Stamford American International School Students are Up to Three Grades More Advanced than Their US Counterparts

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MAP test data just released by Stamford American International School indicates that 1 in 5 Stamford students are reading at a level 3 or more grades above average for their age compared to US test results. Success is credited to teaching methods and Singapore’s strong educational culture.

Stamford vs. Benchmarks on Mathematics

Stamford vs. Benchmarks on Mathematics

Children at Stamford enjoy the world’s best teaching methods in the classroom and one of the world’s most education focused environments outside the school - Singapore.

Singapore has a well-deserved reputation for educational excellence. And now there is evidence this national academic culture is rubbing off on another group – students at Stamford American International School (Stamford). According to recently announced MAP test results, Stamford students are up to three years more advanced in reading and mathematics than those in the US studying the same curriculum.

The results are based on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, where computerized questions are dynamically adjusted to the student's performance - so each student sees different test questions. The difficulty of each question is based on how well the student has answered the questions up to that point. As the student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier.

Students’ average scores across all grades are then benchmarked against the scores of more than 5,000 school districts and educational organizations that use MAP testing globally – the majority of which are in the US - allowing Stamford to compare the performance of each of its grades to those in the US.

Results showed that Stamford students performed better than the benchmark in every grade in both English and mathematics. Across all students (kindergarten through to Grade 9), 49.5% of students performed at least one grade higher than the benchmark in math, and 46.9% are a grade or more ahead of the benchmark in reading.

Many students are performing several levels higher than their actual grade. For example in reading, nearly one in five students (18.4%) has the ability to read at a level three grades above their age. And another one in ten (10.4%) can read with an ability two grades above their age.

In mathematics, 43 per cent of the students in Grade 7 can answer mathematical questions that are the designed for students at a Grade 10 level or higher. In Grade 8, 60 per cent of students can answer mathematical questions designed for students in Grade 11 level or higher.

The results are even more impressive considering that Stamford is a non-selective school that welcomes students of all levels of ability, unlike many other international schools that pick and choose the best students from among applicants.

Mr. Malcolm Kay, Superintendent of Stamford, said two factors were crucial to the academic success of Singapore’s international students – Singapore’s educational culture and the ability of teachers to tailor lessons to each student’s individual needs.

“Children at Stamford enjoy the world’s best teaching methods in the classroom and one of the world’s most education focused environments outside the school - Singapore. Everyone in Singapore takes an interest in education, be they Singaporeans, PRs or expatriates. The desire to do well at school is one of the cultural influences that students are exposed to when growing up in Singapore. It also rubs off on parents who adopt a Singaporean-like focus on their children’s performance at school.”

“MAP testing tells us how each individual student is developing along their unique learning path. Teachers look at the performance of every child and can adapt their teaching methods and goal setting to what the student needs. This way every child is being challenged in their studies and focus is given to areas they need to improve.”

“The one thing every parent wants to know is that their child is making progress at school. These MAP test results show the reading and mathematics level of every grade at Stamford has improved since the children first took the test six months ago,” Mr. Kay said.


Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests are adaptive assessment tools used to track students’ growth and tailor instruction based on a child’s strengths and weaknesses. MAP pinpoints when a student has mastered a goal and is ready to advance. It also tells teachers precisely where each student needs additional instruction, and how students may be grouped for a more effective learning dynamic. Understanding a student's true achievement level and academic needs gives educators an advantage when preparing for proficiency examinations.

MAP tests also help educators prepare for the coming year by providing them with reliable information to plan their lessons to the needs of each student in the class. The underlying data driving the assessment ensures remarkable accuracy, based on over 24 million assessments given over 30 years.

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Kate Reynolds
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