PUPILS are “guessing” their way through new national standardised tests because they are too difficult, teachers have warned.

The suggestion is contained in a range of views gathered by the Scottish Government following the introduction of the assessments.

One of the responses, released under freedom of information legislation, states: “Some children became uninterested and just started to click random answers, particularly in the reading and writing assessments. We noted children who it was apparent were guessing. One child did exceptionally well with his guesses.”

Another said: “The majority of the children just guessed at the answers, not giving a true reflection of their ability.”

A third teacher noted there was a “suspicion that guessing got a lot of children through”.

Others highlighted the difficulty of the assessments for children in P1 in both numeracy and literacy.

One teacher said: “Many questions in the numeracy are beyond the expected stage for them with language they are still unfamiliar with.

“In literacy, the texts they are expected to read on their own are way beyond anything we would expect at that stage.”

The feedback comes after the Scottish Government introduced new standardised national assessments for all pupils in P1, P4, P7 and S3.

The tests were introduced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a response to concerns over falling standards of literacy and numeracy and a lack of consistent data across the country.

However, critics argue the move to test pupils, particularly in the first year of primary school, is counterproductive.

One of the responses suggested some teachers were ignoring the assessments completely.

It said: “One school chose not to do P1s since the children were not ready for it and didn’t have capacity to do it.”

There were concerns over the length of time the assessments took, which can be as much as 50 minutes, as well the level of computer skills required.

One teacher said: “P1 pupils need good competent keyboard skills to complete the assessments, such as click and drag, do not double click and scroll.”

Another added: “Some children were overwhelmed by the length of the tests.

“Some pupils in P4 became upset during the assessments despite reassurances. Therefore were given breaks to support.”

There were also concerns about the different approaches taken in different schools.

One response said: “Some teachers have read aloud passages to the children and then they have answered the questions.

“If some teachers are reading passages to children and others are not, how will the results be truly realistic?”

However, there was also positive feedback on the tests, with one teacher of 17 years’ experience saying: “Pupils in my schools where I facilitated these assessments all enjoyed doing them. There was no stress involved as it was not built up into anything high stakes beforehand.

“I love to see them so engaged and trying their best. I also find the information invaluable to my teaching and the pupils’ learning.”

Another said: “Most children found it quite enjoyable. No-one was particularly distressed by it.”