It is crucial that learners in the Pacific have the knowledge and skills to use mathematics in their personal and professional lives. The ability to work with numbers and numerical concepts enables further learning and full participation in society.
Mathematics is key to understanding the world around us and is becoming increasingly more important as science and technology have more influence over our daily lives.
Numeracy is a person’s ability to use mathematics in their everyday life. PILNA assesses numeracy in four strands:
- Measurement and geometry
- Data and chance.
These strands are analysed individually to identify if performance differences exist at the subject level. Further, a student’s average performance across each of these strands is used as an overall numeracy score, which is compared to the regional (Pacific) benchmark of performance: the numeracy proficiency scale.
The numeracy proficiency scale ranges from zero as the lowest level of performance and eight as the highest – nine proficiency levels.
Year four students are expected to perform, at a minimum, to proficiency level three and year six students are expected to perform, at a minimum, to proficiency level five.
Numeracy performance is analysed by year level – year four and year six – and compared to regional benchmarks for expected performance at these levels.
Comparisons within these year levels are made by numeracy strand, gender and earlier PILNA assessments (2012, 2015 and 2018) where appropriate.
It should be noted that a wider range of student performance was collected in PILNA 2021. The new test booklet design allowed for more information to be collected about the lower and higher levels of student performance and hence a greater understanding of student performance at these levels was possible.