2024 Edition

Metropolian Achievement Test (MAT8) Test Guide

MAT 8 Summary
What: The Metropolitan Achievement Test
Who: Students in kindergarten through 12th grade
Where: K-12 classrooms
When: Spring and fall
How: Students answer multiple-choice, true/false and short answer questions.
Type: Paper and pencil
Why: The MAT 8 helps schools evaluate student progress and plan for the future.
Time: Approximately 90 minutes
Language: English
Preparation: Students should review material taught during the school year.
Cost: $5 per student

By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com

The Metropolitan Achievement Test, eighth edition, often referred to as the Metropolitan 8 or MAT 8, is a standardized test for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Last updated in 2000, the Metropolitan 8 covers language arts, math, science, social studies, spelling and reading and is administered in the fall and spring.

The test was developed by Harcourt Educational Measurement and evaluates skills such as critical thinking and foundation skills. The aim of the exam is to help educators and parents evaluate student ability and predict future success. Scores from the Metropolitan 8 can also be used to measure progress in a school or district and to assess trends in student performance.

The Metropolitan 8 is a paper-and-pencil exam with test booklets and accompanying answer sheets. The format of the test questions include multiple choice, true or false, short answer, and fill in the blank. Test content varies depending on the grade level; students in kindergarten, for example, will answer reading questions about letter and sound recognition, while students in upper grades will be asked more sophisticated questions about comprehension and vocabulary.

Topics covered in the reading section, depending on the grade level, include:

  • Sound recognition
  • Word identification
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Phonics
  • Letter recognition
  • Sentence reading

Topics covered in the mathematics section, depending on the grade level, include:

  • Problem solving
  • Procedures
  • Language and symbols
  • Mathematics operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions and percentages
  • Concepts and problem solving, including patterns, algebra, geometry, measurement and statistics

Topics covered in the language section, depending on the grade level, include:

-Listening vocabulary

-Listening comprehension

-Writing process, including organization, composition and editing

Topics covered in the science section, depending on the grade level, may include:




-Human body

-Biological science

-Physical science

-Earth and space science





Topics covered in social studies section, depending on the grade level, may include:

-United States and world history

-United States and world geography

-Political science



The tests are not to be given as timed exams, though the publisher recommends about ninety minutes as the norm, with additional time given to those students who need it.

Once students complete the exam, schools can send their completed answer sheets to Harcourt for scoring. Harcourt evaluates the exams and generates individual score reports, which are sent back to the school in about three weeks.

The cost of the Metropolitan 8 is borne by the school district. Tests can be purchased through Pearson Assessments for approximately $5 per student. Administrative manuals and other products related to the Metropolitan 8 are also available.

Students can prepare for the Metropolitan 8 by reviewing grade-appropriate subject matter. Each grade level exam is designed to reflect material already taught in the classroom.

To learn more about the Metropolitan 8, please visit the Metropolitan Achievement Test Directory. To learn more about cognitive ability tests in general, take a look at Tests.com’s interviews with test experts Tim Sitar and Robin MacFarlane, Ph.D.

Sources: Pearson, PBS and Washtenaw Intermediate School District

MAT8 Practice Test