What is the InCAS assessment?

The InCAS primary assessment is an innovative, computer-adaptive assessment designed to help teachers identify each individual’s development and personalise learning. InCAS can be used to monitor the progress of each individual child from age 5 to 11 in key developmental areas, which research shows are linked to later academic outcomes. InCAS offers schools the flexibility of choosing when to assess, as well as a robust alternative to measuring progress without using National Curriculum levels.

The assessment is computer-based and taken individually by each pupil. As the assessment is adaptive, each pupil sees a unique assessment and is challenged at a level that is suitable for them, making the assessment enjoyable, age-appropriate, engaging and time-efficient.

What’s unique about CEM assessments?

CEM’s assessments are all adaptive. This means that questions are tailored to the individual pupil, so the assessment is not too difficult or too easy. Each child is presented with a personalised assessment that is suited to them, and can be carried out in an engaging and time-efficient way.

How does the InCAS assessment work?

InCAS is a flexible assessment for measuring progress through primary. You can choose to do the assessment once at the start of KS1 and then at end of KS2; once each year between KS1 and KS2; or during any combination of selected years to suit your assessment practice.

The assessment contains six distinct modules, so you can choose which parts of the assessment are appropriate at which times. You do not have to complete the entire assessment in one session. Each child completes the assessment independently, working at a computer and guided by audio instructions, so it can be administered to a whole class at once.

Each module takes approximately 20 minutes and is made up of a range of subsections creating a comprehensive and well-rounded profile of each individual pupil. Modules include:

  • Reading – including word recognition, word decoding and comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Maths – including counting, place value, fractions, patterns, problem-solving, measures, shape and space and data handling
  • Mental arithmetic – including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

InCAS also supports the principle that each child develops and learns in different ways and at different rates and therefore incorporates an added individual dimension with the assessment of:

  • Developing ability – measures the current potential for learning and is determined by evaluating a combination of their language acquisition and non-verbal ability
  • Attitudes – attitudes towards reading, maths and school.

What can the InCAS assessment tell me?

The InCAS assessment allows you to evaluate pupil performance at various points throughout Key Stage 1 or 2, and to view information in the context of national average performance. The assessment can help to identify more able pupils, or pupils who may need additional support. This can inform suitable interventions or further investigation.

You can also measure pupil progress over the Primary phase to inform school improvement planning. Age-related assessment data provides contextual and comparative information to teachers, offering a view of progress without the National Curriculum levels framework.

InCAS assessment reporting and feedback includes:

  • Nationally standardised and age-equivalent scores – comparing pupil performance to average performance across the UK and by age.
  • Comparison charts showing the range of scores within a class, year group or across the school as a whole.
  • Progress charts and Longitude charts linking InCAS assessments together over the years to show pupil progress.
  • Predictions tables at end of key stages.

Data can also be imported into your school’s management information system.

Example feedback for the InCAS assessment:

Age standardised scores

Age standardised scores offer an insight into pupil performance in the context of a nationally representative sample, in each section of the assessment.

Scores charts

Scores charts let you see the full profile of each child. The cognitive profile charts allow you to compare the age equivalent scores for an individual child across each section of the assessment.

Pupil progress charts

Pupil progress charts show a summary of individual pupil’s scores and progress over multiple years.

Comparison charts

Comparison charts can show the range of scores across a class or cohort, and can be viewed over time.

How can I purchase the InCAS assessment?

Find out more about how you can purchase the InCAS primary assessment at the Costs and Registration Forms Page.

You might also be interested in CEM’s assessments in Early Years:

Are you an all-through school? CEM also has assessments for the secondary and Post-16 years.


Get in touch for a chat and a short demonstration of our assessments.

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