A mean average which gives weighting to your top performers

API – Academic Performance Index

The Academic Performance Index is the ideal solution for schools to highlight their top performers’ achievements rather be dragged down by league tables.

What is the API and how does it work?

Private Schools in the UK apply for and achieve a unique Index Score (API) based on the level of their students at 11+ or 13+ or 16+. Students sit the British Universities & Secondary Schools Achievement Tests (BUSSATs) to help place them within the scoring system. Their results are computed into an Academic Performance Index score which are compared with the same tests taken by international candidates seeking placements at those schools.

Each test taker has his or her results computed into an Individual Academic Performance Index Score, which gives a relative measure of overall academic ability. (Individual subject achievements are also available to both schools and applicants).

Schools, coaching centres and colleges are then able to specify the range of academic ability acceptable to them, as measured by their own Index Score. By choosing to have your unique API, you have at their fingertips a set of strong and reliable tests securely delivered to the students.

The BUSSATs tests are a powerful tool to help you assess your potential and your current students’ abilities and academic level.

BUSSATs help you to:

  • Track the added value of all new entrants.
  • Have consistent test standards for International and Domestic students and use BUSSATs as a value added measure of the school’s teaching progress.
  • Assist with visa applications
  • Have ease of marking – time efficient whilst relieving pressure on admissions team…….as well as creating stronger links between the international admissions teams and the academic departments.
  • Offer the tests remotely at BUSSATs test centres – if not at your own school/centre.
  • Identify the high Maths and Science achievers.
  • Clarify students’ ability to work/study in English.
  • Focus on expectations and entrance criteria.
  • Gain sense of being ‘in touch’ with the rest of the world.
  • Have results analysed section by section and delivered to you to determine applicants’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify the high Maths and Science achievers.

Details for Participating Schools

How to get rated on the Academic Performance Index (API)

The British Universities & Secondary Schools Achievement Tests (BUSSATs) measure students’ academic abilities in English, Maths and General Knowledge at 11+, 13+ and 16+.

The tests offer over 250 multi-choice questions, delivered over two-hours using technology provided by PEARSON VUE via your school’s computer laboratory, or in a proctored environment using laptops and i-pads.

The tests have been written by Academic Directors of top UK Private Schools and trialled internationally for four years.

To achieve an API score, schools must submit a minimum of 50 students in one of the following age categories:

  • Junior Achievers (students under 12 years of age on September 1st each year)
  • Mid-Years Achievers (students under 14 on September 1st each year)
  • High School Graduate Achievers (students under 17 on September 1st each year)

Schools may choose to submit candidates in two or more categories, depending on which age of students they wish to attract from the international market.

The scores of these students are then calculated to form an Index Score.

Schools may submit more than 50 candidates per age group, but only the top 50 scores will be used to calculate the Index Score.


Using the API Score to Guide Your International Agents

International Agents and Coaching Centres test their applicants using the same BUSSATs tests. Both you and they will be able to compare results before a student makes an entry application to your school.

Agents are provided with a candidate’s raw results in English (covering comprehension & grammar), Maths (at basic, advanced and super-advanced levels) and General Knowledge (covering history, geography, science, current affairs and sports knowledge), along with their ADJUSTED SCORES.

ADJUSTED SCORES, divided by 10, will provide a student’s individual Index Score, allowing comparison with the School’s Index Score to be made.

A school may use the API Score in its international marketing material to demonstrate to international agents the academic quality of your school. The school can advise agents of the “boundaries” (plus or minus various % points) which you expect incoming students to achieve.


Additional Data about the International Student Applicant is available to a School or agent, on request*

  1. The student’s raw scores in English, Maths (basic, advanced, super advanced) and General Knowledge.
  2. Breakdown, section by section, illuminating a student’s particular strengths or weaknesses eg. comprehension, grammatical ability, maths competencies, or general knowledge strengths in history, geography, science, current affairs and sports knowledge.
  3. Their approach to taking the test. Our data shows the time taken on various sections, questions skipped and general ability in the test environment.

*Additional data admin charges will apply.


    1) The marks for each student in each subject are added up and translated into a percentage.

    2) The percentage totals for each student are accumulated, providing a RAW SCORE for each student.

    3) If a student scores more than 80% in English, 80% in General Knowledge, and 75% overall in Maths (‘The Benchmark Scores’) they earn 10 BONUS POINTS per % point in excess of the Benchmark Score. These are added to the RAW SCORE to provide an ADJUSTED SCORE.

    Two steps are then used to calculate a School’s API Score Number:

    1) The 50 candidates have their ADJUSTED SCORES added together.

    2) The figure is divided by 500

    The resultant number is the API INDEX SCORE NUMBER.


    50 x Student Raw Scores = 12,250

    25 students each score 100 BONUS POINTS= 2500


    Divided by 500 to provide API INDEX SCORE OF 29.5

    ** A similar calculation is made for each individual student. The student’s adjusted score is divided by 10 (1/50th) so that the School Index Score and the Individual’s ‘Index Score’ can be calibrated and compared.

An Anglo Schools International Services Ltd initiative in association with Pearson VUE.

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