Scaled scores at key stage 1
- Standards and Testing Agency
- Part of:
- Primary school teachers: useful information, School leadership teams: useful information, National curriculum assessments: practice materials, and School and college qualifications and curriculum
- First published:
- 3 June 2016
Information for headteachers, teachers, governors and local authorities about scaled scores and the national standard from 2016.
This guidance will be updated for the 2017 test cycle in June.
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.
Teachers mark the KS1 tests and calculate the raw scores each pupil achieves for each test. To convert raw scores to scaled scores, you should use the conversion tables (PDF, 274KB, 3 pages) .
Calculating raw scores
Each of the KS1 tests has 2 papers. You add the scores from both papers to calculate the raw score for the test in each subject.
|Test||Number of marks available in the paper||Total number of marks available for the test – highest raw score|
|English reading: Paper 1||20 marks||40 marks|
|English reading: Paper 2||20 marks|
|Mathematics: Paper 1||25 marks||60 marks|
|Mathematics: Paper 2||35 marks|
|English grammar, punctuation and spelling: Paper 1 (optional)||20 marks||40 marks|
|English grammar, punctuation and spelling: Paper 2 (optional)||20 marks|
Range of scaled scores
The range of scaled scores available for each test is the same and will stay the same in future years. 85 is the lowest scaled score that can be awarded on a KS1 test. The highest scaled score is 115.
A scaled score of 100 or more represents the expected standard in each test.
A pupil awarded a score of 99 or less has not met the expected standard in the test.
When you look at the conversion tables, you will see that pupils will need to have achieved a minimum raw score before they can be awarded the lowest scaled score. Pupils in this category who score very few marks on the test have not demonstrated sufficient understanding of the KS1 curriculum. It is likely that these pupils should be teacher assessed using the pre-key stage standards. You should award an N for the test to pupils who do not achieve the minimum scaled score.
The conversion tables also show that sometimes 2 or more raw scores convert to the same scaled score. This is because data from pupils who took the tests early to inform our standard setting exercise showed that the attainment of pupils who scored these total marks was not very different. There are also times when it is not possible to achieve a particular scaled score on this test. This is because of the limited number of questions in these tests, although it may be possible in future years.
Using and interpreting test outcomes
You should use evidence from the test to inform your teacher assessment judgement for each pupil. For example, the tests can provide evidence that a pupil has met one or more of the ‘pupil can’ statements. However, given that tests and teacher assessment are different forms of assessment, it is not necessary for the outcomes to be the same.
The national curriculum tests are summative. This means they test the knowledge a pupil has acquired across the whole of the key stage. The tests are also compensatory: pupils score marks from any part of the test and pupils with the same total score can achieve their marks in different ways. The interim teacher assessment frameworks are different. They rely on achieving a ‘secure fit’ which means pupils have to demonstrate attainment of all the ‘pupil can’ statements to be awarded a standard.
This means it is possible for a pupil to have met the expected standard in the test, but not for teacher assessment, because of particular gaps in their knowledge or understanding. It will also be possible for pupils to have demonstrated their attainment of the ‘pupil can’ statements through their classwork but not to have achieved the mark for a related question on the test given the context in which the question was asked. If a pupil does gets a question wrong in the test on an area of the curriculum that the teacher thought was secure, the teacher will want to take this into consideration before awarding their teacher assessment judgement.
Taken together, these 2 types of assessments will provide a broader picture of pupil attainment.
Where to get help
Standards and Testing Agency
National curriculum assessments helpline 0300 303 3013
For general enquiries about national curriculum tests.
Published: 3 June 2016