Performance indicators & National Test predictions

Predict the likelihood of success in the National Tests

with a high degree of accuracy

We know how important it is for you to be able to predict your pupils’ SATs results with accuracy. That’s why we regularly carry out extensive research, with thousands of pupils, to ensure that GAPS, PiRA and PUMA scores continue to provide helpful information to predict SATs results. To find out about our most recent correlation study, read below!

Performance Threshold advice for GAPS, PiRA and PUMA

Over the 2017-18 academic year, we undertook research into the relationship between the termly scores in PiRA and PUMA (Years 2 and 6) and GAPS (Year 6) and the National Test Scaled Scores of the same pupils, with over 1,000 children per test. The aim was to help give more insight into the correlation between them. The findings indicate that the suite of tests continue to provide good indicators of future success in the National Tests, with a high correlation between results. The analysis highlighted two consistent features:

  • A higher proportion of pupils nationally are achieving the expected standard in the National Tests

  • An increased percentage of pupils in the 2018 sample achieved higher marks in PiRA and PUMA than when the tests were standardised in 2014/15.

Together, these factors have contributed to minimal change in the correlation of raw scores to Scaled Scores in the PiRA and PUMA National Test indicator tables in 2018 (compared to 2016, which is when the correlation was last carried out).


We then went on to determine the percentage of children at each mark and standardised score who went on to achieve the expected standard, paying particular attention to the Year 6 expected standard threshold (a Scaled Score of 100). The analysis shows that a threshold measure of a standardised score of 94 continues to provide a secure indicator that pupils will probably go on to reach the expected standard. When a standardised score of 100 or above is achieved, our research suggests that passing is almost certain.

Through wide consultation with teachers and senior leaders, we know that these measures are there both to provide an indication of future success and also to help inform where future intervention may help children increase their chances of success. We therefore propose no change to the performance thresholds in 2018. They remain as follows for GAPS, PiRA and PUMA:

We have always indicated that children may be considered on the cusp if they are within a few standardised scores below 94. The analysis of the 2018 sample indicates that pupils scoring between 90 and 93 have a reasonable probability of success, but it is less secure and they may well benefit from additional help. We will be making enhancements to MARK (our free online assessment and reporting kit) in the spring to help you more quickly identify those children who are in this range.

We welcome your feedback and if you have any questions not covered in the full report, please do not hesitate to email



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