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 our National Test-style Standardised Assessment 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 NTS Assessments in reading and maths

With National Tests sat for the first time in 3 years in 2022, over the 2021–22 academic year, we undertook research into the relationship between the termly scores in NTS Assessments: Reading and NTS Maths (Year 6) and the National Test Scaled Scores of the same pupils, with over 1,000 anonymous results used for analysis. The aim was to help give more insight into the correlation between them. The findings indicate that the suite of tests continue to provide strong indicators of future success in the National Tests, with a high correlation between results.

A Pearson correlation co-efficient shows the strength of correlation between two assessments, and was used to investigate the linear relationship between the termly scores in National Test-style Standardised Assessments and the National Test Scaled Scores. The Pearson correlation values between results in our termly standardised assessments and National Test scaled scores are shown below (A correlation value of 0.7 and above indicates there is a strong positive relationship between the two sets of test results):

Read the full reading report for NTS Reading and the full maths report for NTS Maths.


Perfomance Indicators and Standardised Score Thresholds

We then went on to review the distribution of children at each mark and standardised score, and the percentage of children who went on to achieve the expected standard, paying attention to the Year 6 expected standard threshold (a Scaled Score of 100). While the correlations showed a very close match of a Scaled Score of 100 to the NTS score needed to achieve expected standard, we know it is important to set our thresholds slightly higher to ensure they continue to provide a secure indicator that pupils will probably go on to reach the expected standard.

Our NTS performance indicator bands were last revised in 2020, following the 2019 National Test results. 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 have therefore revised the KS2 thresholds to achieve the expected standard. The revised performance thresholds for use beginning in the year 2022/23 are as follows:


Key Stage 1 mathematics performance indicators (no change)


Key Stage 2 mathematics performance indicators (new)


Key Stage 1 reading performance indicators (no change)


Key Stage 2 reading performance indicators (new)


For existing customers, these will be updated in the Test Guidance and MARK reporting ahead of the Autumn 2022 testing window.

We have always indicated that children may be considered on the cusp if they are within a few standardised scores below the working as threshold. The analysis of the 2022 sample indicated that pupils scoring up to 2 standardised scores below the working at threshold have a reasonable probability of success, but at this distance from the estimated scaled score the predication is less secure and these children may well benefit from additional intervention.

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

Read the Correlation Study Overview

Learn more about the methodology we used and the data we looked at

Read online

Read the National Tests Results Analysis 2022

Get a view of the national picture as we analyse the latest National Test results from 2022 and what that means for your assessments

Read online
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