Raising Standards Together

Numeracy sample materials

The National Numeracy Tests were introduced in schools in May 2013.

Sample materials have been produced for each year group to illustrate different question types and formats for response.

There are two sections to the numeracy test:

  • a procedural section; and
  • a reasoning section which will be first introduced in May 2014.

Thus, 2014 will be the first year in which the full numeracy test is sat.

These sample materials, are closely aligned to the numeracy framework, and are representative of the anticipated level of demand of the numeracy tests. These are not complete test papers: the number of marks varies with fewer marks for the lower year groups and more marks for older learners.

How to use the sample materials 

The sample materials can be printed and used for practice before the tests. Strengths and areas for improvement can then be identified and used to provide additional classroom learning and teaching activities, where appropriate.

The sample materials can also be used as a basis for classroom discussion, to illustrate good test techniques. These include the importance of reading the questions carefully, where to write the answers, the relevance of showing working to gain partial credit, good time management and the benefits of checking answers.

Teachers may also wish to support learners by discussing different approaches towards 2 mark items. For example, teachers could anonymise and photocopy a range of responses and ask learners to work in small groups to rank from ‘best’ to ‘worst’, identifying what is good about each and why.

For the reasoning sample materials each year group contains one stimulus item, presented through PowerPoint, which requires information to be shown by the teacher immediately before the test begins. The purpose of the stimulus material is to allow learners to engage with unfamiliar contexts. A teacher script is provided but teachers may use their own words provided no help is given with the numeracy that is to be assessed. The time taken to deliver the stimulus is in addition to this assessment time.

Find out more about our numerical reasoning support materials for teachers.

Marking of the sample materials

A markscheme is provided, which is typical of those to be used alongside the live tests. It is designed to be quickly and fairly applied with clear guidance on when and how partial credit should be applied. General marking guidance provides principles of marking to facilitate consistency across schools.

Modified sample materials (Numeracy procedural tests only)

Modified sample materials to support learners with visual or hearing impairment or learners who normally use large print as part of their normal classroom practice are available. The types of modified samples available reflect the modified papers available for the tests themselves. If you would like to receive sample materials in their modified form, please contact the helpline service on: 01753 637270 or you can contact the helpline by sending an email to: welsh-test-orders@nfer.ac.uk

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