Frequently Asked Questions

Where does our data come from?

APT has exclusive access to Atom Learning’s assessment bank of questions. This bank contains over 10,000 teacher-written (and reviewed) questions based on specific UK curriculum skills. Atom Learning has tested these questions with thousands of learners worldwide and scores are calculated by comparing a candidate’s performance against this large cohort of previous test takers.


Therefore we are confident that the quality of our assessment is significantly better than tests derived of 50-100 fixed questions, based on the opinion of a few test designers. APT uses a fully adaptive system which enables the test to select harder or easier questions based on the  candidate’s answers. This means that if the questions are too hard, the system selects easier content to gain greater insight into the candidate’s skill. Likewise, if they are too easy then harder and harder questions will occur. The assessment stops once it is confident it has an accurate measurement.

Does my child need to prepare for the test?

No specific preparation is required before taking the APT as the test is a measure of generic academic skills rather than learned knowledge; short term preparation will not significantly impact performance. However, it may be beneficial for candidates to familiarise themselves with the style of questions that are used in this kind of assessment to ensure they feel comfortable on their test day.


There are numerous sample papers available online for CAT-style assessments online; a quick internet search will find some free resources. Atom Learning provides practice questions and learning support resources for English, Verbal Reasoning, Maths and Non-Verbal Reasoning for students preparing for tests.

Can test results change over time?

Yes, but improving scores on this kind of assessment is not always straightforward. APT results will indicate how a candidate compares against their peers. As time goes by and a candidate’s skills improve, so too do their peers, so unless they are improving at a greater rate than other students in their year, their scores will appear largely the same.


One very useful aspect of the APT is the breakdown of specific sub-skills within subject areas. These indicate specific skills that can be worked on to improve performance in this kind of test. We recommend discussing APT results with an academic consultant and/or tutor to focus your time on the areas that need the most support.

How do I register for the APT?

If you are a parent or guardian wishing to assess your child, then head to our Parents page to learn about how you can register directly for APT.


If you are an organisation working with families and their educational journeys then head to our Partnerships page to learn about how your consultancy, agency or tutoring firm can use APT to support your clients and provide you with robust and independent test data.