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 New PiRA and New 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 New PiRA and New PUMA

In 2022 National Tests were sat for the first time in 3 years; over the 2021–22 academic year, we undertook research into the relationship between the termly scores in New PiRA and New PUMA (Year 6) and the National Test Scaled Scores of the same pupils, with over 1,500 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 New PiRA and PUMA 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 New PiRA and the full maths report for New PUMA .


Performance 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).

Our existing performance indicators for New PiRA and New PUMA were generated in 2021. As there was no National Test data in 2021, we used a new method to identify where each performance indicator band should fall, taking into account any performance changes due to school closures. The data used as evidence includes:

  • The standardisation trial data from autumn 2019, spring 2020 and summer 2021

  • Anonymous, aggregated data from MARK for both New PiRA and New PUMA and the old editions (from testing in autumn 2020 and spring/summer 2021)

  • The equated raw scores showing what pupils taking the new editions would have achieved on the old editions.

The 2022 analysis verified the existing threshold measures and shows that they continue to provide a secure indicator that pupils are likely to go on to reach the expected standard. The correlations showed a close match of a Scaled Score of 100 to the New PiRA/New PUMA score needed to achieve expected standard, with the New PiRA/New PUMA threshold sitting slightly higher than the National Tests – 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.

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. The performance for New PiRA and New PUMA therefore remain as follows:


New PUMA Performance Indicators


New PiRA Performance Indicators


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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