Understanding Scale Scores, PLDs and Cut Scores

 

For Families

What Are Scale Scores?

KAP score reports relay information about students’ performance in terms of scale scores. A scale score is a mathematical conversion of the total number of points a student earned on an assessment into a score along a predefined scale, which allows for consistent reporting of assessment results across years for any specific grade and subject area. Scale scores on all KAP assessments range from 220 to 380. It is important to note that scale scores can only be used to compare students in a single grade and subject area (for example, grade 3 math). Scale scores cannot be compared across other grades and subject areas. So, if third graders in a particular building averaged a scale score of 320 in grade 3 math last year and averaged a scale score of 330 in grade 3 math this year, the building may safely be said to have improved year-over-year in grade 3 math performance. However, a student who earned a 310 on this year’s grade 4 math assessment and a 320 on last year’s grade 3 math assessment has not necessarily regressed in math. Further, a student who scored 330 on her grade 3 ELA assessment and 340 on her grade 3 math assessment did not necessarily do better in math than in ELA.

What Are Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs)?

Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) are available for each test. PLDs define the knowledge, skills, and processes that students likely demonstrate at different levels of proficiency within the reporting categories (1, 2, 3, 4).

These PLDs appear on Individual Student Reports and describe student performance on the assessment.

Level 1: A student at Level 1 shows a limited ability to understand and use the skills and knowledge needed for postsecondary success.

Level 2: A student at Level 2 shows a basic ability to understand and use the skills and knowledge needed for postsecondary success.

Level 3: A student at Level 3 shows an effective ability to understand and use the skills and knowledge needed for postsecondary success.

Level 4: A student at Level 4 shows an excellent ability to understand and use the skills and knowledge needed for postsecondary success.

What Are Cut Scores?

The scale score thresholds dividing the performance levels are called cut scores. Cut scores are generally different for each grade and subject; however, for simplicity, the Level 3 cut score is 300 for all KAP assessments. To understand how your student performed on the assessment, visit with your teachers or school officials.

Cut Scores for KAP Summative Assessments

English Language Arts

Grade Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
3 220-275 276-299 300-326 327-380
4 220-275 271-299 300-334 335-380
5 220-274 275-299 300-325 326-380
6 220-276 277-299 300-335 336-380
7 220-274 275-299 300-334 335-380
8 220-264 265-299 300-333 334-380
10 220-268 269-299 300-333 334-380

Mathematics

 
Grade Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
3 220-275 276-299 300-328 329-380
4 220-265 266-299 300-330 331-380
5 220-272 273-299 300-325 326-380
6 220-272 273-299 300-328 329-380
7 220-265 266-299 300-341 342-380
8 220-273 274-299 300-335 336-380
10 220-272 273-299 300-328 329-380

Science

Grade Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
5 220-276 277-299 300-329 330-380
8 220-274 275-299 300-327 328-380
10 220-277 278-299 300-327 328-380

Note: Cut scores do not change from year to year.