Python Practical Assessment (End of KS3 or start of GCSE)

Taking over a new year 10 GCSE computer science class? Wanting to find out your current classes Python programming skills? This resource contains a list of practical Python programming challenges which test key aspects of the KS3 national curriculum for text-based programming language.

Pupils are tested on:

  • Mathematical operators
  • Data types
  • Dealing with strings
  • Loops
  • If statements
  • Logical operators
  • Random numbers
  • Data structures (lists) and
  • Sub programs

The pupils are given a worksheet which contains 11 Python programming challenges. They need to work through them attempting the programs and sections they can. If they don’t know how to do something then ask them to move on and try to complete as much of the challenges as they can. This allows you to find out the gaps in their current knowledge.

The results are then entered into a an Excel spreadsheet using a simple system of 0 (not met the criteria) or 1 (met the criteria) that is then converted into a list showing you the pupils current understanding displayed as “Secure” or “Developing”. You can then use this to help you plan future lessons to fill the gaps in their skills.
This practical assessment can be used at the end of Key Stage 3 to help you and pupils when selecting their options or it can be used at the start of their GCSE to assess which areas need to be recapped.

This resource also includes the completed Python programs for all the challenges allowing you to see a possible answer for each challenge making this easier for non-specialists and NQTs who want to have a little more assistance as they build their confidence in Python programming.

Learn To Teach Python Programming With Confidence
Nichola Lacey (author of the very popular book “Python by Example: Learning to Program in 150 Challenges”) is running some training courses at various locations around the UK, to help teachers learn how to teach Python programming confidently. Not only does it teach you how to program in Python but it also gives you a range of tools you can use to teach it effectively in your classroom and includes lots of practical advice and activities you can use straight away with your classes. Book your space today at



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Created: Sep 10, 2019

Updated: Jan 3, 2020


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