Using the LOMAS Test to measure Junior Numeracy
Stage and Ability.
A really useful fast way to measure numeracy ability in Year 7 to
11 students. Aligned to the NZ Numeracy Project and NZC.
The LOMAS test is actually the work of two people mainly, Grigor
Lomas and Peter Hughes both of who worked in the Education Faculty
of Auckland University at the time. The Numeracy Interview was a
slow but very informing and detailed insight into how a young
learner understood and used number reasoning. It was slow so the two
guys above responded to the need for a written test. The test can be
read out, or done individually. My experience is that it is valid on
an hourly, daily weekly basis. I have given the same test to a group
of students in teh same period, on consecutive days and weeks. It
gives the same measure every time.
There are 4 versions however so there is a new test for each term or
Preparation for a LOMAS Test
The test has Part A, B, C and D. These correspond to NZC Level 2, 3,
4 and 5 respectively. The Instructions have more detail.
For most students, by far the majority, you use Test B or Test C in
each group of tests.
- a copy of the Test 1
- and from that 20 copies of Part B
- and 20 copies of Part C from Test 1,
- then 40 copies of the Student Response Sheet,
- and 1 copy of the Marking Sheet,
- and for reference one copy of the Instructions.
DO THE TEST B and C. Like all assessments this checks that
everything is in order and will demonstrate just how clever the
questions are. Writing good math questions is not an easy task so
appreciate the hard work please.
USE OF THE TEST
Find a math class! Most of my classes were 28 or so Year 9 or Year
10. I have also used this with Year 7 and 8 students, and Year 11 or
even 12 students. Certainly with new students, asap.
Have them decide, or you guess, their math ability. Simply ask, "Are
you OK with your maths?" Yes, give them Test C. No, goive them Test
B. It is not critical.
Instruct them to fill in the geneological data and to record their
answers in the Test B or Test C column. Keep this sheet later for
use a second time.
If you see them struggling with reading, help them out by reading
the question. This is not a reading test.
If you see them struggling to record their answers, help them out.
This is not a writing test.
If you see them struggling with the problems find out a little more
and perhaps give them Test B or even Test A.
Most students take about 20minutes max to complete this test and
they actually seem to enjoy it. It is multichoice and guessing is
pretty obvious. NO CALCULATORS. This test is all about reasoning
See Instructions. However, I fold fold the mark guide beside their
answers. I simply look at the majority correct in each of the
sections. Majority of Strategy and majority of knowledge. That is
all you need. This is a measure not diagnostic. You can look in more
detail later for diagnostic information but talking with the student
will tell you same information as well.
This table is from the Instructions. The first table shows how the
Test is related to the Numeracy Stage and the NZC Level. Know that
the NZC was deeply informed by the NZ Numeracy Project and reading
the AO's will clearly demonstrate this information.
to the NZC or Numeracy Project Book 1 for deeper understanding
of this table.
Student uses counting to solve problems
Student uses simple adding and place value
Student uses several adding strategies and
Student uses mult factors, multiples,
Student works with fractions, decimals
NCEA L1 A
Number testing becomes more about
NCEA L1 M and E
The second table is how to make a judgement of stage.
Teachers seem to have trouble with OTJ and usually dither
about the correct decision. Be brave, kia kaha and make the
call. It will not matter. Simply by doing this test the
student probably changed. You are assessing a very dynamic
event and if the decision is WRONG the student will soon let
you know and you will probably notice as well.
student will get one of the 4 following combinations in any
Student is 1 or more levels lower
Student is at the correct level
Student is at the correct level
Student is 1 or more levels higher
Marking will take 20minutes
per class. Pondering the results will and can take a lot longer
depending on how deeply you consider and know about the data and the
students. I use Excel to collate the data but you could use iNZIGHT
or FATHOM. Deep insights into counting, additive, multiplicative and
proportional thinking is available form http://www.nzmaths.co.nz . Or,
you contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not give a student the complete TEST 1 and have them do
all Parts A, B, C and D. This would only show that you do not
understand the design and use of this assessment. Most students can
be assessed with one Part only.
OVER-TIME DATA and OTJ
You will get some interesting results and may well need to use PAT
and/or ASTTLE and/or Contributing school data and/or your own
knowledge and testing of a student to get a reliable estimate of
current numeracy stage or use of number reasoning. This is normal.
Better is when you have over time data from Term 1,2,3,4 and perhaps
even a previous year so that you can see progression. By knowing and
having an emphasis on the next stage, usually multiplicative
thinking, students will improve rapidy and be well prepared for Year
11 NCEA L1.
I have written a lot about being multiplicative (see previous
newsletter 2009 T3 for
declaration of war on addition and 2008
T4 for details on Multiplicative thinking.
Make "Every student in this school will become a
multiplicative thinker during or by the end of Year 10" the key
goal for junior mathematics. This will cause a surge in
mathematics achievement in your school. Believe me, it works!