A handy guide to scaled & standardised scores

Cerys Hadwin-Owen

Cerys Hadwin-Owen is an assessment publisher at RS Assessment from Hodder Education, creating assessment resources for schools and enjoying every moment! RS Assessment from Hodder Education has over 40 years’ experience providing assessment resources for schools, and over that time a lot has changed.

Website: www.rsassessment.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Flickr // Alberto G. Image credit: Flickr // Alberto G.

With so many different assessment measures being used throughout Primary schools, we’re often asked to clarify the difference between them. So, we’ve gone back to the drawing board to provide some quick facts about two key test outcomes: scaled scores and standardised scores (because while both show performance, they aren’t the same thing).

What does a scaled score of 100 in the SATs mean?

The national tests (or SATs) scaled score threshold of 100 is set in advance, and represents what the DfE consider to be the “expected standard” that each pupil should achieve at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

How many marks does a pupil need to achieve a scaled score of 100?

The raw score (or number of marks) required to achieve a scaled score of 100 in the national tests is set by the DfE after the national tests have been taken, and is subject to change each year.

So what is a standardised score?

Standardised scores are based on the performance of a nationally-representative sample of at least 1000 pupils taking the same test at a particular time, and therefore do not change over time. This is unlike the raw score required to achieve a scaled score of 100 each year, which is modified by the government.

What does a standardised score of 100 mean?

A standardised score of 100 represents the exact average achievement within the standardisation sample. However, a wider band is usually given to help schools understand a broader representation of the average. This is usually based on what statisticians refer to as ‘standard deviation’ from the mean average. For example, in our PiRA and PUMA tests, we recommend using 94-114 as the average performance.

Why are standardised tests helpful?

Standardised tests enable teachers to benchmark pupil progress and attainment against a national average. They also help to identify pupil strengths and weaknesses across the curriculum, which in turn informs teaching.

Can I use standardised tests to make judgements about pupils’ learning?

Yes, but standardised scores should be used alongside teacher judgement, rather than instead of it (after all, you’re the experts on your own class - standardised tests exist to back up what you already know).

Can I compare scaled scores with standardised scores?

There is no relationship between scaled scores and standardised scores without specific research undertaken by the test publishers. They are entirely different measures. We offer a correlation between the two scores, which help teachers to see how performance in our standardised tests is likely to translate into a scaled score in the national tests.

Find out about our PiRA correlation here, and PUMA correlation here.

FREE samples of standardised tests

Take a closer look at what our standardised tests look like by downloading a free sample of PiRA (Progress in Reading Assessment), PUMA (Progress in Understanding Mathematics Assessment) or GAPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Assessment).

If you’d like to ask any other questions about either scaled scores or standardised scores, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via Twitter (www.twitter.com/RSAssessment) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/RSAssessment). Alternatively, visit www.rsassessment.com for more information.

Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Latest stories

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

  • What it’s like to be a teacher with an anxiety disorder
    What it’s like to be a teacher with an anxiety disorder

    We all feel anxious sometimes. Maybe it is going into a new situation such as starting a new job, or having to have a difficult conversation. The feeling of nervousness and anxiousness is completely normal, and an evolutionary necessity. However, for some people, like me, that feeling of anxiousness never goes away. You live with it day in, day out, and it can have quite a detrimental effect on your life and mental health.

  • How Tassomai transformed our school
    How Tassomai transformed our school

    An online learning programme called Tassomai is playing its part in the rapid transformation of Torquay Academy. Reece Broome, who is leading the project at the school, explains.

  • Take your class on a virtual trip to Colchester Castle
    Take your class on a virtual trip to Colchester Castle

    Colchester Castle’s new digital learning programme enables your class to take part in a trip to Colchester Castle without ever leaving the classroom! Whether you are a local school in Essex, or in another part of the country, your students can immerse themselves in Colchester’s story and learn all about the mighty Romans.

  • Artistic literacy app praised for 'feel good' factor
    Artistic literacy app praised for 'feel good' factor

    If you want to use music, sound effects and visual adventures to help young pupils learn their letters, then you need to know about globetrotting Swiss musician / novelist Roland Zoss and his app ABC Dino - a resource which has already seen huge popularity in continental Europe. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"