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Key Stage 1 SATs

This academic year, the Key Stage 1 SATs took place in May 2022.

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 1 with some example questions for each paper.

Don’t forget that Oxford Owl provides lots of fun games and useful activities to help you build your child’s confidence in maths and English. Try using these regularly to help prepare your child for the SATs.

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

 

Introduction

What tests do children take at the end of Year 2?

There are papers in:

    • Reading (2 papers, 40 marks, about 70 minutes).
    • Mathematics (2 papers, 60 marks, about 55 minutes).
    • English grammar, punctuation and spelling (2 papers, 40 marks, about 35 minutes).

Your child’s school will decide when in May to administer the tests. Tests are not strictly timed and children will be given breaks between the papers.

How are the tests marked?

At Key Stage 1, the teachers in your child’s school will mark the SATs papers. The mark your child gets in each test is called the ‘raw score’ (out of 40 for Reading, out of 60 for Mathematics, out of 40 for 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.

Are there any example questions I can look at?

Yes. The Department for Education has produced some free sample papers for the Key Stage 1 SATs tests that you can download.

 

Key Stage 1 Reading

There are two papers in the Reading test, each worth 20 marks. Each may include fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Children answer comprehension questions to show their understanding of the texts. There are two papers to complete, with the second paper being slightly more challenging. Each test will last approximately 30 – 40 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 others, they will need to write their own answer (short and extended responses).

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

Try these activities:

 

Key Stage 1 Mathematics

There are two papers in the Mathematics test. One focuses on simple arithmetic and is worth 25 marks. One focuses on mathematical reasoning and is worth 35 marks. In each paper, questions appear in order of difficulty.

In Paper 1: arithmetic, children answer 25 context-free questions to test their fluency with number and calculation skills. The test lasts approximately 20 minutes, so children with good mental arithmetic skills will have a better chance of completing all the questions.

In Paper 2: reasoning, children answer questions to test their understanding of number, measures, geometry and statistics. The teacher will read the first 5 questions and children must listen and write their answer in their booklet. After this, children have approximately 30 minutes to read and answer the remaining questions in the booklet. Children may use rulers, but are not allowed calculators or any other number apparatus.

What kinds of questions are there?

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

17 – 6 = [ ]

[ ] + 5 = 9

8 x 10 = [ ]

In Paper 2: 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, draw, or complete a table to give their answer (constructed responses), sometimes in a problem-solving context. In some questions, children can gain an extra mark for showing their working.

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

Try these activities:

    Key Stage 1 English grammar, punctuation, and spelling

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

    In Paper 1: 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. Children must spell the missing word correctly, including any necessary capital letters or apostrophes, to gain a mark. The test will last approximately 15 minutes.

    In Paper 2: questions, children are given a booklet containing various questions that assess their understanding of grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. The test will last approximately 20 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).

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

    Try these activities:

    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.