National Reference Test 2018 - Background report

Chris Whetton, Angela Hopkins & Louise Benson

13 December 2018

View the background report on the Ofqual website

Ofqual has introduced the National Reference Test (NRT) to provide additional information to support the awarding of GCSEs. NFER developed and administers the NRT under contract to Ofqual.

In February/March 2018 a random sample of around 12,000 year 11 students from over 300 schools took the NRT. The first live NRT, taken in 2017, was benchmarked against the first awards of the reformed GCSEs in English language and maths, and the 2018 NRT is the first opportunity to compare the performance of students in 2018 with those in 2017. Results are reported as expected percentages of students achieving those grades (and above) based on changes in performance on the NRT.

For more details on the sample, the analyses conducted on the test data and how the tests performed overall, please visit the National Reference Test 2018 Results Digest.