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What Are the SATs Papers?

The Standard Assessment Tests (SATs), also known as the National Curriculum tests, are compulsory standardised tests taken by all seven and eleven year olds enrolled in government-funded UK National Curriculum primary schools. Depending on level and year, SATs are used to assess teacher and school performance or as a means of student set placements. For more information about the SATs testing process, and to get authentic SATs papers practice, visit our SATs Papers Practice page.

Why Are the SATs Papers Important?

In addition to assessing teacher and school performance, SATs results are often used to differentiate which students are outperforming the rest. Thus, there is a level of pressure involved in achieving exceptional scores. The SATs are also often used to predict how well specific students will perform in their GCSE tests at the end of Year 11.  

What Subjects Comprise the SATs?  

The SATs papers are made up of a Maths test and an English Test. The English test can further be broken down into a Reading test and a Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation (SPAG) test. Each of these tests may be administered as one paper or in multiple sub-papers, depending on year and key stage. For the key stage 2 SATs given in Year 6, there is an optional Science paper used by the National Curriculum Department to gauge average year standards, but these results are not analysed by secondary schools.  

For more information about SATs English papers, visit our SATs English page. To find out more about the SATs Maths papers, visit our SATs Maths page.  

Who Takes the SATs?

SATs papers are administered twice throughout the primary school years. The papers administered at the end of Year 2 utilise key stage 1 (KS1) standards and are used mainly by school teachers to gauge student achievement levels and abilities. For more information about the KS1 SATs and all they entail, visit our KS1 SATs Practice page.  

The second SATs administration occurs at the end of Year 6 in the form of key stage 2 curriculum standards. These papers are taken more seriously as they are used by secondary schools for course placement and level gauging. For a more extensive overview of the KS2 SATs, visit our KS2 SATs Practice page.  

What Subjects Should My Year 6 Child Know for the KS2 SATs?

As noted above, the SATs papers consist of an English and a Maths test. The content included in the Maths test is divided into three papers. The following list details the subject areas that appear on each of the KS2 Maths papers:

Paper 1 focuses on arithmetic knowledge and includes:

  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percentages
  • Square numbers
  • Rounding numbers
  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

Paper 2 and Paper 3 comprise the reasoning section of the test and include problem-solving questions within the following areas:

  • Geometry
  • Ratios and proportions
  • Charts and tables
  • Units and measures
  • Shapes and their properties
  • Roman numerals
  • Statistics – mainly mean, median, and mode

The content included in the English test is likewise divided into three papers. The following list details the subject areas that appear on each of the KS2 English papers:

Paper 1 focuses on reading skills and includes three passages and a question section that assesses basic comprehension of structure, meaning, and purpose of the texts.

Papers 2 and 3 comprise the Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation (SPAG) test. The first paper includes a list of 20 misspelled words that must be corrected. The second paper consists of the following subject areas:

  • Parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, determiners, conjunctions, and clauses
  • Subjunctive verbs, passive and active voices, and subordinate clauses
  • Proper usage of punctuation, including capital letters, commas, apostrophes, colons, semi-colons, and hyphens
  • Suffixes, homophones, synonyms, and antonyms

For more information about the KS2 SATs papers, and for practice, visit our SATs Papers Practice page.

How Do I Interpret My Child's Results?  

As of 2016, National Curriculum levels are no longer used. SATs results are now given in the form of scale scores which rank student abilities in accordance with national standards. The national standard is set at 100, where the lowest possible scaled score is 80 and the highest possible scaled score is 120.  

The numerical, or raw, score of your child's entire SATs papers is used and converted to determine scale scores. You will also receive your child's raw score, which provides you with a composite of all his or her marks. Additionally, you will receive a letter mark which indicates if your child is performing up to par with national standards. For more information about these letter marks, visit the SATs Results section located in our SATs Papers Practice page.  

When Will I Receive Results? 

Results for KS1 and KS2 SATs vary in a few ways. KS1 results are marked by the classroom teacher and are not submitted to the government. For this reason, results aren't automatically provided. If you would like to see your child's results, you must consult your child's teacher. You will also be told whether or not your child is performing in alignment with curriculum standards as part of your child's end of the year assessment report.   

KS2 SATs are marked externally and are reported to the government. These results are available to all Year 6 students by the end of July.  

Are SATs Results Used by Secondary Schools? 

KS1 SATs scores are not reported to the government on a regular basis. The National Curriculum board may request these results occasionally in order to update its standards database, but, generally, KS1 SATs are seen more as an evaluation than a test.  

KS2 SATs results are reported to the government and are used by secondary schools to gauge your child's achievement level as well as to aid in course placement. Thus, it is important to prepare for them. 

2017 SATs Papers Schedule

The following table lists the dates in which the 2017 SATs will be administered to all UK National Curriculum schools:



Monday, May 8, 2017

English reading paper

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

English SPAG papers (punctuation and grammar test + spelling test)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Maths paper 1 (arithmetic)

Maths paper 2 (reasoning part 1)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Maths paper 3 (reasoning part 2)

*Note: These dates only apply to Year 6 students taking the KS2 SATs. All Year 2 students will be tested at various points throughout May 2017 in accordance with school and teacher preference.


How Can I Help My Child Prepare for the SATs?  

The key to succeeding on the SATs and receiving scores in alignment with national standards is practice. JobTestPrep is here to ensure that your child receives top-notch preparation. Visit our SATs Papers Practice page to get our extensive practice tests and study guides for all your SATs needs.  

SATs and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep.

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