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At the beginning of each academic year pupils at Colston's take the above tests. What are these tests and what is their purpose?

MidYIS (the Middle Years Information System) provides new and innovative tests widely used in the UK and elsewhere, forming a baseline for Value Added measures in secondary schools. Currently operating in over 1500 secondary schools these baseline tests for Year 7 give predictions and value-added measures to Key Stage 3 and GCSE subjects. All HMC (The Headmasters' and Mistresses' Conference) Schools take part in these tests enabling Colston's to map its profile against other Independent Schools as well as against schools nationally.

YELLIS (YEar 11 Information System) is a value-added monitoring system that provides a wide range of performance indicators for students aged 14-16. Pupils in Year 10 sit these tests at Colston's and give predictions to GCSE.

The Advanced Level Information System (ALIS) provides performance indicators for post-16 students across all sectors of education and includes analysis of A level, AS level, Advanced GNVQ exams and now AVCEs. Alis is the original member of the family of value-added monitoring systems run at the Curriculum, Evaluation and Management Centre (CEM Centre) at Durham University.  It has grown from only 12 schools in the northeast of England in 1983 to cover over a third of all A-Level entries in the UK and international schools sitting UK exams in this present year.

The value-added approach provides fair comparisons between the progress made by students and the large sample of similar students in the Alis project. In order to make these comparisons, all students need to be measured against a common baseline representing their ability before starting their post-16 courses. The average GCSE score is the baseline for Alis.  This has repeatedly been found to be the best single indicator of post-16 performance. For students with no GCSE results, there is also an alternative baseline, the Test of Developed Ability (TDA).