Assessment of learning outcomes in mathematics at the end of basic education in 2021
An assessment of the mathematical competence of 9th-graders will be conducted in April 2021. The assessment will be carried out digitally and it will cover all of the content areas of the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (2014): thinking skills and methods, numbers and operations, algebra, functions, geometry, data processing and statistics, and probability. There are four assessment questions at the general level: 1) To what extent have the learning outcomes in mathematics described in the National Core Curriculum been achieved, 2) how is equality in education realised between schools, the genders, language groups, municipality categories and geographical areas, 3) what factors explain possible differences in competence and 4) how has mathematical competence changed from the results of previous years and what factors explain this change.
Data on previous 9th grades can be combined with the data that will be obtained from this assessment, making it possible to describe for the first time the changes that have taken place in pupils’ mathematical competence in the light of national data collected since 1998. The assessment will take advantage of the framework prepared by FINEEC for the harmonisation of projects on learning outcomes in mathematics (FINEEC, 2019). Two versions of the assessment test will be prepared and one of them will be published after the data has been analysed.
The multiple-choice questions and other closed-end questions will be assessed directly in the system, which will give direct feedback to the pupils. As for production tasks and open-ended questions, the teacher will enter the scores directly into the system and receive pupils’ results in the entire test. At this stage, the teacher will receive direct information on the his or her students’ overall competence. When the data has been checked by FINEEC, the schools and the education provider will be informed of the schools’ results compared with the national average.
The schools included in the national sample have received information about the assessment in autumn 2019 and the assessment questions will be available as a paid service also to schools not included in the sample.