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 Arithmetic Testing OnLine (ATOL)SM

## About Arithmetic Testing OnLine (ATOL)SM

Arithmetic includes essential skills required for nearly all mathematics at the later grades—including Algebra, Probability & Statistics, problem-solving in Geometry, and more advanced topics—as well as for everyday life. It spans math facts, complex word problems, computational algorithms and much else. Unfortunately, students sometimes fail to develop the necessary fluency in key arithmetic skills, which can result in later difficulties and students deciding that they "don't like math." Teachers can use ATOLSM as an efficient, diagnostically-powerful tool to either prevent or address such deficits, ensuring that each student is prepared to excel in a college or career preparatory mathematics program at the later grades. ATOLSM is a challenging, internationally-benchmarked assessment of the skills students need at the following key grades: 3, 4, 5 and 6. Two different assessments of precisely equal difficulty are available at each grade. This allows you to test, help your student address any deficiencies, then optionally re-test to ensure mastery.

Each ATOLSM test measures whether students have attained Mastery or Honors in key arithmetic skills by the end of grades 3, 4, 5 and 6. However, the assessments can be useful at different points near the beginning, as well as during, the academic year. Below are three potential uses of ATOLSM, each followed by an example:

Joseph takes
ATOLSM Grade 4 Form A either before or soon after entering grade 5. It identifies any arithmetic skills that require improvement before the beginning of the new school year. Joseph masters the necessary skills and is successful in 5th grade mathematics.

During the academic year, to establish learning goals in key skill areas.
Juanita, a student in 3rd grade, takes
ATOLSM Grade 3 Form A in March to identify core arithmetic skills that she still needs to master before the end of the academic year. In late May, Juanita takes theATOLSM Grade 3 Form B to see if she has succeeded in meeting her goals.

During the academic year, to help identify the cause of academic difficulties.
Craig, a 7th grade student who received a poor grade in mathematics on his mid-year report card, takes the
ATOLSM Grade 6 Form A test in January. The assessment indicates that Craig lacks key prerequisite skills in arithmetic that are likely contributing to his difficulties in 7th grade mathematics. In February, after one month of targeted academic support, the ATOLSM Grade 6 Form B assessment indicates that Craig has mastered the necessary skills. There is still enough time in the school year for Craig to catch up and meet the grade 7 mathematics standards.

## Topics

ATOLSM measures problem-solving as well as basic skills in arithmetic, including:

• Word Problems
• Computation
• Math Facts, from multiplication tables to prime numbers to conversions between common fractions and decimals
• The four Operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
• Number Line/Ordering/Magnitude
• Standard Algorithms
• Fractions/Decimals/Percents
• Factoring

A detailed listing of the skills assessed at each grade, along with sample problems, is available here.

Diagnostic Reports

Results are instantly available. The Individual Test Report provides overall results as well as detailed diagnostic information for each skill area listed above. In addition, question-by-question results include the correct answer as well as the student’s response. The Student Transcript Report provides overall trends over time, including in the same academic year or even across grades. A broad range of Group Reports allow for progress monitoring and diagnostic reports for an entire classroom, grade or school.

## Why Grades 3 Through 6?

A focused assessment of important arithmetic skills is especially valuable at grades 3 through 6, as students transition from simple arithmetic in K-2 to pre-algebra and other challenging topics in middle school. Students who do not fully master key arithmetic skills in the upper elementary grades lose confidence and begin to believe that “math is not for me.” At the middle grades, such students typically struggle. For those who do make it into Algebra 1 in a regular academic track, teachers report that one of the most common causes of difficulty is poor arithmetic skills.

## Pricing

Signing up for an individual teacher account is free and each ATOLSM assessment can be assigned to a student for only \$2.95. After the assessment is complete, you can login at any time to see results.

An annual school or district ATOLSM License with discounted pricing is also available for minimum orders of 50 student accounts; an annual License permits you to assign additional tests to the same students—in order to assess improvement—at no additional cost. License pricing ranges from \$2.00 to \$2.75 per student, depending on order size. Further details about school or district License pricing, included materials and optional training is available here.

## Taking a Test and Viewing Results

All test problems are presented to a student on the computer. Teacher involvement is not required during the test. Students type in most answers using the number keys on a keyboard. A few questions require students to select the correct response from multiple choices. Calculators are not permitted during testing. Most students complete an ATOLSM assessment in less than 30 minutes; all students are required to finish in less than 45 minutes (test questions are individually timed). At the end of the test, students can review answers and return to any questions they skipped. Results are available immediately after students finish.

## Development Guided By Top Mathematicians And Other Experts

The development of ATOLSM was overseen by nationally recognized mathematicians and researchers, working with skilled elementary, middle and high school educators. The mathematicians and others involved possessed a thorough familiarity with the mathematics expectations of top-performing nations around the world as well as the best state standards in the U.S. A full list of the members of the ATOLSM Mathematics Content Board is available here. All test questions were field tested with real students to ensure their quality and scaled by testing experts to standardize the degree of difficulty for tests at the same grade.

## Benchmarked To International Standards, Designed For Nearly Every Student

ATOLSM was designed based on the proven mathematics curricula used in top-performing countries as well as the best standards in the U.S. Unlike less effective mathematics approaches that allow students to cover numerous topics superficially while mastering few, students in top-scoring countries focus most of their time at the elementary grades on core arithmetic skills and advance quickly. Students develop confidence as they thoroughly understand key arithmetic concepts and develop speed in computation. They learn arithmetic math facts “by heart” while also solving problems that demonstrate deep understanding. Students do not have to extensively review arithmetic skills from previous grades because these were learned to a high level and then continue to be used heavily in a focused program. The assessments meet or exceed expectations described in the Common Core State Standards and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

ATOLSM defines clearly the arithmetic skills to be assessed at each grade. Test questions represent the range of these skills. The assessment assumes students are well-versed in these areas (i.e., “at mastery”) and some of the problems are challenging. However, none of the questions are “tricky” or consist of “puzzles” that require a high aptitude to solve. With good instruction and sufficient practice, the overwhelming majority of students can solve the questions and obtain an overall score that reflects “Mastery.” Students with particular talent in mathematics are also challenged and can aim for an “Honors” result.

Information about an internationally-benchmarked approach to mathematics education is provided in the report of the National Mathematics Panel here. Over 90% of the core skills identified by the Panel as essential at grades 3 through 6 are included on ATOLSM. (Note, there are other non-arithmetic topics that are useful and important in elementary mathematics, though arithmetic is the Panel's recommended focus at these grades.)

Privacy

Technology Requirements

All ATOLSM assessments and results are available online through AWSchoolTest. Access is provided through one of the major computer web browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox on a Windows computer, or through Safari on a Mac or iPad. No software is installed on local client or server machines.