The Measures

Mathematics Assessment

The Early Mathematics Assessment System (EMAS) is a reliable and valid research-based assessment of early mathematical thinking that draws on modern cognitive science as well as developmental and educational research. Created by Dr. Herb Ginsburg and colleagues at Teachers College, Columbia University, and expanded and adapted by researchers at CASTL, the EMAS is designed to measure a broad range of mathematical content (numeracy, computation, patterning, and geometry).

Researchers at the University of Virginia have expanded the original assessment to include a greater range in the difficulty and types of items. This allows teachers and school divisions to see a broader range of children's early mathematics abilities and assess growth from fall to spring.

The domains assessed by the EMAS are aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000). VKRP also provides an item-by-item alignment with the 2016 Virginia Standards of Learning. Teachers use a flipbook and manipulatives to administer the assessment and enter data into the VKRP online web portal. Typical administration of the EMAS lasts roughly 20-25 minutes.

Social Skills and Self-Regulation Assessment

The Child Behavior Rating Scale (CBRS) measures two areas of students' social-emotional skills:

  • Self-regulation: The skills to control one's own attention, emotions, and behaviors to cope with the demands of the school environment. Examples include being able to listen to teachers, following rules and multi-step directions, and staying focused on tasks.
  • Social skills: The skills to navigate interactions and relationships with peers and adults successfully. Examples include cooperating in a group, expressing emotions, and resolving conflicts in a positive way.

VKRP uses the CBRS to measure these two skills because it's reliable and valid across culturally diverse contexts.

The CBRS is a short rating scale that teachers complete outside of instructional time. It assesses a student's behavior with other children and adults as well as how the student engages with materials and tasks in the classroom. It includes a set of 17 items that are assessed with a rating scale from 1 to 5 to determine the frequency of certain behaviors. It takes approximately 1 to 3 minutes to complete per student using the online system. It is completed twice during the kindergarten school year, in the fall and in the spring.


The VKRP assessments of mathematics, social skills and self-regulation complement the existing Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS), which assesses children's literacy skills and is used in 99% of school divisions across Virginia. Learn more about our connection with PALS.