FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Why have you (and your child/pupils) been asked to participate in NAMER?

Your school has been selected as part of the sample for NAMER. Not every Second and Sixth Class pupil in the country participates in NAMER. Instead, the ERC, in collaboration with the Department of Education and Skills, randomly selects a nationally representative sample of schools to take part.

By participating in NAMER, you (and your child/pupils) help us to gather important information about the Irish education system. The assessments provide a picture of Second and Sixth class pupils’ achievement in Reading and Maths at a national level. NAMER also provides information about Maths and Reading skills – for example, what types of questions do pupils find easy or difficult? This type of knowledge can be used to inform curriculum and policy development, future test development, and classroom teaching.

The information gathered by the questionnaires helps us to understand pupils’ achievement and the school environment. For example, what home behaviours or teacher strategies are associated with Reading and Maths achievement? The questionnaires also help us to understand the context of schools and classrooms, and provide teachers and principals with the opportunity to identify areas in which they would like further training.

Why do we use ID numbers for NAMER?

We use ID numbers to ensure the confidentiality of pupils’, parents’, teachers’, and schools’ information. ID numbers allow us to link pupils’ tests with their questionnaires, as well as with their parents’, teachers’ and principals’ questionnaire responses while maintaining confidentiality. Linking questionnaires and assessments helps us to understand the learning environment.

Why is it important to link pupils’ test scores to pupil, parent, teacher and school questionnaires?

By linking information from pupils’ responses with answers given by their parents, teachers and principals in the questionnaires, we can understand the learning environment. That means we can examine which home-, classroom- and school-related factors explain pupils’ responses.

How is NAMER different from other standardised tests, such as the Drumcondra Primary Reading Test?

In contrast to other standardised tests (such as the Drumcondra Primary Reading Test) that are administered to primary school pupils at the end of each school year, NAMER does not aim to make inferences about individual pupils’ performance. Instead, it aims to to capture a broad view of national performance on Maths and English Reading at Second and Sixth Class. Contextual information is also gathered as part of NAMER, through the administration of questionnaires.

The tests used in NAMER are secure tests, which means that they are not available to teachers and schools. The tests are delivered to and taken from the school by the Inspector on the day of testing.

Why is NAMER conducted at the end of the school year?

NAMER is conducted at the end of the school year because it aims to measure pupils’ achievement in English Reading and Maths at the end of the Junior and Senior cycles at primary level.