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How they work

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World Class Tests were first conceived of by the Department for Education in London, UK. They cover Mathematics and Problem Solving and are designed to provide a challenging and fun assessment of the most able 8-14 year-old students.

The approach in World Class Tests is to focus on a student's mastery of the curriculum typically taught in primary and early secondary schools. Each test requires students to apply their Mathematical and Problem Solving awareness to solve unfamiliar problems. Students are expected to communicate and explain their solutions.

About World Class Tests

Students can take World Class Tests in either Problem Solving or Mathematics, or both. The problem solving questions use contexts drawn from science, design technology, and mathematics; they require high level problem solving skills rather than subject knowledge. This means that students do not need to have followed a specific curriculum to do well at the problem solving test. Students need some prior knowledge for the mathematics test, but they will need to be able to apply this knowledge to new situations and use deductive reasoning to solve unfamiliar problems.

Mathematics and Problem Solving

Each test has a paper component and a computer component. Students must take both components of the test. 8-11 year-old students have 60 minutes for each component. 12-14 year-olds have 75 minutes.

Structure of World Class Tests

Students are awarded Pass, Merit or Distinction. Students who do not reach the level required for a Pass award will be given a Certificate of Participation.


Students are awarded certificates to record their achievement on the tests. Certificates can either be printed at your school or ordered from us.

Grades and Certificates

World Class Tests are taken in English. Students will need to be able to read and understand the questions and write their answers and explanations in the same language as the question papers. World Class Tests are also available in Chinese. Please contact us for more details.

Test Language

Students need to apply previous mathematics knowledge to new situations and use deductive reasoning to solve unfamiliar problems. There are six major categories of functions, processes and concepts within the mathematics World Class Tests:

  1. Numeric

  2. Algebraic - algebraic graphs (age 12-14 group only)

  3. Spatial

  4. Geometric

  5. Measures

  6. Handling data.


Students completing the 12-14 tests may use a calculator.


Here is an example of a mathematics 12-14 question. Students are asked to work out the sequence in the pattern of shapes then, using an algebraic or other efficient methodology, work out which shapes would correspond with the values 105 and 270.


Questions are drawn from science, design technology and mathematics, but require high-level problem solving skills rather than subject knowledge. Task type is the most important aspect of assessing problem solving skills within World Class Tests. These types are:

  1. Design or plan

  2. Select, evaluate and recommend

  3. Model, estimate, predict

  4. Critique and review

  5. Deduce from data, fit constraints

  6. Discover or infer relationships

  7. Translate


Here is an example of a problem solving question for 8-11 year-old students. The problem consists of two screens and students must work through both. On the first screen, students are expected to explore the relationship between mass of a fruit/vegetable and the amount of water displaced by the same fruit/vegetable. They also observe whether the fruit/vegetable floats or sinks.


In the example given, the carrot has a mass of 80kg and it displaces 70cm3 of water. It sinks.


Based on these observed values and relationships, students then move to Page 2 of the problem, completing the table of data based on relationships they have inferred from their data.

Problem Solving

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