The SAIP 1996: Report on Science I Assessment was the first time that science was included in the testing cycle. The same assessment instruments were administered to the two age groups to study the change in student knowledge and skills due to the additional years of instruction. More than 37,000 students from all jurisdictions participated:
- 19,500 were 13 years old
- 18,000 were 16 years old
- 26,500 wrote the assessment in English
- 11,000 wrote the assessment in French
The CMEC Student Achievement Indicators Program (SAIP) is an assessment tool that was designed to determine student achievement in relation to Canada-wide standards.SAIP was conducted on a cyclical basis in science, mathematics, and reading and writing, with the results provided on a pan-Canadian and a jurisdictional basis.
Performance is reported on a five-point scale, with one being the lowest and five the highest.
The results indicated a significant difference between the science performances of the 13-year-old and the 16-year-old groups:
- On the written assessment, 72 per cent of 13-year-olds were at level 2 or higher, and 43 per cent were at level 3 or higher.
- More than 87 per cent of 16-year-olds achieved level 2 or higher, with approximately 69 per cent scoring at level 3, 4, or 5 on the written assignment.
- On the practical assessment, 42 per cent of 13-year-olds were at level 3 and above; for 16-year-olds, 65 per cent achieved at level 3 or higher.