NFER has many years' experience in designing robust and reliable assessments across the primary phase. Our optional tests are built on NFER's solid foundation of assessment development and research expertise.

In addition, our NFER Tests have been standardised with thousands of pupils which means that data is consistent and reliable. We worked with over 100 teachers with a range of experience and backgrounds to develop age-related expectations for our Key Stage 2 tests, and we standardised the range with over 60,000 pupils to ensure the most accurate and robust outcomes.

 What schools think 

We regularly ask schools using NFER Tests for their feedback, below are some of the results from our evaluation survey of schools using NFER Tests in the 2016/17 academic year.


The administration of the tests was impressive, and the guidance from NFER was really concise and covered everything. It was all there and easy to read.
Mrs Carol Green, Assistant Headteacher

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We chose NFER because the strong research base, and the standardisation aspects of the tests were what we were looking for.
Mrs Anne O'Brien, Headteacher

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“We were delighted to hear about NFER’s new autumn tests. We have used NFER tests for a number of years as alternatives to the old ‘optional SATs’ in the summer term, and have found them to be reliable indicators of children’s attainment. The standardisation work carried out also assists our teacher assessments in order to measure progress accurately year on year. We now believe that with the inception of the autumn tests, that we will have increased ability to measure progress in year accurately – a Godsend in these times of uncertainty about age related expectations. As a group of 10 schools we have chosen to use the NFER reading assessments to provide a shared understanding of expectation across our network of schools and as a tool to help moderate attainment between the cluster of schools.”

Anne O’Brien. Headteacher of St. Joseph’s RC Primary. Darwen Lancs


Year 5 Mathematics

“The questions were well set out with good grids for working out – especially on the Arithmetic paper.”

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Our standardisation process

Our tests undergo informal and standardisation trials in schools and our summer tests undergo an additional standards-setting process with large groups of teachers. Together these methods ensure that the tests give you reliable information you can use to monitor individual and group attainment and progress.

If you are interested in finding out more about our standardisation process you can download the NFER Tests technical report here.