Test identification

Name of test Progress in Reading Assessment Key Stage 3
Version PiRA Key Stage 3
Previous version(s)
Subjects Literacy
Summary A suite of standardised termly tests to measure and predict progress in reading and compare performance to national averages. Written to the National Curriculum in 2014, PiRA is designed to be used towards the end of each term in each school year of Key Stages 1,2 and 3 in order to measure and mointor pupils' progress and to provide predictive and diagnostic information

Assessment screening

Subscales n/a
Authors Colin McCarty, Kate Ruttle and AlphaPlus Consultancy
Publisher RS Assessment from Hodder Education
Test source https://www.hoddereducation.co.uk/subjects/assessment/assessment-series/pira-key-stage-3-new
Guidelines available? Yes
Norm-referenced scores. Yes
Age range 11-14 Years
Key Stage(s) applicable to KS3
UK standardisation sample Yes
Publication date 2019
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 Reading attainment
Are additional versions available? Termly tests (Reception: Spring, Summer; Years 1-9: Autumn, Spring, Summer). Manual Stage 1: Reception - Year 2.Manual Stage 2: Year 3-6Manual Stage 3: Year 7=9Pencil and paper or online interactive (PiRA Interactive).PiRA Scotland tagged to Scottish curriculumOriginal PiRA (standardised 2009) is now out of print, questions were updated for new national curriculum.Note that New PiRA will be published 2020/2021.
Can subtests be administered in isolation? No subtests but strands align to curriculum: Summarise explicit ideas; interpret implicit ideas; Audience, purpose, context, conventions; Language, structure, form; Critical evaluation; Connections; Personal response
Administration group size small group, whole class
Administration duration 75 minutes (35 minutes for Section 1, 40 minutes for section 2)
Description of materials needed to administer test ManualPaper version: each pupil will require a test booklet, pencil/pen, eraser.Digital version: each pupil will require an interactive test credit and a computer/tablet.
Any special testing conditions? no

Response format

Response mode Electronic OR Paper and pencil
What device is required Computer, tablet
Queston format. mixed
Progress through questions Flat

Assessor requirements

Is any prior knowledge/training/profession accreditation required for administration? Not stated (no)
Is administration scripted? Yes


Description of materials needed to score test Paper version: Manual (mark scheme).Standardisation tables are in the manual or use MARK (my assessment and reporting kit) online analysis and reporting tool.Digital version: automatically marked.
Types and range of available scores Raw scores (by question /60, strand, overall),Age standardised scores (<70->130),Standardised score (cohort, not age standardised),Percentile (<2->98),Reading age (varies depending on the test, full range <10;4->15;7),Performance indicator bands giving relative attainment term on term (based on national curriculum - working towards, working at, working at greater depth),Hodder scale (0-8.1, for comparison against other measures e.g., PUMA or GAPS),
Score transformation for standard score Age standardised
Age bands used for norming Not stated
Scoring procedures computer scoring with direct entry by test taker/computer scoring with manual entry of responses from paper form/simple manual scoring key – clerical skills required
Automatised norming computerised/online

Construct Validity

Does it adequately measure literacy, mathematics or science?
Does it reflect the multidimensionality of the subject? Generic literacy
Construct validity comments (and reference for source) Test guidance describe good face validity as tests were developed to align to National Curriculum. Curriculum maps are provided. However, construct validity is not measured statistically (correlations with age are presented but these are low and that is to be expected due to termly tests and standardisation).

Criterion Validity

Does test performance adequately correlate with later, current or past performance?
Summarise available comparisons n/a


Is test performance reliable?
Summarise available comparisons Internal consistency for each test was good-excellent; cronbach's alpha .82-.90; SEM 3.96-5.03; 90% confidence limit for mean 6.52-8.28.However, there is no evidence that temporal stability or equivalence reliability were assessed.

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

Is population appropriate and free from bias? No
If any biases are noted in sampling, these will be indicated here. Large and representative standardisation sample. However, possible gender bias (more female participants on every form, and means suggest that females alsed scored higher on every form).


Sources AlphaPlus Consultancy. (2019). PiRA: Progress in Reading and Language Assessment. Manual Stage 3: Years 7-9. London, UK: RS Assessment from Hodder Education.