Test identification

Name of test Basic Number Screening Test
Version 4th Edition
Previous version(s) 1st, 2nd and 3rd Edition
Subjects Maths
Summary A quick assessment of numeracy skills focusing on children's understanding of number and number opterations. This test is delivered orally, so assesses pupils’ numeracy skills rather than their reading ability, making it ideal for use with poor readers.

Assessment screening

Subscales n/a
Additional References n/a
Authors Ken Hesse, Bill Gillham, & Colin McCarty
Publisher RS Assessment from Hodder Education
Test source https://www.risingstars-uk.com/series/basic-number-screening-test
Guidelines available? Yes
Norm-referenced scores. Yes
Age range 5-12;08 years
Key Stage(s) applicable to EY, KS1, KS2, KS3
UK standardisation sample Yes
Publication date 2012
Re-norming date n/a


Validity measures available? Yes
Reliability measures available? Yes
Reason for exclusion from shortlist shortlisted

Evaluation and Appraisal

Additional information about what the test measures Note that this is particularly aimed at detecting children with mathematics difficulties, so is less sensitive when examining good performance.
Are additional versions available? 2 parallel forms
Can subtests be administered in isolation? n/a
Administration group size individual, small group, whole class
Administration duration 30 minutes
Description of materials needed to administer test booklet and pen or pencil
Any special testing conditions? in group sessions, form A and form B can be alternated to reduce copying effects

Response format

Response mode Paper and pencil
What device is required n/a
Queston format. mixed
Progress through questions flat

Assessor requirements

Is any prior knowledge/training/profession accreditation required for administration? no
Is administration scripted? Yes


Description of materials needed to score test user manual
Types and range of available scores raw,mathematics age equivalents (5;1-12;8),percentiles,standardised scores (69-130)national curriculum levels (from pre 2014 curriculum)
Score transformation for standard score age standardised
Age bands used for norming 1 month
Scoring procedures simple manual scores key - clerical skills required
Automatised norming none

Construct Validity

Does it adequately measure literacy, mathematics or science?
Does it reflect the multidimensionality of the subject? Specific maths (number concepts and numerical operations)
Construct validity comments (and reference for source) In preparing the previous (National Numeracy Strategy, NNS) version, the items were carefully ‘mapped’ to the National Curriculum Framework for Teaching Mathematics, and the test revised to reflect as closely as possible the teaching progression, mathematical vocabulary and presentational formats recommended. Broadly, the items on pages 2 and 3 of the test assess numeracy concepts and skills to be taught in Years 1 to 3; the items on page 4 sample the numeracy skills to be taught at Years 4 and 5. This sequence is unchanged in this latest edition. (Hence it is mapped to the maths curriculum prior to 2012).

Criterion Validity

Does test performance adequately correlate with later, current or past performance?
Summarise available comparisons Excellent concurrent criterion validity is evidenced in the manual (Gillham et al., 2012). In the original standardisation, a subsample of teachers were asked to rate maths attainment on a 7 point scale. Spearman's rho correlation with the test score was 0.82. In the restandardisation, correlation was not reported but curriculum sub-levels increased with score until level 5 or 6.


Is test performance reliable?
Summarise available comparisons The manual reports excellent internal consistency and equivalence reliability from a large sample (Gillham et al., 2012), Cronbach's alpha .95 for both forms and Pearson product moment correlation between form A and form B is .94

Is the norm-derived population appropriate and free from bias?

Is population appropriate and free from bias? Yes
If any biases are noted in sampling, these will be indicated here. Norms are derived from a large, representative, stratified sample


Sources Gillham, B., Hess, K., & McCarty, C. (2012). Basic Number Screening Test (Forms A & B) Manual. London, UK: RS Assessment from Hodder Education.