Here’s how UK SATs scoring works. You’re given a point for every question you get right (there’s no penalty or point deduction for wrong answers). The total number of questions you get right on each test equals your raw score. Your raw score for each test is then converted into a scaled score.
This is used to show whether the child has achieved the national standard for that subject. It also allows for comparisons of pupil performance over time as every scaled score represents the same level of attainment, whether a child has taken the test in 2016 or in 2018.
For KS1 SATs, a score of 100 means the child is working at the expected standard. A score below 100 indicates that the child needs more support, whereas a score of above 100 suggests the child is working at a higher level than expected for their age. The maximum score possible is 115, and the minimum is 85.
Teachers are given conversion tables to translate their pupils’ raw scores into scaled scores. They’ll then use these scores to inform their teacher assessment. This means that the score that your child is given may not be the result they achieved in their SATs, but a score based on SATs results, classwork and the teacher’s observations.
For KS2 SATs, the papers are marked externally, with no teacher assessment involved.
Each child will be awarded a raw score and a scaled score, and receive confirmation of whether or not they achieved the national standard (‘NS’ means the expected standard was not achieved; ‘AS’ means the expected standard was achieved).
Please note that schools are free to report SATs results as they choose, so as a parent you might be given their sclaed score or a code (or both); you are unlikely to be told your child’s raw test scores.
The list of KS2 SATs outcome codes in full is:
- AS: the expected standard has been achieved
- NS: the expected standard has not been achieved
- A: the child was absent from one or more of the test papers
- B: the child is working below the level assessed by KS2 SATs
- M: the child missed the test
- T: the child is working at the level of the tests but is unable to access them (because all or part of a test is not suitable for a pupil with particular special educational needs)
- 80 is the lowest possible scaled score
- 120 is the highest possible scaled score
A scaled score of 100 or more means that the child has met the expected standard in each test; a scaled score of 99 or less means they haven’t reached the government-expected standard.
- GDS: Working at greater depth within the expected standard (for writing assessment only)
- EXS: Working at the expected standard
- WTS: Working towards the expected standard (for writing assessment only)
- HNM: Has not met the expected standard (reading and maths assessment only)
- PKG: Pre-key stage, growing development of the expected standard (the child is working at a lower level than expected)
- PKF: Pre-key stage, foundations for the expected standard (the child is working at a significantly lower level than expected)
- BLW: The child is working below the pre-key stage standards (the lowest level of attainment)
- A: Awarded if the child was absent
- D: Awarded if the child is disapplied (has not been been tested at KS2 level)