Measure progress reliably

Making it easy for you to measure progress reliably in the wake of recent curriculum changes, the Progress Test Series (PT Series) in English, maths and science delivers a detailed, accurate, and clear picture of each pupil’s attainment and progress.

Support for subjects

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the new Progress Test Series more in tune with the new national curriculum? Why are PIE/PIM being replaced?

The new tests reflect changes in the curricula across the UK since PIMand PIE were standardised in 2004. For example, in England there is now increased emphasis on spelling, grammar and punctuation across all key stages so this part of PTE has been enhanced. In maths there is an increased focus on problem solving and so this is reflected in PTM.  It is also important to provide normative data that is up-to-date so the all-new content has been standardised; this will reflect any changes in standards over time.


Do Progress in Maths (PIM)/Progress in English (PIE) map to Progress Test in Maths (PTM) and/or Progress Test in English (PTE)?

Do Progress in Maths (PIM)/Progress in English (PIE) map to Progress Test in Maths (PTM) and/or Progress Test in English (PTE)?

An equating study has been carried out to allow a seamless transition – ensuring consistency over time.  As part of the technical report, tables are available to allow a conversion of the PIM or PIE score to an equivalent score for PTM or PTE. This should be done for the same level of PIM/PTM or PIE/PTE and will be for the test administered in the previous year; this score can then be compared with the Standard Age Score from PTM and/or PTE for progress tracking purposes.

An assessment of progress from PIM or PIE to PTM and PTE will be generated automatically and will appear in the reports as below average, average or above average progress.

What is included in the pupil price tag?

For paper users, the price covers a consumable pupil booklet and all scoring and reporting services. Digital users will receive one administration and all scoring and reporting.

Will a teacher guide be included, as for Progress in Maths and Progress in English?

No, in the new series you will instead receive an ‘At A Glance Guide’ for every 10 booklets ordered. This guide provides all of the guidance instructions needed to administer the tests.  Our website also provides additional information in digital form (see the links above).


Can we directly compare the result of PTE12 with the results from the PiE11 taken in the autumn?

Yes, if the transition test is not administered progress will be measured from PTE11 to PTE12 (the same applies for PTM).


Which levels do I buy for the new series?

You can find out the levels on the individual product pages for PTM and PTE

For customers already using PIM or PIE, the levels directly correspond with the levels in the new test, so you can continue ordering the same levels.


Can all tests be delivered in paper versions?

Yes, paper and digital for each level and the Transition Test.


What is a Standard Age Score?

Essential to GL Assessment’s approach is the Standard Age Score (SAS). The SAS is one of the fairest and most accurate ways of benchmarking pupils and monitoring their progress, enabling schools to compare the performance of different pupils within a year group, across year groups and against the national standard. It also enables scores from more than one test to be compared meaningfully – providing you with an easy way of comparing attitude, ability and attainment.

What does a Standard Age Score (SAS) of 100 mean?

It means that the pupil’s score is average for his or her age.


I used to use PIM level 4 – what would you suggest I use now?

As PTM now starts at Level 5, you may be interested in our new, award-winning Reception Baseline Assessment – Baseline


We previously used the Long Forms for PIE, what can we use for the new series?

Progress in Writing has been developed as a separate, photocopiable resource. It helps you measure pupils’ writing progress. A mark scheme is provided and examples of children working at, above or below age appropriate expectations for each task. This, however, does not give a Standard Age Score.


How many children were involved in the standardisation?

You can see the amount of children involved in the standardisations on the guidance pages for PTM and PTE

What are the main reasons for users now being subscribed to the scoring service?

There are three main reasons that users of PTM or PTE are now automatically subscribed to our scoring service, as part of the per pupil cost.

  • The scoring service removes the burden of marking, especially in larger schools where teachers currently have a huge number of paper scripts to mark. We believe any steps that lead to teachers having to spend less time doing admin and that give them more time to teach are positive ones.
  • Part of the aim is also to ensure objectivity and accuracy – this is important for a school using several levels and therefore several markers or tests being used across schools.
  • The scoring service gives access to our suite of data rich reports with a comprehensive range of scores and narrative (ISRT and IRP) – these have only been available to scoring service and digital customers until now. We have redeveloped and improved our reports for the release of PTE and PTM.


How does your scoring and reporting service work?

For more details on our scoring service, visit our dedicated scoring and reporting page

Will I be able to look at performance on an individual question by question basis?

