Raising Standards Together

National Reading and Numeracy Tests – update

Sample materials for the national numeracy tests now available

Sample materials for the national numeracy tests now available. In readiness for their introduction, sample materials for the two elements of the national numeracy tests have been produced for each year group to illustrate different question types and formats for response.

The sample materials are closely aligned to the numeracy framework and are representative of the anticipated level of demand, but don’t represent complete test papers. Equivalent materials for the reading tests are expected within the next few days.  Follow the link to the  sample materials in the green ‘related links’ box below.  

The National Reading and Numeracy Tests will be implemented on a statutory basis and are based on the LNF. Both are being developed by NFER, who are working in partnership with Acumina to develop the numeracy test.  The Welsh Government is paying for the development and distribution of these tests, and of processing the test results and reporting them back to schools.

You might have heard reports from various news sources that the implementation of the National Reading Test (NRT) and of the procedural section of the National Numeracy Test (procedural NNT) has been put back to September 2014.

This is based on a misunderstanding: the NRT and procedural NNT are being implemented in May 2013 as planned. Rather, it is formal assessment against the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) which will become a statutory requirement from September 2014.

The LNF itself, along with the tests, will be introduced on a statutory basis from 2013 as planned. We expect these tests to be the only end-of-year reading and numeracy tests needed in schools from now on.

The reading test will be available in two parts. There will be a statutory ‘core’ test that will generate the robust, comparative data that will help teachers understand where their pupils are in terms of reading ability.

There will also be a suite of non-statutory test materials designed to be more formative, supporting teachers to identify the needs of individual and groups of learners.

The numeracy test is split into two papers: numerical procedures and numerical reasoning; both papers will be 30 minutes. The LNF also distinguishes between procedural and reasoning skills.

The paper to test numerical procedures will be sat in May 2013. The numerical reasoning paper will then follow in May 2014, this will provide schools with more time to prepare pupils for the skills they’ll need for the reasoning tests.

We want all our pupils to be able to do their best in the tests.  For our younger pupils, both the numeracy and reading tests can be sat in shorter sessions, so they don’t need to sit tests for the full hour if the school feels this would help them perform to their best.

The tests can be taken over a 2 week period according to the best timetabling arrangements for schools. These dates are between 8 and 22 May 2013.

You will have a role in making sure that the right number of papers is received by your school.  NFER are running an online ordering system during January 2013.  


February 2013
Tests - Samples of the reading and numeracy tests will be available on the Learning Wales website
Tests - Administration guidance will be available on the Learning Wales website

May 2013              
Tests - reading and procedural numeracy tests sat for first time.  You will receive an email when your tests have been despatched.

June 2013
Tests - Upload of students’ marks into a system that will calculate the results and issue a report.

July 2013
Tests – school and student reports to schools
September 2013   
LNF becomes a statutory curriculum requirement

May 2014              
Tests - numeracy reasoning test sat for the first time

May 2014              
Tests - reading and procedural numeracy tests sat for the second time

September 2014    
LNF - formal assessment against the LNF becomes a statutory requirement