Ofqual reveals national reference test dates

2019-09-19

National reference tests will take place in certain schools in February and March 2020, Ofqual has revealed.


The maths and English tests for Year 11 pupils are used as guidance for GCSE exams and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is currently contacting the schools chosen to be included.


Up to 30 pupils who are set to turn 16 by 31 August 2020 will be randomly selected at each secondary school to take the English test, with up to 30 more chosen for the maths exam.


The tests will be completed between 24 February and 6 March 2020 and are used to see how well sets of pupils are performing.


Only Year 11 pupils take part in the National Reference Test, first introduced in 2017 after a successful pilot the year previously, with the results helping to determine grade boundaries and progress between secondary year groups.


The selected secondary schools will each receive nearly £200 for taking part, designed to cover the costs and resources needed to complete the exams, with pupils all entered into a national prize draw.


Earlier in 2019, Ofqual revealed it was not going to alter the grade boundaries in English, despite reduced attainment in the subject.


It marked the first time that the National Reference Test results were used, with the statistics showing that that proportion of pupils awarded a pass – a grade 4 – had fallen.


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