Assessed competences

Cycle 3.1

German listening comprehension

The test evaluating early literacy comprehension is presented in Luxembourgish on CD. It is primarily based on the skill “constructing and using written language units” which includes the sub-skills “phonological awareness” (e.g. identifying the initial sound of a word, identifying rimes and syllables), “visual discrimination” (e.g. finding differences between two or more images, finding or copying a word in a text) as well as “understanding of the alphabetic principle” (knowledge of letters, finding the first letter of a familiar word).

Mathematics ability

The test evaluating mathematical skills in grade 3 is presented in German and contains tasks referring to the following areas of competency: “numbers and operations”, “space and form” as well as “quantities and measures”. Tasks are presented in a decontextualized and / or contextualized way (providing arithmetic problems). In order to minimize the influence of language, instructions are given in a short and simple or even illustrated way.

German reading comprehension

The test evaluating German reading comprehension in grade 3 is essentially based on the sub-skills “identifying and applying information presented in a text” and “construing information and activating reading strategies / techniques”. The test includes continuous (e.g. stories and simple factual texts) and discontinuous (e.g. recipes or assembly instructions) text forms.

Test development and pre-testing

The tests evaluating language and mathematical skills are drawn up by experienced elementary and secondary school teachers together with scientific staff from LUCET. New items are continuously developed for the ÉpStan every year. To validate the content, format and practicability of the newly developed test material, it must be tested on students at the relevant grade level. After the competence tests, therefore, a pre-test is arranged where students answer the new test material. Students’ performance in the pre-test is not included in the ÉpStan results and is not reported back, as the focus here is on the testing and the psychometric evaluation of the new items rather than on individual performance.