What is Progress Test in Maths?

PTM is a series of assessments testing maths skills and knowledge for 5- to 14-year-olds. It can be used year-on-year and is suitable for both summative and formative purposes, to gain insight into students’ strengths and weaknesses in maths, and to monitor progress made between the different test administrations. It has been developed in conjunction with the Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS) at the University of Nottingham.

It supports the ‘whole pupil view’ by providing information on mathematics attainment, and helps identify areas where additional support or extension work are needed. The content has been developed to align with the frameworks of the different mathematics curricula in use in the UK.2 These have been updated in recent years to reflect current research and global trends in mathematics education.3

For example, in England the purpose of study and aims of the mathematics curriculum are defined as follows:

2 England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

3 See National curriculum in England: mathematics programmes of study and Education Scotland in the sources section of this document.

Purpose of study

“Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.”

(p.3, Mathematics programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2. National curriculum in England, 2013)


“The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.”

(p.3, Mathematics programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2. National curriculum in England, 2013)