About PTE

What is PTE?

The Progress Test in English (PTE) is an attainment test. It assesses key aspects of English appropriate to the age of the students: phonic knowledge and skills; spelling, punctuation and grammar; and reading comprehension. 

The Progress Test in English series consists of two suites of tests, covering the age range 4 to 14+ years. You can administer once a year choosing just one of the two forms, or you can test twice in the year to measure progress, retention of knowledge, effectiveness of interventions or provide a baseline. For more information on testing twice a year please consult Choosing a test type and level and When to test with PTE

Form A consists of 12 tests: 11 tests covering the age range 4 to 14+ years (PTE 5 to 15) and an additional test for students aged between 11 and 12 years, which can be used as a transitional test on entry to secondary education (PTE 11T). 

Form B consists of 9 tests covering the age range 6 to 14+ years (PTE 7 to 15). 

Please see Choosing a test type and level for further details about the availability of test levels in different formats. 

Why use PTE?

The Progress Test in English series has been developed to a high specification and standardised on a nationwide sample of students in the UK, with a separate and additional standardisation in Northern Ireland. The tests provide both raw scores and standardised scores, which will give teachers useful information that can be used for both formative and summative purposes: 

  • To identify students who need additional support or extension work
  • To identify patterns of performance and areas for development for the whole class 
  • To compare students with others in the same age group nationally 
  • To compare a student’s progress from one year to the next (where the preceding test in the series has been administered)
  • To measure a student's baseline, progress, retention of knowledge or effectiveness of interventions by testing twice in the academic year (please see When to test with PTE for further information). 

Features of PTE

  • Assesses students’ knowledge, understanding and application in English
  • Tracks progress at individual and cohort level
  • Indicates possible gaps in learning
  • Standardised on a large sample of students, with benchmarks verified each year based on analysis of over half a million students across all tests
  • Two suites of tests allowing for greater flexibility and choice

Video: Introduction to PTE