Standardised on 100,000 children, these easy-to-use assessments help you to accurately measure how your school and your students are performing in English, maths and science against the national average – student by student, class by class and year by year.

The Progress Test Series (PT Series) helps you to provide a clear, accurate baseline and to understand key gaps in a cohort’s learning. On returning to school, the insights gained from the PT Series will help you to plan for the new curriculum and to understand the current level of attainment of your students.

The PT Series can be taken in the Autumn term to help with baselining and, in this unusual year, we will provide you with clear analysis of the data and national trends, in a series of webinars at the end of the Autumn term 2020. Schools can then assess again in the Summer term 2021 to measure progress made over the academic year.

How can the PT Series make a difference to you this year?

Quick Questions

What does the Progress Test Series do?

Measures your students’ knowledge, understanding and application of the core subjects:

  1. English: focuses on grammar, punctuation and spelling, and on reading comprehension, using age-appropriate fiction and information texts.
  2. Maths: assesses key aspects of maths appropriate to the age of the student including mental maths for those aged 8 and over.
  3. Science: measures two dimensions of science learning; understanding of science content in biology, chemistry and physics and working scientifically (application of skills).

Why use the Progress Test series?

It’s statistically robust. The PT Series was standardised against a UK sample of over 100,000 students, with benchmarks verified every year based on analysis of half a million students.

What does the Progress Test Series tell you?

The PT Series can be used twice a year to support individual interventions and curriculum planning and to measure cohort progress.

It supports school improvement initiatives by showing the relative performance of your students compared to national benchmarks. Testing year-on-year enables you to track individual and group progress. Transition tests provide an accurate profile of your students and set a baseline from which to monitor progress.

To compare ability with current attainment, our Combination Reports combine data from CAT4 with Progress Test in Maths and Progress Test in English (and New Group Reading Test data). These valuable reports allow you to identify students who are under-achieving or exceeding expectations in English and Maths.

How do I use the Progress Test Series in Autumn 2020?

The PT Series can be used as a first step in baselining students in September 2020 or at the right time for you after they return. 

The reports will identify curriculum content areas with low scores – this may be due to the content not being covered or because it was covered during the period of remote online learning and the individual, group or class has not understood this area of content.

The tests are designed for students aged 5 – 14 years and can be taken online (PC) or on paper. Results for digital tests are generated automatically on completion, paper-based tests are supported by GL Assessment’s marking and standardisation service. A wide range of reports is available for groups, individuals and parents plus Excel reports and KS2/GCSE indicators.

In this unusual year, we recommend using your Progress Tests in both the Autumn and Summer terms. In Autumn 2020, the Progress Tests will provide you with both a gap analysis, helping you to plan your curriculum support for all students, and a baseline from which to measure progress in Summer 2021.

Since Progress Tests are based on summer standardisation, we don’t yet know what impact the timing of taking the assessment and any likely learning loss will have on Progress Test Standard Age Scores. So, later this year, we will be providing an additional level of analysis for you. This analysis will allow you to compare your own data to the post-lockdown national picture and help inform you about trends in the impact seen across subjects (English, maths and science) and age groups (test levels). You may still wish to use your combination reports to look at discrepancies between potential and attainment, but please bear in mind that we do not yet know what impact there will be on Progress Test Standard Age Scores.

If you have used the Progress Test Series previously, we do not recommend using Progress Test Categories from Summer 2019 to Autumn 2020 to draw conclusions about progress, although you may still be interested in reviewing these.

For guidance on which test level you should be using please see our test level age guides:

PT English test level age guide

PT Maths test level age guide

PT Science test level age guide

Who uses the Progress Test Series?

Over half a million students take the PT Series each year. As the data is robust, it supports feedback and planning discussions with senior leaders, students and parents.


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