The SAIP 2004: Report on Science III Assessment was administered in April and May 2004 in all provinces and territories except Nunavut.  A random sample of approximately 13,900 13-year-olds and 11,800 16-year-olds from about 2,500 schools completed the assessment, with about three-quarters writing in English and one-quarter writing 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. Most 13-year-olds are expected to achieve at least level 2, while most 16 year-olds should achieve level 3 or better.

Highlights of the CMEC SAIP 2004 science assessment include the following:

  • Over 70 per cent of 13-year-olds performed at level 2 or higher.
  • More than 40 per cent of the younger students reached level 3, performing above expectations.
  • Almost two-thirds of 16-year-olds performed at level 3 or higher.
  • More than 20 per cent of older students also performed above expectations, at level 4 or 5.
  • There was little difference in the performance of boys and girls in both age groups.
  • Francophone students in minority language settings generally performed at lower levels than anglophone students or francophones in Quebec.
  • Compared to the results of 13- and 16-year-olds in the 1999 Science Assessment, the 2004 results showed a slight decline.