Drumcondra Tests of Early Numeracy (DTEN)

The DTEN is a screening and a diagnostic test suitable for use with pupils at the end of Senior Infants and the beginning of First Class who are experiencing some difficulty in ‎acquiring basic numeracy concepts. The DTEN-Screening (DTEN-S) and the DTEN-Diagnostic (DTEN-D) draw on international best practice in numeracy ‎assessment to provide tests suitable for the Irish context. The tests complement a teacher’s observations and assessments of a child’s performance and increase understanding of particular difficulties.  They provide information on young children’s numeracy difficulties so that instruction can be improved. The tests are designed to be visually appealing to the target age group.  Click here for a preview of test layout.

The DTEN-S is designed to identify pupils who may be at risk of numeracy difficulties so that, if needed, further diagnostic assessment and targeted instruction can be implemented. It is divided into is divided into three parts: pre-‎number, numeration, and addition and subtraction. The test can be administered to small groups of children (10 or fewer) and takes approximately 40 minutes to administer.

The DTEN-D is recommended for use with children who have attained low scores on the DTEN-S. The purpose of the DTEN-D is to identify specific aspects of numeracy with which children may be experiencing difficulties. It is individually administered, takes approximately 45 minutes, and is divided into 15 tasks distributed over the three areas of ‎pre-number, numeration, and addition and subtraction.

Over 2,700 Senior Infants and First class pupils completed one or both of the DTEN-S and DTEN-D during the development of test norms in 2008.  In addition, over 1,000 of these pupils took part in a follow-up ‘validation study’ in 2009. The validation study found that performance on the DTEN-S was a good predictor of later performance on the Drumcondra Primary Mathematics Test – Revised at the end of First class.

As well as information on test administration and technical information about test development, the manual includes two chapters on numeracy. The first provides a summary of recent research on early number development, while the second provides advice on helping at-risk pupils with early numeracy development.