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Key Stage 2 SATs

The National Curriculum tests or SATs can seem like a daunting part of your child’s education, but if you know what to expect, they don’t need to be scary for you or your child!

Below you will find all the answers to parents’ most common questions about the SATs for Key Stage 2 with some example questions for each paper *.

Jump to: Introduction | Reading | Mathematics | English grammar, punctuation and spelling

Introduction

What tests do children take at the end of Year 6?

There are papers in:
Reading (1 paper, 50 marks, 60 minutes)
Mathematics (3 papers, 110 marks, 110 minutes)
English grammar, punctuation and spelling (2 papers, 70 marks, 60 minutes)
Tests will take place in May. Tests are strictly timed, but children will be given breaks between the papers.

How are the tests marked?

At Key Stage 2, the SATs papers are marked externally by trained markers. The mark your child gets in each test is called the ‘raw score’ (out of 50 for Reading, out of 110 for Mathematics, out of 70 for English grammar, punctuation and spelling). This ‘raw score’ for each test will be translated into a ‘scaled score’, which will show how well your child has done against the expected standard. Children need to achieve a scaled score of 100 to meet the expected standard. Above 100 means they are exceeding the expected standard; below 100 means they are still working towards the expected standard. You will receive your child’s raw score and scaled score for each test and confirmation of whether or not they have achieved the expected standard.

Will my child be given a Level?

No. The system of levelling related to the previous National Curriculum and has been replaced with standardised scaled scores. The Department for Education has said that the expected national standard score of 100 at Key Stage 2 will be broadly equivalent to a Level 4b under the previous system.

Are there any example questions I can look at?

Yes. The Department for Education has produced some free sample papers for the KS2 SATs that you can download.

Key Stage 2 Reading

What happens in the Reading test?

There is only one paper in the Reading test, worth 50 marks. The paper will cover a selection of texts with between 1500 and 2300 words for children to read, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Children will be given a reading booklet and a separate answer booklet containing comprehension questions about each text. Easier texts will appear first in the reading booklet. The test will last one hour.

What kinds of questions are there?

There will be a mixture of question types including 1-mark, 2-mark and 3-mark questions. In some questions, your child will need to choose an answer (selected responses) by ticking, drawing lines or circling. For some, they will need to write their own answer (short or extended constructed responses). The length of the answer expected will be shown by the space given for the answer, e.g. a short line or box for one-word answers, a few lines for a sentence or two, or a large box for a detailed answer to explain an opinion.

Examples of selected response questions include:

Multiple choice, e.g.
Where would you be most likely to see this text? Tick one of the options below.
Circle the correct option to complete each sentence below.
Ranking/ordering, e.g.
Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story.
Matching, e.g.
Match the events below to the year in which they happened.
Labelling, e.g.
Label the text to show the title.

Examples of short constructed response questions include:

Find and copy, e.g.
Find and copy one word on page 9 that suggests Malone feels part of the team of explorers.
Short response, e.g.
How did Anousheh’s trip into space make history?
What is the tremendous monster in the poem?

Examples of extended constructed response questions include:

Open-ended response, e.g.
Look at the paragraph beginning ‘Once upon a time …’. How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph? Explain fully, referring to the text in your answer.
Based on what you have read, what does the last paragraph suggest might happen to the explorers next? Use evidence from this paragraph to support your prediction.

What can I do to help my child be ready for the test?

Try these activities:

Key Stage 2 Mathematics

What happens in the Mathematics test?

There are three papers in the Mathematics test. The first focuses on arithmetic and is worth 40 marks. The other two papers focus on mathematical reasoning and are worth 35 marks each. In each paper the questions appear in order of difficulty.

In Paper 1: arithmetic, children answer context-free calculations to test their confidence across the range of mathematical operations. The majority of questions are worth 1 mark, but 2 marks will be available for long multiplication and long division. In the test booklet, space is provided for children to use for working out, but they should write their answers in the answer box. Children have 30 minutes to complete the test, so children with good mental arithmetic skills will have a better chance of answering all the questions.

In Paper 2 and Paper 3: reasoning, children answer questions to test their mathematical fluency and skills in problem solving and reasoning with number, measures, geometry and statistics. Children have 40 minutes to complete each paper. Some questions are set in a context and some prompt children to show their method to gain extra marks.

Children may use a ruler, angle measurer or protractor, and a mirror, but are not allowed to use calculators in any of the papers.

What kinds of questions are there?

In Paper 1: arithmetic, all the questions will be context-free calculations, for example:

979 + 100 = [ ]
472 – 9 = [ ]
1.28 x 100 = [ ]
630 ÷ 9 = [ ]
42 = [ ]
20% of 1500 = [ ]
1/4 x 1/8 = [ ]
234,897 – 45,996 = [ ]
20% of 1500 = [ ]

In Paper 2 and Paper 3: reasoning, there will be a mixture of question types. In some, your child will need to choose an answer (selected responses). For others, they will need to write their own answer (constructed responses), sometimes from a problem-solving context.

Examples of selected response questions include multiple choice, matching and true/false questions.

Examples of constructed response questions include:

Constrained question, e.g
Look at this number: 23,451.96
Write the digit that is in the hundreds place.
Write the digit that is in the hundredths place.
Less constrained question, e.g.
On Saturday Lara read 2/5 of her book. On Sunday she read the other 90 pages to finish the book. How many pages are there in Lara’s book? Show your method.

What can I do to help my child be ready for the test?

Try these activities:

Key Stage 2 English grammar, punctuation and spelling

What happens in the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test?

There are two papers in the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test. The first paper includes questions on grammar, punctuation and vocabulary and is worth 50 marks. The second paper is an aural spelling test worth 20 marks. In each paper the questions appear in order of difficulty.

In Paper 1: questions, children are given a booklet containing various questions that assess their understanding of grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. The test will last 45 minutes.

In Paper 2: spelling, children are given an answer booklet containing 20 sentences with a missing word in each sentence. For each sentence, your child’s teacher will read aloud the missing word, then the whole sentence, and then the missing word again. Children must spell the missing word correctly, including any necessary capital letters, apostrophes and hyphens, to gain a mark. The test will last approximately 15 minutes.

What kinds of questions are there?

There will be a mixture of question types. In some, your child will need to choose an answer (selected responses). For some, they will need to write their own answer (constructed responses).

Examples of selected response questions include:

Multiple choice, e.g.
Tick the sentence that must end with a question mark.
Underline all the conjunctions in the sentence below.
Circle the two words in the sentence below that are synonyms of each other.
Matching, e.g.
Draw a line to match each prefix to the correct word so that it makes a new word.

Examples of constructed response questions include:

Complete / correct / rewrite, e.g.
Rewrite the sentence below, adding a subordinate clause.
Write, e.g.
Write a sentence using the word cover as a noun.
Explain, e.g.
Explain how the use of commas changes the meaning in the two sentences below.

What can I do to help my child be ready for the test?

Try these activities:

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* Example questions are taken from the National curriculum assessments: test frameworks and National curriculum assessments: 2016 sample materials published by the Standards and Testing Agency on www.gov.uk in June 2015.


Primary assessment


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