Introducing the new edition of Basic Number Screening Test (BNST)

Why are we publishing a new edition of Basic Number Screening Test?

Basic Number Screening Test (BNST) was last updated and re-standardised in 2011, before curriculum change in 2014, and because of its ongoing popularity in schools, we decided it was time for a new edition that could further meet the needs of both primary and secondary teachers.

BNST is an ideal test to help you to quickly assess pupil understanding of number and number operations, helping you to get to the root of any issues and misconceptions that could be impacting progress. Post-pandemic, schools are looking for time-saving assessments to track the impact of maths interventions and BNST helps you do this and provides a way to monitor the smaller steps of progress some pupils may be making in a meaningful way.

What updates have we made?

  • All the questions have been carefully mapped to the mathematics programmes of study and they reflect the teaching progression and mathematical vocabulary recommended by the 2014 National Curriculum. The Ready to Progress Framework was also referenced when reviewing the test. 
  • New questions have been added, bringing the total to 40, with new questions at the start and end of the test so that it can be used securely with pupils from the start of Key Stage 1 right up to the end of Key Stage 3.
  • BNST was fully re-standardised in spring 2022; 8,962 pupils from 78 schools were involved in the trial which means we have been able to increase the test’s age range to 5–14.
  • Access to free marksheets and reporting on My Assessment and Reporting Kit (MARK) is included when you purchase the test.

What makes this test great for schools?

  • It’s quick to administer (taking 30 minutes as an individual test and no more than 40 minutes as a group test) and it’s easy to mark.
  • It provides teachers with age-standardised scores and standardised scores and number ages and the parallel forms, A and B, means pupils can be retested to help you track progress and impact intervention programs are having.
  • The test has been specifically designed to assess pupils who may be struggling with maths and to help you differentiate amongst those whose attainment is below or well-below average. The test gives you clear evidence of which areas of numeracy need to be addressed, making it easier to put the right interventions in place.
  • BNST is delivered orally by the teacher, so pupils’ number ability is not masked by any reading difficulties. This also makes it a low-stress test for pupils who may struggling with a longer written assessment.

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#numeracy, Assessment, baseline assessment, Intervention and SEN, key stage 1, key stage 2, KS1, ks2, ks3, Maths, SEN, SENCO, SEND

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