The Drumcondra Primary Mathematics Test – Revised (DPMT-R)

The DPMT-R is a set of standardised mathematics achievement tests developed specifically for group administration in Irish primary schools.  The tests are divided into six Levels, most with parallel forms, and are designed for pupils at the end of First class through to the end of Sixth class.  (Teachers who want to assess younger pupils’ numeracy skills should use the DTEN.)  Originally developed in 1997, the DPMT was completely revised in 2005.  The revised tests reflect the aims and structure of the 1999 Primary School Mathematics Curriculum.  Test results from over 16,000 pupils were used to develop Spring and Autumn norms for each Level of the test.

The DPMT-R is available in both English and Irish language versions.

Summary Features of DPMT-R

Target class Parallel
Spring &
 1 End 1st / start 2nd

90 mins
 2 End 2nd / start 3rd

90 mins
 3 End 3rd / start 4th

2 hours
 4 End 4th / start 5th

2 hours
 5 End 5th / start 6th

2 hours
 6 End 6th class

 Spring 2 hours


As well as standard scores, sten scores, and percentile ranks, users can access performance band descriptors.  These are descriptions of what tasks pupils have mastered, based on their standard score. Performance band descriptors are useful for identifying learning targets for pupils, and explaining to teachers and parents the types of skills the pupil has, and the types of tasks on which they may need help. In addition, users can put pupils’ scores on a test-wide scale.1  This enables teachers to monitor pupil development over several years, but is only possible if the DPMT-R is used across different class levels.  Teachers can also generate scores on the content areas and processes underpinning the revised Primary School Mathematics Curriculum.

Total testing time, including instructions, is about two hours for Levels 3 to 6, and approximately 90 minutes for Levels 1 and 2.  Levels 1 and 2 must each be administered separately, because the test administrator reads out the test items for pupils.  Levels 3 to 6 can be administered simultaneously to consecutive and multi-grade classes, as they have identical directions and time limits.

Test items are evenly split between multiple-choice and short-answer format.  In line with the curriculum, from Fourth class onwards, pupils can use a calculator for some sub-sections of the test.

Test users will shortly be able to purchase a computerised scoring programme. The programme will facilitate scoring and enable automatic generation of reports. As a result of Circular 0056/2011, an extra feature is being developed to support the reporting of aggregated test data to the Department of Education and Skills.

1 Click here for a supplement to the manual, explaining about performance bands and the test-wide scale.