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Predicting and mapping to GCSE grades using PUMA KS3

Option 1: Available now. Provisional mapping to GCSE grades

Download mapping tables that enable you to look up any score on our PUMA KS3 tests, and view the GCSE grade that each student may go on to achieve when they sit their Maths GCSE:

Mapping to GCSE grades year 7
Mapping to GCSE grades year 8
Mapping to GCSE grades year 9

Option 2 (below) will be a more reliable option than Option 1, as it is based on actual data of students who have taken our PUMA tests. However, due to the nature of the task of following these students through from Year 7 to Year 11, this data cannot be immediately available. Option 1 exists to provide teachers with the tools to understand how their KS3 students may perform at GCSE in the meantime.
 
Whilst the mapping we provide in Option 1 is not based on real student data, it has been carefully constructed by our statistical consultancy partners AlphaPlus. It must not be used as a definite prediction of GCSE performance, but whilst teachers are waiting for this to become available, it may serve as a helpful indication of roughly where students’ current attainment may lead once they reach their GCSEs.
 
Statisticians at AlphaPlus constructed the mapping grids by considering the percentile of students who achieved each mark in the PUMA tests, mapping this to the GCSE grade that the equivalent percentile of GCSE students achieved in 2018.
 
For instance, if the top 10% of students achieve a grade 9 at GCSE, then under equipercentile equating the top 10% of students in each PUMA test would be mapped to that GCSE grade. They then took the lowest raw mark those 10% achieved on each PUMA test, concluding that students who achieve that mark or higher could be expected to get a grade 9 at GCSE. The same process was then repeated for each other GCSE grade.1

Option 2: Available from 2020 (Year 9), 2021 (Year 8) and 2022 (Year 7). 
Correlation between actual PUMA grades of sample students and their GCSE grades

We are working with AlphaPlus to carry out a detailed statistical analysis between the results from PUMA KS3 and GCSE grades. We have a sample of students who are sitting PUMA KS3 tests in Year 7, 8 and 9. We will then follow them through to their GCSEs in Mathematics and use this statistically representative sample to estimate how students achieving any score on our KS3 tests will go on to perform in their GCSEs. This will enable all teachers to look up any score on a Year 7, 8 or 9 PUMA test, and find out what grade this may correspond to at GCSE level.

All estimates will be presented with confidence intervals. This is because we cannot say, for example, that a student scoring 46 on PUMA 7 will definitely go on to achieve a grade 7 in their GCSE. We can, however, use our statistically representative sample to work out what is likely, providing a useful indicator of the level a child is currently working at. This means that when looking at these grades, teachers should carefully consider what the lowest and highest grades are that a student is likely to achieve, rather than focusing solely on the ‘estimated’ grade itself.
 
Because we need to follow real students through secondary school, this correlation will be published in increments as and when studies of each year group are complete.



1With GCSE results, there are multiple different examination bodies used within the UK over multiple subjects. The issue with selecting one examination body for analysis is that a large percentage of student results would not be included. Therefore, the count and percentage of students achieving each grade for Mathematics was taken from Ofqual data1 where the grades range from U or Unclassified (lowest) to 9 (highest).