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How Will The 2016 SATs Be Marked?

Over the years, we have become familar with the levelling system used in the old national curriculum. The Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Tests up to May 2015 produce levels, such as 2a, 3b, 4c, to show where each student is in terms of the national curriculum.

What will replace National Curriculum Levels in the Key Stage 2 SATs exams?
The introduction of the new national curriculum has led to the discontinuing of the use of "levels". So, the new Key Stage 2 SATs will no longer produce a level at the end. National curriculum levels will be replaced by scaled scores.

How will scaled scores be worked out?
The papers will be marked and the raw scores will be added together for each section (Out of 110 for maths, out of 50 for reading and out of 70 for SPaG). The raw scores will then be converted into scaled scores.

Once the assessment team have all of the results for the first set of new tests, they will be able to use these to set the scaled scores. Then, it will be adjusted slightly each year according to any differences in the difficulty of the test. So, a scaled score of 100 may come from a raw score of 52 one year, but 58 another year, depending on the judged difficulty of the test. This ensures that scaled scores keep their meaning from one year to the next, making it easier to make comparisons.

Why use scaled scores?
Scaled scores are nothing new. They are a widely recognised way of standardising results - a similar system is used for the 11 plus exams, for example.

The scaled scores for the Key Stage 2 national curriculum tests will be set so that 100 is the "expected standard". This means that 100 will always represent the same level of ability, whereas a raw score, for example 52, may mean something diferent on a harder test or an easier test.

What will the score I get mean?
The scaled scores parents receive will give an indication of whether or not a child has reached the expected standard. 100 will be the "expected standard", so scores above 100 are above where they should be and scores below 100 will indicate that they have a few gaps.

Of course, tests like this can only reveal so much and must be considered alongside teacher assessment, which will give a judgement of classroom ability. Teachers are not allowed to use the test marks to support teacher assessment, so by looking at both the SATs test results and the teacher assessment, you will get a more rounded view of your child's ability.

If your child's test results show that they have reached the expected standard, this means that they have demonstrated sufficient knowledge to be well placed for Key Stage 3, so they are helpful in determining where your child stands. If the scaled score is below 100, you know that a little extra preparatory work would be beneficial ahead of secondary school.
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