Study Guide: Grade 9 Math Achievement Test (PAT)

10 must-know facts about Grade 9 PAT in Math

  1. All students who are in grade 9 and live in Alberta are required to take the Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs).
  2. The Provincial Achievement tests in math take place twice a year. They usually happen in late January and late June. (A complete PATs test schedule 2015~2017)
  3. Almost 1 out of every 4 grade 9 students failed the PAT in math!
  4. The test is designed to be finished in 90 minutes. Yet, you can have an additional 30 minutes if necessary!
  5. You must have and use an Alberta Student Number (ASN) when writing the tests. If you forget your student number, make sure to ask your school office about it before the tests.
  6. Don’t memorize all the formulas and equations! You will be provided with a formula sheet (p.9) during the test.
  7. Calculators are encouraged to use during the test! However, use of graphing calculators is not allowed.
  8. In a survey done by Alberta Education, 81% of teachers said that they use students’ PAT scores as a percentage of their final mark.
  9. You will receive an Individual Student Profile (ISP) from school in late September of the next school year.  (See a sample ISP).
  10. Results from PATs are reported based the province’s three levels: “standard of excellence”, “acceptable standard” and “below acceptable standard”.

How will it look like?

Types of Questions No. of Questions Worth
Part A Multiple-choice 40 80%
Part B Numerical-response 10 20%

*You will be given a total of 90 minutes to finish the test. But if you need more time, you can have an additional 30 minutes.

What will it cover?

Topics Percentage of Questions on Test
A: Number 25 – 30%
B: Patterns and Relations 35 – 45%
C: Shape and Space 20 – 30%
D: Statistics and Probability 5 – 10%


Descriptions of topics

(Click on the links for FREE math help videos 🙂)

A: Number

A1 – Powers with integral bases
A2 – Operations on powers with integral bases
A3 – Understanding of rational numbers
A4 – Order of operations with exponents
A5 – Square roots of rational numbers
A6 – Estimate the square roots of rational numbers
  • Determine the square roots of non-perfect squares


B: Patterns and Relations

B1 – Solve problems using linear equations
B2 – Solve problems by graphing a linear relation
B3 – Solve linear equations
B4 – Solve single variable linear inequalities
 B5 – Understanding polynomials
B5 – Adding and subtracting polynomials
B6 – Multiplying and dividing polynomials


C: Shape and Space

C1 – Solving problems using circle properties
C2 – Surface area of 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional shapes
C3 – Similarity of 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional shapes
C4 – Scale factors
C5 – Line and rotation symmetry


D: Statistics and Probability

D1 – Data collection


Want to watch more? Check out the entire collection of Grade 9 Math for Canada on YouTube.

Useful links

  • StudyPug – Unlimited online math help. Get yourself prepared for any math exams anytime and anywhere!
  • Think you are ready for the test? Test yourself on these released items of PAT past tests from 2013 and 2010 on the Alberta Education website! Or try out the practise tests on Quest A+.
  • You can also play the math games on Math Interactives to get yourself more familiar with each topic.

Not from Alberta? Not a problem! Check out our Study Guide for Grade 10 Math Provincial Exam in BC or Study Guide for Grade 9 EQAO Assessment of Math (MPM1D) in Ontario.