FAQs

Do we have to use two forms?

No, you can continue to test once a year, with your current Form A. You may wish to use the new form on alternate years. You may want to use a second test for baselining, interventions or for specific school-based strategies that require an additional point of data.

Why is there now a second form?

We want to continue to develop the PT series we offer schools. We have noticed schools needing more than one test and a second test will support this need. 

How do I purchase the new tests?

You can purchase additional credits or papers in the same way as you currently purchase Progress Tests. All digital credits can be used on either Form A or Form B in Testwise. If you are a digital package customer, both forms will now be available for you to use. If you are purchasing paper tests, you will need to specify which form you would like to purchase. 

How can I get help to plan these tests into our academic year?

We have simple guidance video, you can visit our support pages, with further guidance (add link). Alternatively, you can contact us, for further guidance and consultation. 

Does it matter when I use Form A or Form B?

No, the two tests are comparable. However, there are helpful pointers that will help you plan and manage an additional test. We strongly suggest:

  • You do not randomise or over-complicate the assignment of tests to students in cohorts. Test students in a year group/ cohort with the same test. 
  • You have a clear and school-wide agreement on the assessment plan you will be using for an academic year and you communicate and record any deviation from this plan within your school.
  • You should continue to aim to test students within the standardisation windows. Where this is not possible or you have a specific reason for testing outside of these windows, you should be aware that the accuracy of the data may be compromised.
  • Make sure you leave enough time between taking tests of the same level to be able to confidently measure impact of teaching and learning.
  • If you are going to re-test using the same level, make sure you use the alternate form so that students are not familiar with the questions.

What tests levels are available for paper and digital tests?

Please see: 

PTE - Choosing a test type and level 

PTM - Choosing a test type and level 

PTS - Choosing a test type and level 

for the availability of test levels in different formats. 

 

Please note Levels 12-14 for PTM, PTE and PTS will be available in September 2022. We are phasing the introduction of the Form B paper test.

How will this affect the way my reports work?

If you continue to test once a year you will not see any significant change to your reports.

If you test twice a year, you will notice an additional sub-heading in your reports, where you will find an additional table named ‘Previous and Current Scores’. This will make it clearer for you to identify and compare the data from the last two tests.

What additional information will I get from the second form?

Initially, we will provide the same scores that you are used to receiving after a test, in an updated and more helpful format. By the end of 2022 we will be able to provide an additional measure of progress, where two progress tests have been taken within a period that is less than a year. An additional point of progress will allow schools to provide a more detailed picture of the progress a student is making, so any concerns can be addressed quickly, rather than waiting till the end of the year.

Are the tests the same in terms of number of questions and the weighting of questions to each skill and knowledge area?

The second form will broadly be equivalent in terms of the curriculum content areas and skills in Maths. There may be slightly more deviation in English because of the nature of the subject and the need to select different stimulus texts. The tests have been through a rigorous equating study over the last 18 months to assure equivalent demand levels. The concept of the comparative bar graphs will be possible, despite the slight differences in domain and skill will be possible. Currently, within our reports we provide a % in terms of correct answers by content and skills, so this is something we are looking at for the next iteration of the reports. 

Can you explain how Form B has been standardised?

The full quality assurance programme for Form B was conducted during Covid. Our team worked in partnership with a consultancy service with significant experience in standardising national tests. To make sure that the Form B standardised scores were comparable to the pre-pandemic Form A standardised scores, a more appropriate and reliable strategy was used. Students in the study had to take both the Form A and the equivalent Form B tests. To reduce the familiarisation effects, around half the students took Form A first followed by Form B and the other half took Form B first followed by Form A. This equating study enabled us to model the relationship between Form B scores with the pre-Covid nationally standardised Form A scores. Therefore the resulting Form B standardised scores are equivalent to the Form A standardised scores.

For the digital tests around 18,000 students from 49 schools took part across levels 7-15 and subjects available for Form B. For the paper tests around 7,000 students from 33 schools took part across levels 7-11 and subjects available for Form B.

What is an equating study?

An equating study ensures that the difficulty of each form is equivalent overall. Form B has been designed to have a similar spread of topics and item (question) types. The equating study allowed us to establish the norm between the two forms A and B.

Did you need to re-standardise because of the impact of the pandemic on attainment?

We gathered the assessment data from the equating study for Form A and related this to the original standardisation of Form A (pre-pandemic), rather than creating new standardised score during the pandemic. PT form B was anchored against the original standardisation that was pre-pandemic, creating an equal and reflective set of standardised scores. We conducted analysis during the pandemic to compare attainment scores during 2020 and 2021 to those pre-pandemic.

Is the equating study at question level?

The equating was at test level, not question level. Whilst forms are parallel, each question can’t be replicated to precisely be the same demand level without making the question too similar. The English Progress Test must have new texts therefore the questions are different. The assessment objectives are balanced to replicate Form A as closely as possible. 

Will I be able to mix paper and digital and get the additional reporting features?

Throughout 2022 there will not be an option to combine the reporting of paper and digital tests. 

Where can I access further information, support and training?

For additional information on support:

UK customers: please contact us on 0330 123 5375 (UK) or 1800 806 185 (ROI).

International customers: please call +44 (0)20 8996 3369 or email [email protected]