GL Assessment launches the UK’s first digital, adaptive spelling test


GL Assessment has today published a termly, standardised spelling test which is designed to help teachers measure their pupils’ spelling skills against a national benchmark. The first digital, adaptive spelling test of its kind, the New Group Spelling Test is designed for pupils aged 6 – 14 years and is suitable for use on a PC or tablet.

The new test comes in two parts: a single word section, which is made up of five or six spelling rules; and a spelling in context section, which assesses a variety of different spelling rules using sentence completion tasks. For each year group, tests feature a range of spelling rules, common exception words and curriculum-linked words, and the content reflects what children should be able to spell either because they have learned the word or they can apply a rule that has been taught.

The adaptive nature of the test means that questions are calibrated to match the ability each pupil demonstrates. This helps pupils with a low spelling attainment as they can be tested with words at a lower level than that determined by age, as well as those with high spelling attainment as they can be tested with words that better reflect their skills.

St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Stoke-on-Trent took part in the trialling of the assessment. Year 6 teacher, Donna Nelson, explains: “It’s really important especially now that spelling is tested as part of SPAG in the Y6 SATs that we know that children are working at an age appropriate level. Gauging ‘spelling ages’ regularly is essential.”

Having the final assessment on a tablet also appealed. “Many of the pupils find an assessment on a tablet quite fun and almost like a game, and they are much more receptive to this in comparison with a traditional paper test. This was particularly true for boys and pupils with SEN,” Donna adds.

Lucy Hadfield, Associate Publisher at GL Assessment, said: “There is a drive to raise standards in literacy all across the UK and spelling is a vital part of this. The New Group Spelling Test will provide teachers with current curriculum-aligned content and reports that include implications for teaching and learning, and the adaptive element will ensure that pupils at all stages will remain engaged.”

Teachers can use the New Group Spelling Test with the new termly edition of the New Group Reading Test, providing a reliable and consistent way of measuring spelling and reading termly. Further information can be found at


About GL Assessment

GL Assessment is the largest provider of formative assessments to UK schools. It specialises in literacy, numeracy, reasoning, SEN and attitudinal assessments, and has relationships with over two thirds of UK primary and secondary schools.