will eventually be added to the DRT as an optional add-on. All content was developed in Ireland, specifically for Irish students.

 


  • Standardised in selected schools in spring and autumn 2016
  • Duration: 60 minutes (including a short break between sections)
  • Target: Students in, or about to start, their 1st year of post-primary school
  • New spring and autumn standardisation scores available
  • Easy group administration
  • Automated scoring and reporting

Drumcondra Post-Primary Reading Test

The Drumcondra Post-Primary Reading Test is a new, curriculum-based assessment of reading achievement. It is targeted at students in the final term of 2nd year in post-primary school. It is based on current curricula and draws on international best practice in reading assessment to provide tests tailored to the Irish context and to students in Ireland. The test will act in tandem with teachers observations and assessments to create a broader pictures of student performance. The class and individual reports give teachers a valuable additional source of information about the strengths and difficulties of the students in reading.

 

Each Form of the test comprises reading vocabulary items and reading comprehension items. These items also evaluate some of the cognitive process skills necessary for reading, such as Access & Retrieve, and Integrate & Evaluate. The comprehension texts reflect a variety of settings, content, and language, and were selected with reference to gender balance, cultural sensitivities, and student engagement . Each text was chosen especially for students in Ireland. The end result is a body of texts that are relevant, modern, and engaging. Two versions of a 2nd year reading test have been available in paper format since 2014. The content for the computer-based test has been newly developed and expanded to include four different Forms. Schools choosing to administer the reading test online can also avail of our free automated scoring and reporting options.

  • Standardised in selected schools in spring 2016
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Target group: Students near the end of 2nd year in post-primary school
  • Easy group administration
  • Automated scoring and reporting