The 1995 science assessments included ten extended assessment tasks and ten brief knowledge tasks related to the living world strand of the science curriculum.
Five of the extended tasks and seven of the brief knowledge tasks were completely or largely the same for year 4 and year 8 students. Four extended tasks and one brief knowledge task were attempted only by year 8 students. One extended task and two brief knowledge tasks were attempted only by year 4 students.
Three of the extended tasks are link tasks (to be used again in 1999), and therefore are not described in detail here. All of the other tasks are released tasks for which full details are given.
This chapter presents the assessment results in the following order:
Averaged across all of the tasks or important task components attempted by both year 4 and year 8 students, 51 percent of year 8 students produced correct or highly rated responses compared to 28 percent of year 4 students. It is evident that the year 8 students had substantially greater knowledge and understanding of the living world.
The higher performance of year 8 students occurred on all aspects of the tasks, such as demonstrating knowledge, describing, reasoning, explaining and predicting.