Benchmark Calculator


This tool can be used to calculate a standardized mean difference in vertically scaled scores from pretest to posttest for single-group studies of students in grades 1–12, as measured by common standardized measures (measures and score types are listed below).

For comparison, this tool will display the standardized mean difference for 12 months of typical academic growth (spring to spring) for the same grade level and content area from the assessment’s normative sample at the 10th, 25th, and 50th percentiles. These figures represent the growth required for a student to maintain his or her place in the distribution relative to same-grade peers from the spring of an academic year to the spring of the following year.

For example, if you studied students in first grade and used the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests as a measure of reading outcomes, the table would display your sample’s effect size, followed by the effect sizes on the Gates-MacGinitie extended scale scores from spring of kindergarten to spring of first grade for students at the 10th, 25th, and 50th percentiles in the normative sample.

For more information about the calculations and effect sizes used here, please refer to:
Scammacca, N., Fall, A., & Roberts, G. (2015). Benchmarks for expected annual academic growth for students in the bottom quartile of the normative distribution. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 8, 366-379. PMC4696502

Measures and Score Types

This calculator can be used for the following assessments and scores:

  • Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests: Total Reading extended scale scores
  • Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GMADE): Total Mathematics growth scale value (GSV) scores
  • Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE): Total Reading GSV scores
  • Metropolitan Achievement Tests, 8th Edition (MAT 8):
    • Total Mathematics scaled scores
    • Total Reading scaled scores
Total Science scaled scores
    • Social Studies scaled scores
    • Writing scaled scores
  • Stanford Achievement Test Series, 10th Edition (SAT 10):
    • Total Mathematics GSV scores
    • Total Reading GSV scores
    • Total Science GSV scores
    • Social Studies GSV scores
  • TerraNova, 3rd Edition:
    • Total Mathematics scaled scores
    • Total Reading scaled scores
    • Total Science scaled scores
    • Social Studies scaled scores


Select your assessment and grade level, using the dropdown menus below. Then, enter your sample’s pretest mean and posttest mean, calculated using the appropriate scores. Finally, click the “Calculate” button.


  • Enter your means in vertically scaled (sometimes called “growth”) scores—extended scale scores for the Gates-MacGinitie; GSV scores for the SAT 10, GRADE, and GMADE; and scaled scores for the TerraNova 3 and MAT 8.
  • If your study duration was not 1 year, your effect size may not be directly comparable to the others listed in the table.


Assessment: Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests GMADE GRADE MAT 8 (Metropolitan) Math MAT 8 (Metropolitan) Reading MAT 8 (Metropolitan) Science MAT 8 (Metropolitan) Social Studies MAT 8 (Metropolitan) Writing SAT 10 (Stanford) Math SAT 10 (Stanford) Reading SAT 10 (Stanford) Science SAT 10 (Stanford) Social Studies TerraNova 3 Math TerraNova 3 Reading TerraNova 3 Science TerraNova 3 Social Studies Pretest Mean:

Score must be equal to or greater than 300. Grade Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Posttest Mean:

Score must be equal to or greater than 300. Calculate


Effect Size
for Your Sample
Effect Size for 1 Year of Growth
10th percentile25th percentile50th percentile