Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Progress Test in English (PTE) do?

PTE measures students’ knowledge, understanding and application of technical English skills (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and reading comprehension, using age-appropriate fiction and information texts.

Why use the Progress Test in English?

It is statistically robust. PTE was standardised against a UK sample of over 49,000 students, with benchmarks verified every year based on analysis from over half a million students.

Can PTE tests be delivered in paper versions?

This depends on which form and which level you would like to administer. Please see Choosing a test type and level for the full list of PTE tests available in paper format.

Can we directly compare the result of PTE 12 with the results from PTE 11 taken at the start of the academic year?

Yes, if the transition test is not administered, progress will be measured from PTE 11 to PTE 12.

Will I be able to look at performance on an individual question by question basis?

The Excel version of the Group report for teachers contains question by question marks and so more detailed analysis for individual pupils may be carried out using this report. We are looking to add this information to the Individual student report for teachers in a post-publication phase of further report development.

Do the tests link to the learning objectives for each year in the National Curriculum in England?

The Programmes of Study include Attainment Targets which are expressed as ‘pupils should be taught to…’

The online Curriculum Links documents set out the Attainment Targets which are covered by each level of PTE. The tests, however, sample the curriculum and, at an hour to an hour and a quarter in length, cannot offer exhaustive links to all the Attainment Targets.

For example, in PTE 9 spelling, four of the six Attainment Targets are covered. Those that are not (use of a dictionary and taking dictation) would not be appropriate to test in PTE. The Attainment Targets for reading comprehension for Y3/4 focus on the reading of books which cannot be the focus of PTE.

However, the tests can make a valuable contribution to the assessment of pupils against the Attainment Targets which will be further supported by the wider range of activity and work undertaken in the classroom and assessed on an ongoing basis by the teacher.

Can the Progress Test Series be used with established assessment frameworks?

Yes. The Progress Test Series offers an objective, summative, once a year test with national comparison and can be placed alongside almost any assessment framework, including PiXL and the NAHT’s assessment framework.

Is the Progress Test Series a test of the curriculum?

While the Progress Test Series has been designed to sample and reflect the national curricula across the UK, it is not designed as a test of the curriculum as a whole. It is a summative assessment that reflects the curriculum and should be used diagnostically to assess where there are gaps in knowledge that has been taught and where pupils have particular strength that need to be challenged.

Do you have a template letter for communication with parents?

Please see our Links to National Curricula documents in the Downloads section where you can find template letters for communication with parents. 

Why are there two forms?

We want to continue to develop the PT series that we offer to schools. We have noticed schools needing more than one test and the introduction of a second test (Form B) will support this need. 

How can I measure in-year progress if I am using two different levels of test?

The SAS (standard age score) will allow you to compare a student's results from two test sittings, even though they have sat different levels of the test. The SAS situates that student's raw score on a scale within a nationally representative sample of students of the same age from across the UK. Please see the Quick data guide for further information.