The Excel version of the Group report for teachers contains question by question marks and so more detailed analysis for individual pupils may be carried out by exporting this data.  We are looking at adding this information to the Individual student report for teachers in a post-publication phase of further report development.


Do the tests link to the learning objectives for each year in the new NC in England?

The Programmes of Study include Attainment Targets which are expressed as ‘pupils should be taught to…’
The online Curriculum Links documents set out the Attainment Targets which are covered by each level of PTM and PTE.  The tests, however, sample the curriculum and, at an hour to an hour and a quarter in length, cannot offer exhaustive links to all the Attainment Targets.
For example, in PTE9 spelling, four of the six Attainment Targets are covered.  Those that are not (use of a dictionary and taking dictation) would not be appropriate to test in PTE.  The Attainment Targets for reading comprehension for Y3/4 focus on the reading of books which cannot be the focus of PTE.

However the test does link to the crucial Attainment Targets of understanding what is read, dealing with a range of texts and retrieving information, making inferences and understanding how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning.  In this way, the tests can make a valuable contribution to the assessment of pupils against the Attainment Targets which will be further supported by the wider range of activity and work undertaken in the classroom and assessed on an ongoing basis by the teacher.

Please see the following links for more detailed information on the links to UK Curricula:

Progress Test in Maths
Progress Test in English

The narratives in each Individual student report for teachers will be helpful in assessing whether or not the Attainment Targets have been achieved, as the commentary extrapolates from the test scores (and the skills being directly tested) to make a fair assumption about other skills or knowledge each pupil may be assumed to have acquired.

Why has the PTS started in Y3 and not in KS1?

Science as a curriculum subject presents a level of difficult when developing assessments which can be used meaningfully. The nature of scientific teaching at KS1 is often not particularly suitable for formal or summative assessment of knowledge. Based on customer feedback and our own investigation into the market, a decision was therefore made to start the PTS series in Year 3 when the teaching of science starts to lend itself more to the assessment of both scientific knowledge and its application.


How can an assessment be standardised that reflects the new NC when the children only just started following the new NC last September?

The new tests have been developed to reflect the content of the new NC – in some instances changes are significant but in others less so.  For example, in English the emphasis has shifted in terms of English Skills and this is why we have enhanced the first part of PTE with a longer section for spelling, grammar and punctuation.  Equally, the reading comprehension has been extended with more questions so coverage is wider.  The difficulty level will mean that the tests are accessible to the majority of students.

To accommodate any variables in terms of data we will be tracking results and will make any necessary adjustments next year.  These will be reported and the process will be transparent.

For most levels of test the sample was circa 3,500 children so in total 35,000 for maths and 35,000 for English.  We will publish final numbers in the technical report in May.

Can the Progress Test Series be used with established assessment frameworks?

Yes. The Progress Test Series offers an objective, summative, once a year test with national comparison and can be placed alongside almost any assessment framework, including PiXL and the NAHT’s assessment framework.


Will a mark scheme for the Progress Test Series assessments be published?

No. We do not publish our mark schemes as the scoring service which is used to mark all Progress Test Series assessments is a complete service. However, schools that wish to view pupil answer booklets once they are marked can do so, at no additional cost other than that of postage.  We are working to add the question by question analysis that is a feature of the group report to the individual report for teachers and this will provide a very convenient way of seeing what has been answered correctly or incorrectly.  This will be a feature of reports from Autumn 2015.


Can the Transition Test be used throughout the year?

While schools are obviously free to use the Transition Test whenever they want, it is only standardised for late August to September/October. This is so that the test can accurately take into account the Summer Dip effect. Results from the Transition Test administered outside of this period will not reflect the specific purpose of the test and so may be unreliable.


Can schools look specifically at the data of PPG pupils?

Yes. The results of pupils who receive the PPG can be viewed as a group in reports. Currently, PPG pupils are listed as ‘Free School Meals’ in the template for pupil details and as uploaded to Testwise. When the assessments were being developed, all PPG pupils received free school meals and this was the most efficient way to automatically sort them in the reports. Changes to government policy now mean that many children up to the age of 7 receive free school meals regardless of the PPG. Therefore, when entering the information of pupils, those who receive the PPG must now manually be identified (via the free school meals field). Future updates will streamline this process.


Is the Progress Test Series a test of the curriculum?

While the Progress Test Series has been designed to sample and reflect the national curricula across the UK , it is not designed as a test of the curriculum as a whole. It is a summative assessment that reflects the curriculum and should be used diagnostically to assess where there are gaps in knowledge that has been taught and where pupils have particular strength that need to be challenged.


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