educators / score report help

Score Report Help

Need help interpreting your CTP or Milestones Score Reports? You're in the right place! Below, you can find explanations of key terms featured on your score reports to help you understand and use your assessment data.

Glossary of Terms

Norm Group: A norm group is a group of students from other schools who also took the CTP— usually students who tested around the same time of year (fall or spring) as your student and who are in the same grade as your student.
  • Class Norm (CN): the group of students in a given classroom of your school.
  • Grade Norm (GN): the group of students in the entire grade in your school.
  • District Norm (DN): the group of students in the entire grade across all schools in the district.
  • The Suburban Norm (SN) is comprised of students at suburban public schools who took the CTP at the same time of year as your student over the past three years.
  • The Independent Norm (IN) is comprised of students from independent schools who took the CTP at the same time of year as your student over the past three years.
  • The National Norm (NN) is comprised of students across the nation (based on a representative sample of all students in the U.S. at the relevant grade level).
  • The Association Norm (AN) is comprised of students in an association of independent schools to which your student's school belongs. These students took the CTP at the same time of year as your student over the past three years.
Raw Score: Represent the number of questions correct on each subtest of the test. That score is then used on reports to determine the percent correct.
Scale Scores: Scale scores are based on the actual number of questions your student answered correctly as well as the difficulty level of those questions.
Percentile Rank: The percentile rank indicates how many students in a norm group had scores that were the same or lower than your student's score. A percentile does not indicate the percentage of questions that your student answered correctly.
Stanine: A stanine is another way of comparing your student's performance to the performance of students in a norm group. Stanines are calculated by dividing the students in the norm group into nine subgroups, called stanines, based on their scores. These stanines are numbered one to nine, lowest to highest, and different percentages of students fall into each stanine. The middle stanines include more students; those at either end include fewer students.


Verbal Reasoning: The ability to analyze information and draw logical inferences, to recognize analogical verbal relationships, and to generalize verbal categorical attributes.
Auditory Comprehension: Prereading vocabulary and comprehension of orally presented material, understanding of stated information, the ability to determine the gist of short passages, and the ability to infer information based on these passages.
Vocabulary: Recognition and understanding of a wide range of grade-appropriate vocabulary and use of context clues to determine meaning.
Reading Comprehension: Comprehension of written material, including recall of information, identifying of main ideas, and hypothesizing using information from passages.
Writing Mechanics: Understanding of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and usage conventions.
Writing Concepts and Skills: Understanding of the components of effective written composition.
Mathematics: Conceptual understanding of mathematics, application of mathematical knowledge to solve problems, and the ability to compute or estimate solutions.
Quantitative Reasoning: The ability to analyze mathematical concepts and principles, to make generalizations, and to compare quantities mathematically.
Algebra I: Skills typically taught in Algebra I with emphasis on problem-solving and operations with variables, equations, and algebraic geometry.
Science: Understanding scientific process skills, energy, forces and motion, space systems, physical and chemical properties, the living environment and the living organism.
Word Analysis: The ability to recognize and decode words, understanding of basic structural elements of the English Language.

Student Scoring Variability

Why might a student's performance change between two CTP or Milestones exams?

Students might perform better or worse on consecutive CTP or Milestones exams for any number of reasons. Of course, score declines are of more concern to parents and educators. To understand variability in student scores, ERB analyzes assessment data in real time, and proposes the below hypotheses as primary reasons student scores might decline between assessments:

  • Student Motivation: When students take their time, they perform better. When they rush through their tests, they perform worse. This is the most significant factor in student test performance variability between subsequent exams.
  • Introduction of New Material: CTP and Milestones tests introduce new material in subsequent testing seasons; in other words, the Winter Milestone includes material not included in the Fall test, and the Spring CTP includes content that does not appear in the Fall.This is to account for the content that students at various grade levels are, on average, expected to be learning as the year progresses according to guidance from national teaching standards and curriculum surveys of independent school teachers. However, every in-school or at-home learning environment is different, and curricula might focus on different content at different times.
    • In the event that a school has not yet covered certain material included on the CTP or Milestones, it stands to reason that scores may appear to decline overall. That content should be taken into consideration when interpreting results, and schools are encouraged to use ERB 360 Access explore standards-level performance to understand the nuances of variability for individuals as well as groups of students.

What can you do to help students perform to their potential?

Encourage Students to Do Their Best

It's always helpful to remind students why your school tests CTP and Milestones. Before testing, let them know that they should take their time, do their best, and most important, how your school will use their testing data.

Let them know that they take the test(s) to help support their continued learning and growth.

Know What's On the Test

ERB does not encourage schools to teach to the test. However, the content domains tested on CTP and Milestones are available to member schools, and we do encourage educators to know what's on the tests they plan to administer.

That way, you're able to ensure you're covering all of the topics assessed, or will be aware ahead of time that students may struggle on certain questions that have not been covered yet, and can interpret student scores accordingly.

See the CTP Handbook.

Still have questions about variability in student scoring?

Want more information about CTP?

(866) 683‐2335 or (646) 503‐2699
Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST

Stay in touch