Alternative Prior Attainment Baselines for Alps Connect at KS4

11th August 2023

This article is for ENGLAND ONLY

With no SATs taking place in 2020 or 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current Year 9 and 10 students will not have KS2 SAT scores.

Establishing a prior attainment baseline for students is important when using Alps Connect, as it allows students to be assigned to an Alps band and Minimum Expected Points/Grades (MEPs and MEGs) to be generated.  As a result of this, student progress against these MEPs and MEGs can be subsequently tracked across the Key Stage.

To support schools and colleges in tracking progress for these year groups, we have developed several alternative prior attainment options for KS4 Connect.

This article aims to introduce the different options we will make available enabling providers who currently use KS2 SAT scores to make informed decisions when choosing an alternative prior attainment baseline.

Our options include:

1. CAT4

Scores from these assessments are used currently as prior attainment baselines by many providers using Alps at KS4 both in the UK and internationally.  Currently providers who use this prior attainment option, convert CAT4 scores to KS2 scaled scores via an Alps conversion table.  These proxy KS2 scores are then uploaded as prior attainment into Connect, with students being assigned to an Alps band based on these scores.  From September, Alps users can to upload students’ CAT4 scores directly into Connect (without having to use a conversion table) and students are automatically assigned to Alps bands based on these scores. CAT4 scores are also displayed within Connect to support analysis.

2. MidYis

Scores from these assessments can be used to generate KS2 scaled scores in a similar way to CAT4. A MidYis conversion table can be obtained by contacting our Alps Customer Success Team at the following email address [email protected].

3. KS2 scores collated from Mock SAT papers

Although current Year 9 and 10 students did not sit KS2 SATs due the pandemic, some providers may already have KS2 scores for students in these year groups collated from mock SAT papers.  If this is the case, these providers may choose to input these scores directly into Connect to provide a prior attainment baseline.

4. Cohort Distribution Analysis

In the absence of KS2 scores, some providers may choose to allocate students a proxy score and Alps band using cohort distribution analysis.  This involves first ranking all the students within a cohort based on the assessment data available.  After deciding on the student ranking, an analysis of the distribution of students within bands for previous year groups is carried out.  By using this analysis alongside the student ranking, students can be allocated a proxy score and band.

To support providers with cohort distribution analysis, we have produced an excel spreadsheet and associated article that can be downloaded by scrolling to the bottom of this article.

For more information, you can also watch our support video below:


When carrying out cohort analysis, providers have the option to use a range of data including teacher assessments, KS1 scores, reading ages etc.

Download the Alps Cohort Distribution Tool here. 

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