What is Baseline Assessment?

Read more for lots of information on baseline assessments and how to set one!

Jo Kiddell avatar
Written by Jo Kiddell
Updated this week

What is baseline assessment?

Baseline assessment mode is a time-saving, stress-free alternative to traditional tests. It identifies each child’s learning gaps and ensures that their Doodle work programme is at just the right level for them. When a child first starts using Doodle, our clever algorithm, Proxima™, will ask them a series of questions to determine their current level and confidence. This helps Doodle to create them a unique work programme tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Baseline assessments are broken up into short sets of exercises.

We recommend using baseline assessments a couple of times a year. Additionally, If you think the programme is not at the right level for your child (they are finding it too easy or too difficult), you can reassess the account by using baseline assessment. If your child hasn't used Doodle for a while, we also recommend completing a baseline assessment,

The number of questions a child is asked in baseline assessment mode will depend on


How to set a baseline assessment from the Parent Dashboard

Please note: if you are a parent of a child with a school subscription you will be unable to set a baseline assessment from the Parent Dashboard and will need to speak with your child's class teacher.

  1. Head over to the Parent Dashboard and hover over Analyse and select Understanding

  2. Select your child's name down the left hand side

  3. Click Start New Baseline for X

If you see a red exclamation mark next to your child's name it indicates that Doodle is recommending that you start a new baseline assessment for this student.


How do baseline assessments work?

The number of questions a child is asked in baseline assessment mode will depend on their age and the programme they’re using:

In DoodleMaths:

  • Children with a starting age under the age of 4.5 will go through two sets of five questions

  • Children with a starting age of above 4.5 but under 5.5 will go through 4 sets of five questions

  • Children with a starting age 5.5-6.5 will be asked 6 sets of five questions

  • Children with a starting age 6.5-7.5 will be asked eight sets of five questions

  • Children age 7.5 and above will be asked ten sets of five questions

In DoodleEnglish and DoodleSpell:

  • Children under the age of 5.5 will have no assessment, but will start the work programme with a DA of 5.5

  • Children age 5.5-6.5 will be asked four sets of five questions

  • Children at 6.5 and above will be asked six sets of five questions

Children do not need to complete a whole baseline assessment in one go.

Children will see a purple baseline icon in their Learning Zone. When they tap on this the baseline assessment will begin.

At the beginning of the assessment children will confirm their DOB. If your child is working well below their actual age, we recommend setting their DOB to reflect this as this will help ensure that the initial questions are more appropriate for their needs.

They will then be asked to say how confident they feel in the subject. We recommend using the following as a guide:

  • Set it right next to Not confident if they’re working below their year group

  • Set it right next to Super confident if they're working above their year group

  • Set it in the middle if they are working at average in their year group.

Younger children may need to complete this stage with your support. It’s important that the confidence slider is set as accurately as possible so the assessment will begin at roughly the right level for a child. If it isn’t set correctly, they may initially be asked questions which are too challenging for them, which could shake their confidence.

As children complete the questions within the baseline assessment, they will not know if they have answered them correctly or incorrectly. Children will see their star gauge fill up as they progress through the questions and once the baseline assessment is complete, the stars will appear within their target gauge.

At the end of each set of questions children will be asked how easy or difficult they found the questions.

All of this information will work together to determine the personalised work programme that is created for the child.


How long does a baseline assessment take to complete?

The length of the assessment will vary depending on a child’s age and ability.

Younger children and/or those with a low confidence rating will complete a shorter assessment.

Children may be asked up to ten sets of five questions. These don’t need to be completed all at once and can be broken up over a number of days to fit with the recommended 10 minutes of Doodling a day, whether in school or at home.

After completing the first set of questions, they’ll be taken to Doodle’s hub, the Learning Zone. They can start the next set of exercises in the calibration by pressing the purple Baseline icon when they’re ready.


How to answer questions

Encourage children to work independently through the questions and have a go at anything they’re unsure about. Helping them may cause the programme to become too challenging.

Questions are unlikely to be at the right level to begin with, so don’t worry if they’re finding them too hard or too easy. The purpose of the assessment is to find their correct level.

If a child is finding the questions too easy:

  • Each set of questions will become more challenging until they’re at the right level for them

If a child is finding the questions too difficult:

  • encourage them to have a go or skip any questions they’re unsure about

  • if they take a long time to answer questions, take multiple attempts, answer a question incorrectly or skip any questions, Doodle will know that the level is too high. It’ll decrease the difficulty with each question set.


How will I know when a baseline assessment is completed?

Children will know when they’ve completed the assessment as the baseline icon will not appear as their next exercise in their Learning Zone.

You may find that a child's DoodleAge goes down after a baseline assessment - this is totally normal and to be expected. This will happen if the algorithm feels that your child needs to consolidate their learning on a few topics to ensure that those areas are fully embedded before moving them on to new learning, resulting in a stronger foundation for them to build their learning upon.


💡 Need more help? Feel free to contact our lovely customer support team by using the chat bubble in the bottom right corner of the screen, they will be happy to help!

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