GL Scoring Explained

Introduction to GL

Originally founded by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), with whom they continue to work today, GL Assessment has been part of the Granada Learning Group since 2000. Renowned for their rigour and high quality, GL Assessment tests are used every year by over 85% of all UK and N. Ireland primary and post primary schools. You may be familiar with your child taking the Progress in English or Progress in Mathematics assessments in primary school which are GL Assessment products. GL Assessment is the largest independent provider of educational assessments in the UK and N. Ireland. With over thirty years of experience in this field, GL Assessment enjoys an established, trusted reputation for high-quality assessment resources and services.

The Actual GL Test in Northern Ireland

The GL Test consists of two papers and the child takes both on the same day, usually a Saturday in November and my best guess is that this year’s date will be 17th November 2018 – however this date will be confirmed by GL around May 2018.

The first paper, assessing English, will last 50 minutes and the second paper, assessing Mathematics, will last 45 minutes.

Both papers will be in a multiple choice format and the children will record their answers on a separate answer sheet which is then marked to derive the child’s result.

The Results

The picture above shows a sample results sheet and so, let’s break this down and explain the various areas in detail.


This is given at the top and is simply there to identify the child and confirm their name, date-of-birth, pupil number etc. As well as the parents being reassured that this is indeed the results for their child, this information is necessary when the results are sent off on the post-primary transfer form.

ENGLISH / IRISH STANDARDISED AGE SCORE (top left of outcome table)

This will be between 69 – 141 and it will be the standardised score that the child achieved in the English paper, where 100 is the mean (average).

MATHS STANDARDISED AGE SCORE (middle left of outcome table)

This will be between 69 – 141 and it will be the standardised score that the child achieved in the English paper, where 100 is the mean (average).

COMBINED TOTAL (bottom left of outcome table)

This will be between 138 – 282  is simply calculated by adding ‘English / Irish Standardised Score’ + ‘Maths Standardised Score‘.

So, in the picture example above, the child got 120 in English/Irish and 100 in Maths, so therefore they received 220 (120 + 100) in their Combined Total.

But don’t be thinking that your child should be getting anywhere near 282 as this is an absolute maximum is almost impossible!

OVERALL GRADE (top right of outcome table)

Along with the scores, your child will receive an overall grade of  A, B1, B2, C1, C2 or D.

The grades will be allocated on the basis of the Combined Total score and to offer an indication, the grade boundaries in 2017 were given as below. However, this was last year’s boundaries and this year’s might be wider.

  • Grade A : Combined Total 234+
  • Grade B1 : Combined Total 229 – 233
  • Grade B2 : Combined Total 224 – 228
  • Grade C1 : Combined Total 219 – 223
  • Grade C2 : Combined Total 213 – 218
  • Grade D : Combined Total 138 – 212

*Please note, it’s not possible to indicate exactly what actual mark is necessary for an ‘A’ for this year or future years because it will all depend on the average score for that paper.

COHORT PERCENTILE (bottom right of outcome table)

Cohort Percentiles range from <30 to 99+ with 50 as the mean.

This Cohort Percentile is also based on the Combined Total score.

This particular element of the results (the Cohort Percentile) often causes some confusion as it’s not a term you’d often hear or even use during the practice tests in school.  The best way to describe this is that it’s a bit like percentages but percentages are based on raw marks whereas percentiles are based on standardised marks.

You may be familiar with percentiles when your child’s growth and weight was being recorded and plotted on the growth charts in their little, red books, and you would’ve been informed of their percentile at that time.

So, let’s take some examples in simple terms to try and understand this more:

  • If Matthew achieved a cohort percentile of 50, this means that he did better than 50% of the other candidates who took the test.
  • If Matthew achieved a cohort percentile of 35, this means that he did better than 35% of the other candidates who took the test.

Age Impact On Standardised Scores

GL explain that an age allowance operates within the scoring of the assessment and they say that it’s one of the reasons why they’ll report the results as Standardised Age Scores on which the grades will be based. No further, detailed information is provided, but GL assure parents that in calculating the Standardised Age Score, the age of the child is taken into account but no child will lose marks because of his/her age.

Requesting A Remark

GL advise that the latest date for receipt of requests for a remark is the 9th February ’18 (2pm) and this would be done via the GL Assessment Centre.


Child In P6? More About The Transfer Tutor Online Quizzes

The Transfer Tutor is an online site dedicated to providing fun and interactive quizzes aligned to the AQE / GL specifications.  All quizzes are broken down into manageable topics and can be done on any mobile or tablet device, so is an great way for kids to prepare for the test.  The quizzes have been a great success with parents and kids and has already received over one hundred 5* Facebook Reviews, so definitely worth a look.   To give you a feel for the quizzes, start the free quiz by clicking on the button below.  I hope you enjoy and to get access to over 30 quizzes in Maths and English click here for membership options.



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