National Curriculum assessments are a series of educational assessments, colloquially known as Sats or SATs used to assess the attainment of children attending maintained schools in England. They comprise a mixture of teacher-led and test-based assessment depending on the age of the pupils. This test is unrelated to the US college admission test, the SAT(Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test).
The new national curriculum was assessed for the first time in May 2016. There were new tests for key stage 1, as well as key stage 2.
The Standards and Testing Agency has published sample questions to help teachers understand the changes to the tests. The materials illustrate new question types and indicate how some of the new curriculum content will be assessed.
2016 scaled scores
At the end of key stage 1 (KS1) in 2016 teachers will use teacher assessment judgements to report on the progress of their pupils. These assessment judgements take into account a pupil’s performance in national curriculum tests (often referred to as SATs) in mathematics, English reading and English grammar, punctuation and spelling.
We use scaled scores to report the outcomes of these tests to ensure we can make accurate comparisons of pupil performance over time.
What is a scaled score?
A pupil’s scaled score is based on their raw score. The raw score is the total number of marks a pupil scores in a test, based on the number of questions they answered correctly. Tests are developed each year to the same specification, but because the questions must be different, the difficulty of tests may vary slightly each year. This means we need to convert the raw scores pupils get in the tests into a scaled score, to ensure we can make accurate comparisons of pupil performance over time.
A scaled score of 100 will always represent the expected standard on the test. Pupils scoring 100 or more will have met the expected standard on the test. In 2016 panels of teachers set the raw score required to meet the expected standard.
Understanding test outcomes
The KS2 tests are externally marked and marks are returned to schools via the return of results section of NCA tools. To receive a scaled score, each component of the test must have been sat by the pupil and the papers marked. For those pupils, schools will receive:
- A raw score
- A scaled score (except where a pupil has too few marks to be awarded the minimum scaled score)
- Either ‘NS’ (expected standard not achieved) or ‘AS’ (expected standard achieved)
Please click here for more information on changes to the national curriculum tests at the end of KS1 and KS2.
Please click here to go to the DfE Performance Table Website.