PIAT Math Test

PIAT Math Test

Created Variables

CV_PIAT_STANDARD_SCORE and CV_PIAT_STANDARD_SCORE_UPD. These report respondent's standard score for the PIAT. New norms were released in 1998 (Markwardt).  The NLSY97 used the original and the updated norms for rounds 1 through 3 and the updated norms for rounds 4 through 6.  Researchers should use the variable CV_PIAT_STANDARD_SCORE for original norms and CV_PIAT_STANDARD_UPD and for the updated norms.

CV_PIAT_PERCENTILE_SCORE and CV_PIAT_PERCENTILE_SCORE_UPD. These report respondent's percentile score for the PIAT. New norms were released in 1998 (Markwardt).  The NLSY97 used the original and the updated norms for rounds 1-3 and the updated norms for rounds 4, 5, and 6.  Researchers should use the variable CV_PIAT_PERCENTILE_SCORE for original norms and CV_PIAT_PERCENTILE_UPD for the updated norms.

 

Important Information About Using PIAT Math Test Data

As with any educational or psychological test of this nature, the PIAT-R does have certain limitations.  To reiterate some of the cautions stated in Markwardt (1989), users of the data should be careful to avoid the following pitfalls:

  • This test is not designed for use as a diagnostic test; due to the nature of the test and the wide range of content, it does not include enough items to measure any specific skill area reliably.
  • This test is not designed to provide a highly precise assessment of achievement. Although it is a reliable general measure of achievement in the area of mathematics, it cannot make fine distinctions regarding the absolute attainment level of a respondent.
  • The items included in the PIAT-R Math Assessment were selected to represent a cross-section of various curricula in use across the United States. Although this allows for meaningful comparisons of an individual's scores and the normative national sample, the user must consider curricular and environmental differences of respondents in interpreting the results.

The Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) measures academic achievement of children ages five and over.  It is among the most widely used brief assessments of academic achievement, with demonstrably high test-retest reliability and concurrent validity. 

One of the PIAT subtests, the Mathematics Assessment, was given in Round 1 to all respondents 9th grade or lower, regardless of age. In rounds 2 through 6, this test was given to respondents who were age 12 as of December 31, 1996, and who were in the 9th grade or lower in round 1.(In round 6, the universe was further restricted to those respondents still in high school). By comparing the test score on the PIAT Math Assessment with information on the respondent's math courses from the Youth Questionnaireand the transcript survey, researchers may be able to assess correlations between curriculum and math performance. Round 6 was the last round in which the PIAT was given to NLSY97 respondents.

The version used was the PIAT-Revised (PIAT-R), published in 1989.  Administration of this test was relatively straightforward.  Respondents entered the assessment at an age-appropriate item (although this was not essential to the scoring) and established a "basal" by attaining five consecutive correct responses.  A "ceiling" was reached when five of seven items were incorrectly answered.  Further information about the PIAT Math Assessment is found in Markwardt (1989).

New norms were released in 1998 (Markwardt).  The NLSY97 used the original and the updated norms for rounds 1-3 and the updated norms for rounds 4, 5, and 6.  Researchers should use the variables CV_PIAT_STANDARD_SCORE and CV_PIAT_PERCENTILE_SCORE for original norms and CV_PIAT_STANDARD_UPD and CV_PIAT_PERCENTILE_UPD for the updated norms.  

This math subtest showed a great degree of improvement in student performance.  Average performance rose at grades 5 through 12, and the performance level of above-average students increased across almost the entire grade range (grades 2 through 12).  Nevertheless, as on most other subtests, the performance of below-average students declined at grades 1 through 12.  Throughout the NLSY97 rounds, the test content and administration were unchanged; only the scoring was updated.

(Reference: Markwardt, Jr., Frederick C. Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service, Inc., 1998.)

Comparison to Other NLS Surveys:  The Children of the NLSY79 age five and older have been administered an earlier version of the PIAT Math Assessment.  See the Child and Young Adult Data Users Guide for more information.

Survey Instruments:  This assessment was given during the PIAT section of the youth interview. Question names begin with YPIA.

Related User's Guide Sections Achievement Tests
School & Transcript Surveys
Main Area of Interest Education: PIAT
Supplemental Areas of Interest Education: School Experience