Test identification

Name of test Progress Test in Science
Version PT Science
Previous version(s)
Subjects Science
Summary Gauge attainment in science and measure progress year-on-year, benchmarked against peers nationally, as well as measuring the key National Curriculum requirement of ‘working scientifically’.

Assessment screening

Subscales n/a
Authors GL Assessment
Publisher GL Assessment
Test source https://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/products/progress-test-in-science-pts/
Guidelines available? Yes
Norm-referenced scores. Yes
Age range 7-14 Years
Key Stage(s) applicable to KS1, KS2, KS3
UK standardisation sample Yes
Publication date 2015
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 Assessing different aspects of attainment in science including working scientifically, knowledge and understanding, application of knowledge and understanding across the science curriculum areas of chemistry, biology and physics.
Are additional versions available? Comprised of 6 tests to cover the age range 7-14+ age (Progress Test in Science 8 to 14)Plus an additional test for pupils aged between 11 and 12 years, which can be used as a transition test on entry to secondary education (Progress test in Science 11T)Paper and Digital versions are available.
Can subtests be administered in isolation? No
Administration group size small group, whole class
Administration duration Untimed, but typically approximately 1 hour.
Description of materials needed to administer test Teacher/invigilatorCalculators are not allowed.Digital version: Each student will need a computer, headphones and mouse.Paper version: Each student will need a pupil booklet and answer sheet, and a writing implement.
Any special testing conditions? Formal test environment.

Response format

Response mode Electronic OR Paper and pencil
What device is required Computer
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 No self-scoring available - computerised or bureau service only.
Types and range of available scores Raw Score and percentage accuracy broken down by question number, curriculum content area (i.e., chemistry, biology or physics) and by reporting area (working scientifically, knowledge and understanding, application of knowledge and understanding).Stanines (ST overall, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Working scientifically), Standard Age Score (SAS), National Percentile Rank (NPR),Group Ranked (GR)Science Level
Score transformation for standard score Age standardised
Age bands used for norming Not stated
Scoring procedures Computer scoring with direct entry by test taker/Bureau service (scored by publisher)
Automatised norming Computerised/Bureau service

Construct Validity

Does it adequately measure literacy, mathematics or science?
Does it reflect the multidimensionality of the subject? Generic science
Construct validity comments (and reference for source) The test has high face validity, there is a good deal of descriptive explanation of test development in the Technical Information, and how the different questions align to different areas of the National Curriculum (see Links to National Curriculum document). Therewas substantial trialling of items and analysis of discriminant validity at the item level before selecting items for the final version and re-standardising. However, these analyses are not presented for evaluation. The technical information reports that items were selected on the basis of Item Response Theory. However, no statistical measures of validity are provided.

Criterion Validity

Does test performance adequately correlate with later, current or past performance?
Summarise available comparisons No information provided, despite tests producing predictions in terms of KS2 and GCSE outcomes.


Is test performance reliable?
Summarise available comparisons Note that the only measure of reliability uses trial data to explore internal consistency. Interpretation is limited because this trial data was also used to select items for inclusion in the final tests (i.e., items with low reliability were excluded).Internal consistency is good-excellent on all tests. However, little information on the sample. Cronbach's Alpha (over paper and digital combined) ranges from .8-.9 (PT8 .80; PTS9 .83, PTS10 .86, PTS11 .88, PTS11T .90, PTS13 .88, PTS14 .86)Standard error of measurement for each test ranges from 4.7-6.7 (PT8 6.7; PTS9 6.2, PTS10 5.6, PTS11 5.2, PTS11T 4.7, PTS13 5.2, PTS14 5.6).Digital and paper versions are not distinguished.

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. Digital and paper responses combined for standardisation.Standardisation was based on performance during test development trials. Trial samples were tested in March 2015, with half pupils drawn from target year and half from the year above (to ensure that a sufficient proportion of the pupils had been taught the entire curriculum for the target year).Trial participants completed A and B forms of the tests, questions were selected from across these forms for inclusion in the final standardised form of the tests. Therefore, standardisation was conducted on trial data and not the final version of the test (except for PTS11T which was independently standardised). Further, although the sample size of the norming population for each test is large, little information is provided about the demographics of the norming sample, making it difficult to assess bias.


Sources GL Assessment (2015). Progress Test in Science: Digital Edition. Administration instructions for all levels.GL Assessment (2015). PT Science: Technical Information. GL Assessment.GL Assessment (2015). Progress Test Series: Assessment Overview. GL Assessment. Available at https://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/media/205577/ptseries_assessment_overview1.pdf GL Assessment. (2015). PT Science: Links to National Curricula. Retrieved from https://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/support/pts-product-support/links-to-national-curricula/GL Assessment (2015). The Progress Test Series: Primary and Secondary Sample Reports. GL Assessment. Available at https://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/media/182406/pt-series-sample-report-11-7.pdf