Dyslexia support

The Dyslexia Screener is an assessment that identifies dyslexic tendencies in pupils aged 5–16+ years and recommends intervention strategies to help them achieve their potential.

Screener FAQs

Why should we use this assessment? Main features and benefits?

  • Reliable assessment of skills and knowledge mathematics (mathematical (curriculum) content and 4 process categories):
    • Are students on track in relation to their peers nationally?
    • Are there any gaps in learning?
    • Have (some) students mastered more advanced content and are performing above average?
  • Rigorous data on maths attainment and progress* to inform
    • the planning and development of teaching and learning strategies 
    • support and interventions or extension work
    • target setting
  • Provides reliable standard age scores
    • Benchmark against peers in age group
    • Baseline for maths learning and teaching
    • Profiles for groups and individuals: strengths and weaknesses
    • Progress year-on-year*
  • Fulfilling reporting needs on maths attainment and progress*

*Information on progress is available when previous test level has been administered.

Which levels are available?

  • Tests are available for both primary and secondary years: levels 5-14
  • The Progress Test in Maths series consists of 11 tests: 10 tests covering the age range 5 to 14+ years (Progress Test in Maths 5 to 14), plus an additional test for pupils aged between 11 and 12 years, which can be used as a transition test on entry to secondary education (Progress Test in Maths 11T)

When should schools test and which levels?

  • The tests have been developed to be taken towards the end of the school year, where the curriculum for the year has been mostly covered, or at the start of next year, except for 11T, which is to be taken during the first term of Y7/Y8/S1
PTM Level Autumn term PTM Level Spring / Summer term Year Group Age of Year Group Key Stage
  Level 5 Reception 4 -5 Early Years
Level 5 Level 6 Year 1 5 - 6 KS1
Level 6 Level 7 Year 2 6 - 7 KS1
Level 7 Level 8 Year 3 7 - 8 KS2
Level 8 Level 9 Year 4 8 - 9 KS2
Level 9 Level 10 Year 5 9 - 10 KS2
Level 10 Level 11 Year 6 10 - 11 KS2
Level 11T Level 12 Year 7 11 - 12 KS3
Level 12 Level 13 Year 8 12 - 13 KS3
Level 13 Level 14 Year 9 13 - 14 KS3


Do schools receive any training or require training other than the guidance notes?

The test is very easy to administer and teachers only need the At A Glance Guide, or the digital guidance

Is there audio in the digital test?

  • In the digital test, the test instructions are given over audio at the beginning of the test
  • For levels 8-14 there is a separate Mental Maths section delivered via audio
  • All students will need headphones to complete the online assessment

How is the Mental Maths section administered?

  • Customers using paper tests should download the audio file from GL Assessment website. We recommend that you always use the audio rather than read out the questions yourself. This ensures a reliable administration
  • For digital users, the audio is included in the test.

How have the tests been standardised?

  • The tests have been standardised on a UK sample of over 34,000 students.
  • For full details of the trialling and standardisation process, please refer to the PTM technical information sheet.

Can PTM Mental Maths section be accommodated for the use of children with hearing impairments?

The ‘At a Glance Guide’ for use with paper tests includes the script for the Mental Maths section. This can be used to accommodate children with special educational needs.

Portfolio FAQs

I want to use the tests in the Portfolio but don’t have a recent general ability score for my pupils. Does this matter?

The Portfolio tests may be used with or without a general ability score.  However, the model for identifying dyslexia depends on comparing ability with attainment and processing skills so without the inclusion of the general ability score you will not be able to make such an identification. The secondary use of the Portfolio is the assessment of more general literacy-learning difficulties and for this a general ability score is not necessary. An Ipsative report will be produced looking at an individual’s relative strengths and weaknesses and thereby highlighting the areas where remediation is most urgent.


I have a general ability score from last term; can I use this when generating the Portfolio report?

Yes, as long as the test was administered within the last year it can be included.


I have generated a report but the Dyslexia Index is blank – why is this?

See FAQ1 above. If you have a general ability score you can add this in by going to ‘Previous Report’ clicking on the edit icon next to the report and adding the standard score and name of the assessment before creating the report again.


Can I use just a selection of the short tests from the Portfolio?

To obtain a full report – graphical and narrative – all tests must be administered. A partial report will be the outcome of part-testing.


Do I have to administer all the sub-tests in one session?

The Portfolio has been constructed to give maximum information from a time-efficient test session. During the research phase sessions on average took 40 minutes. However, if for particular reasons this time is inappropriate for some pupils the session may be split. It is recommended that no longer than two weeks elapse between the two sessions.


How secure are the reports saved on the Report Generation Tool?

The reports are secure – only the person with the log-in and password for the individual computer on which they are stored can access them – however, it is recommended that they are saved to a different, secure location for additional security.


Can I re-run reports?

Yes. There is an edit facility under 'Previous Reports' and by clicking on this the teacher is able to correct any errors and re-run the report which will be saved separately.


I have a report with a Dyslexia Index A (no dyslexia) but the Ipsative report shows weaknesses in reading and spelling even though the standard score is average. Why is this?

The Ipsative graphic shows relative weaknesses and is based on the mean score for all the tests. So if the mean score is 117 (average) and the score for, let’s say, Single Word Reading, is 110 (also average) then this will show as a relative weakness.  You may decide not to take any further action in such a case

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