Scaled scores at key stage 2
- Standards and Testing Agency
- Part of:
- National curriculum assessments: practice materials and School and college qualifications and curriculum
- 5 July 2016
Technical information for headteachers, teachers, governors and local authorities about scaled scores and the expected standard for the 2016 tests.
This guidance will be updated for the 2017 test cycle in July.
2016 scaled scores
The national curriculum tests at the end of key stage 2 (KS2) (often referred to as SATs) are administered in mathematics, English reading and English grammar punctuation and spelling.
We have used scaled scores to report the results of these tests in 2016.
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.
We develop tests 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. Every scaled score will represent the same level of attainment for a pupil each year, so a pupil who scores 103, for example, in 2016 will have demonstrated the same attainment as a pupil who scores 103 in 2017.
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 on each test.
Calculating raw scores
The raw scores for each test are calculated by adding the scores from each paper for a subject.
|Test||Number of marks available in the paper||Total number of marks available for the test – highest raw score|
|English reading||50 marks||50 marks|
|English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1: questions||50 marks||70 marks|
|English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling||20 marks|
|Mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic||40 marks||110 marks|
|Mathematics Paper 2: reasoning||35 marks|
|Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning||35 marks|
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)
Schools can use the test conversion tables (PDF, 326KB, 4 pages) to understand the relationship between the raw scores and scaled scores for each test.
The conversion tables show that sometimes 2 or more raw scores convert to the same scaled score. This is because data showed that the attainment of pupils who scored these total marks was not very different.
There are times when it is not possible to achieve a particular scaled score. This is due to the number of questions in the test.
Range of scaled scores
The range of scaled scores available for each KS2 test is the same and will stay the same in future years:
- 80 is the lowest scaled score that can be awarded
- 120 is the highest scaled score
A pupil awarded a scaled score of 100 or more has met the expected standard in each test.
A pupil awarded a scaled score of 99 or less has not met the expected standard in the test.
As tests and teacher assessment (TA) are different forms of assessment, they do not report using the same scale. As a result, there are no scaled score equivalents to the TA concepts of ‘working towards the expected standard’ or ‘working at greater depth within the expected standard’.
If a pupil has not scored enough marks on the test to demonstrate that they have sufficient understanding of the KS2 curriculum for the subject they will not receive a scaled score. The scaled score field for the pupil in the return of results section of NCA tools will be left blank. The outcome of the test for the pupil will be ‘NS’, expected standard not achieved.
Published: 5 July 2016