SUBJECT GUIDE
MATHEMATICS

ICAS MATHEMATICS ASSESSES THE

ABILITY OF STUDENTS TO APPLY THEIR

MATHEMATICAL SKILLS TO SOLVE PROBLEMS

SKILL AREAS

Students are assessed across five key skill areas:

  • Algebra and patterns: Involves patterns of numbers, relationships between numbers and the use of symbols to stand for unknown or variable numbers
  • ƒChance and data: Involves mathematical treatment of data and statistics
  • Measures and units: Involves properties of the physical world that can be measured, the units used to measure them and the process of measurement
  • Number and arithmetic: Involves types of numbers, their properties and number operations. The strand has strong links with measures and units, algebra and patterns and chance and data. It also has some links with space and geometry
  • ƒSpace and geometry: Involves the properties of two-dimensional and three-dimensional space.

CONTENT

ICAS questions require students to make sense of mathematical concepts in everyday situations. Content differs across the papers to ensure they are appropriate for year levels

Papers Introductory, A, B, C, D and E:

  • Calculators are not permitted.
  • Formal algebra is not tested. The emphasis is put on pattern, structure and puzzles.
  • Formal geometry is not tested (except for a few items in Paper E). The emphasis is on spatial skills.

Papers F, G, H, I and J:

  • ƒCalculators are required.
  • Formal algebra is tested. Students are expected to be familiar with some conventions of algebra.
  • ƒFormal geometry is tested. Students are expected to be familiar with some conventions of geometry.

ASSESSMENT STRUCTURE

CLASS PAPER QUESTION BREAKDOWN DURATION
2 Introductory 35 multiple choice 40 minutes
3 A 45 multiple choice 45 minutes
4 B 45 multiple choice 45 minutes
5 C 50 multiple choice 50 minutes
6 D 50 multiple choice 50 minutes
7 E 55 multiple choice 55 minutes
8 F 55 multiple choice 55 minutes
9 G 60 multiple choice 1 hour
10 H 60 multiple choice 1 hour
11 I 60 multiple choice 1 hour
12 J 60 multiple choice 1 hour

LEARN MORE

  1. Ask for an appointment at your school
  2. Download the comprehensive ICAS Mathematics Assessment Framework
  3. View sample assessments
  4. Watch introductory videos

HOW IS ICAS DIFFERENT?

ICAS is developed annually by a team of highly experienced assessment developers and psychometricians, with rigorous reviews at each stage of construction. Subject matter experts develop new ICAS questions each year, drawing on their in-depth understanding of the way students learn. All ICAS assessments are reviewed by experienced teachers to ensure that they accurately assess students’ skills and are relevant to what they are learning at school.

This ensures that ICAS is:

  • Valid
  • Consistent from one assessment cycle to the next
  • Appropriately targeted for the students being assessed
  • ƒObjective and reliable
  • Fair (effect of gender, language background, cultural background is minimised through sensitivity reviews and statistical analyses)
  • Constructed using appropriate examples and authentic contexts
  • ƒRepresented in a visually appealing way to capture student attention and interest
  • ƒUnderpinned by methodologies from psychometric measurement theory
“Other assessment products tend to focus on rote learning, and drill and practise, whereas ICAS focuses on problem-solving and deeper thinking. The aim is to find out what students know, and how they think. We try to keep the language nice and simple, so as not to distract from the problem itself.”
Liz Spielman
ICAS International Assessment Expert, Mathematics
UNSW Global

 

SKILLS ASSESSED