SAT-Measuring student learning through standardized testing


As we progress through the 21st century, the learning needs of our students have also changed dramatically. A quality education entails fulfilment of learning needs through balanced curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and safe learning environment enabling students to think critically and creatively to become self-confident, resilient, and enlightened citizens. The Education and Literacy department is aligned with this vision of a fulfilling education and has consequently initiated the implementation of Standardized Achievement Tests (SAT). The present culture of rote learning will change once students are taught and assessed based on learning outcomes. As an initial step, the SAT provides visibility on the student’s learning progress versus what they ought to learn; providing direction for subsequent interventions.


To assess the progress of student learning for grade V and VIII in public schools, in the subjects of Languages, Math and Science


All Grade V and VIII students in government schools across Sindh


The SAT was initiated in 2012 in collaboration with IBA Sukkur and has been conducted thrice since its inception. The test was administered across all government schools in Sindh and results are available at

The test is followed by a statistical and technical report based on the outcomes of the exam, along with distribution of report cards to parents.

The envisaged outcomes of the SAT include:

  • Linking educational reforms with output/outcome rather than input
  • Using SAT results in order to change the traditional rote learning model of teaching. The results are also aimed to review the curriculum of teacher training colleges and teacher recruitment policies
  • To inform parents, educational administration, civil society, and government about progress of student learning, and gradually develop a culture result based accountability system.


In 2014-15, a total of 285,624 students (Class V: 177,276 & Class VIII: 108,348) took the exam. A brief summary of results is as follows:

Class V
Range Language (Mean = 33%) Math (Mean = 18%) Science (Mean = 16%)
80-100 49(0.2%) 15(0.6%) 0(0.00%)
60-79.99 983(3.94%) 221(0.89%) 31(0.14%)
34-59.9 10,836(43.46%) 2,244(9.00%) 1,365(5.48%)
0-33.99 13,063(52.40%) 22,451(90.05%) 23,532(94.39%)
Total 24,931 24,931 24,931

Class VIII
Range Language (Mean = 40%) Math (Mean = 18%) Science (Mean = 17%)
80-100 12(0.27%) 1(0.02%) 0(0.00%)
60-79.99 273(6.22%) 26(0.59%) 0(0.00%)
34-59.9 2,647(60.31%) 341(7.77%) 94(2.14%)
0-33.99 1,457(33.20%) 4,021(91.62%) 4,295(97.86%)
Total 4,389 4,389 4,389

The two key takeaways from the results of the SAT exams have been need for interventions in:

-Teacher capacity building

-Curriculum reforms

Implementing Partners:

Bureau of Curriculum, IBA Sukkur, RSU, World Bank