KS2 Science SATs: Sample Questions



KS2 SATs are mandatory tests for all state schools in England. They are designed to give an accurate reflection of the ability of the UK’s children as a cohort. English and Maths SATs are administered to all Year 6 children. Progress in other areas, such as writing and Science are assessed through data collected by the class teacher. However, a selection of schools will also be asked to administer science sampling papers.


The current sampling consists of three separate papers which are based on the three key areas of Science: biology, chemistry and physics. The papers are expected to last 25 minutes each, and each paper is awarded around 22 marks. Children will answer questions based on their studies throughout KS1 and KS2.


Below are some examples of the types of question your child may be asked in the KS2 Science papers, based on the KS2 teaching programs.






  • Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers.
  • Identify the requirements of plants for life and growth and how they vary from plant to plant.
  • Complete the life cycle of a plant.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 1


Living Things and Their Environment:


  • Group a selection of living things according to certain characteristics.
  • Describe environments and habitats and their features.
  • Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.
  • Describe the differences in the life cycle of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect or a bird.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 2


Animals, including humans:


  • Identify and explain correct nutrition and relate it to food types.
  • Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.
  • Identify the elements of a food chain or web.
  • Identify the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 3


Evolution and Inheritance:


  • Show an understanding that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 4






  • Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.
  • Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 5


States of Matter:


  • Observe how some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C).
  • Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 6


Properties and Changes of Materials:


  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets.
  • Explain that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
  • Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials including metals, wood and plastic.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 7






  • Recognise that we need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light.
  • Describe the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.
  • Describe the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 8


Forces and Magnets:


  • Explain that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance.
  • Describe magnets as having two poles.
  • Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 9




  • Describe the patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it*.
  • Explain how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 10




  • Label a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers.
  • Explain how a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit.
  • Give reasons for variations in how components function, including brightness of bulbs, loudness of buzzers and on / off position of switches.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 11




  • Explain how unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.
  • List the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction that act between moving surfaces.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 12


Earth and Space:



  • Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.
  • Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.
  • Explain the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 13


Related posts:

Sample Maths Questions and Answers: Arithmetic

Sample Maths Questions and Answers: Reasoning


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Where to Find Help with SATs?



With plenty of SATs help available, it’s important to pick the right approach for your child if they are going to perform at their best in the tests. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together this round-up of some of the best places to find help when it comes to primary school SATs.


The Exam Papers Plus Blog


We created our blog to be an invaluable source of information and advice for parents with children currently studying for primary school tests. We have written a selection of SATs-related articles that cover everything from what SATs are through to how to support your child during their SATs preparation.


On the blog, you’ll find practical, easy-to-follow advice that will make your life – not to mention your child’s – much easier when it comes to preparing for SATs. We think it’s important to be open and honest about what your child will face in their exam.


If your child is due to sit their SATs, make their revision easier and follow our Parents’ Guide to Key Stage 2 SATs. With our help, you can successfully prepare your child for the tests and help them achieve the results they deserve.


Private SATs Tutors


Photo of a tutor helping a child with school work


If your child needs additional help preparing for SATs, a specialist private tutor can help them prepare for the English and Maths sections at both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 national assessment. Choosing a suitable tutor for your child can take a lot of research, but initially you should consider the following:


  • Check their qualifications – Although the UK does not have a recognised tutoring qualification, it’s important to check how qualified a tutor is ahead of booking. Most good private tutors will be educated to at least degree level and have experience of working with young people.
  • Always get references – Good quality, experienced SATs tutors will be happy to provide you with references from previous students and their parents. You should also ensure that the tutor has an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate.
  • Are they a good ‘fit’? – Most tutors offer an initial consultation, either for free or at a reduced rate, which will give you a chance to learn more about their tutoring style and approach to SATs revision. If your child is going to follow a tutor’s schedule in the lead-up to their SATs, parents must see potential for a positive, rewarding relationship between the two parties. If you don’t think it’s a good fit, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.


Practice Exam Papers




Practice SATs papers can be a huge help when revising for the tests. The more practice papers your child sits, the better prepared they will be for the actual exam. There are a number of benefits to using practice SATs papers, which include:


  • Identifying gaps in knowledge
  • Improving time management
  • Recognising SATs question types
  • Tracking progress


Our practice exam papers for the SATs are designed to be challenging and engaging, to help maintain your child’s interest whilst revising. They cover every subject tested in the exam and are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are current and in the style of the new SATs examinations.


Online Forums


If this is your first time experiencing SATs, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of information online – some of it useful, some not so much. Getting reliable SATs help online can be tricky, as forum users can offer misguided opinions or even incorrect information, rather than facts.


However, some online forums can help when it comes to preparing for the SATs. If you have a question about the tests, the chances are that at some point, someone like you will have asked the same question. It’s just a case of searching!


Both Netmums and Mumsnet are useful sources of SATs information for parents, and their community pages tend to get busier in the build-up to the exams. If you have a specific question about preparing for the tests, use these forums and you’ll often find fellow users are more than happy to give you help with an answer.


For more information about SATs, take a look at our post, SATs Advice for Parents.



Related posts:

Key Stage 2 SATs: A Parent’s Guide

The Benefits of Using SATs Practice Papers



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What do SATs Measure?



If you have a child in primary school, the chances are that you’ll have heard about SATs. But conversations in the school playground with other parents can leave you feeling more confused than ever about what SATs are and how they are measured. In this article, we reveal everything you need to know.


What are SATs?


SATs (Statutory Assessment Tests) are national tests that children in all state primary schools in England must take.


Who takes SATs?


Children in Year 2, who are at the end of Key Stage 1 (KS1) and children in Year 6, who are at the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2) are required to take SATs. However, on the 14th of September 2017, it was confirmed that the KS1 SATs will be made non-statutory from 2023, so the decision to administer them will be left up to individual schools. Until then, children will continue to be assessed in Year 2.


What do SATs Measure?


The SATs exams are used for state school league tables, they measure each student’s progress compared to the national average and compared to other children in the academic year group. They are used to provide an indication of a student’s current and future academic ability and help teachers set individual progress targets.


SATs are also an indicator of the overall teaching that children receive and so they aim to measure the effectiveness of each school too.


What Subjects do SATs Cover?


Photo of a child drawing on paper




At KS1, SATs are usually assessed by teachers, rather than external markers. The tests are taken in an informal environment and cover:


  • Maths (arithmetic)
  • English (reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar)


In Years 3, 4 and 5, some schools choose to have children take optional SATs, although fewer schools have opted to do so in recent years.


Our resources:






SATs taken at KS2 are more formal than those at KS1 and exam papers will be externally marked. Children will be tested in:


  • English (reading comprehension, grammar, punctuation, spelling)
  • Maths (reasoning and arithmetic, including times tables, division, multiplication and problem-solving)


Our resources:




Will I be Told the Results?


Yes, by law parents must be given their child’s SATs results at the end of the summer term in Years 2 and 6. This report will be broken down by subject and, as of 2016, they’re reported in the form of ‘scaled scores’, rather than the previous ‘levels’.


Parents will receive their child’s SATs report, which will state:


  • Your child’s raw score – the total number of marks they received
  • Your child’s scaled score – a conversion score, which is used for year-on-year comparisons
  • The expected standard – whether or not they have achieved the national standard


Can I Help My Child Prepare for SATs?


Photo of a girl working in a textbook


Yes, absolutely. Every year, there is a debate about the effectiveness of SATs in measuring children’s progress in primary school, but as the tests are set to remain for the foreseeable future, parents should do whatever they can to support their children in the lead-up to the exams.


While teachers will prepare children in the classroom for SATs, there is plenty parents can do at home to complement this learning, such as:


  • Prepare a structured revision plan that is divided into all the required subjects your child will be tested on in the SATs. Make sure you include periods of relaxation as part of this plan, to boost motivation and ensure your child does not become overworked.


  • Primary school children have a relatively short attention span, so revision sessions should not be too long. Start revision well ahead of the test date. Just 20 minutes every other day could make a huge difference to their progress ahead of the SATs. As the tests get closer, increase this revision time, perhaps to 30 minutes per session.


  • Include practice SATs papers in your child’s revision at home. These papers will help children to familiarise themselves with the exam format and question styles. If you set children the task of taking these papers under timed conditions, they could also learn to perfect their exam technique ahead of the marked SATs.


Download our SATs practice papers today:






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KS2 English SATs: What You Need to Know



The KS2 English SATs are taken in May by Year 6 students in mainstream schools. There are three papers altogether:


1. Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (Paper 1).


Children are given 45 minutes to complete the first paper, which tests their abilities in grammar and punctuation. There are a variety of question types, ranging from box ticking to adding punctuation or underlining words.


2.Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (Paper 2).


This test usually takes around 20 minutes to complete (at the discretion of the administering teacher). As the teacher reads a sentence aloud, the student fills in the missing word on their answer sheet, aiming to spell it correctly.


3. Reading.


Students are given a reading booklet that contains three texts all from a different genre (for example, a non-fiction piece such as a report or fact sheet, a story, or some poetry). This paper lasts for an hour and children are given a set of questions relating to the texts (usually around ten or twelve for each of the three texts). Although students can answer the questions in any order they choose, they are usually advised to work through one text at a time, starting at the beginning.


In previous years, children were given a writing test as well. However, today, each child’s writing ability is now assessed across all genres of writing and throughout the year, giving a much more accurate reflection of their capabilities.


The following ideas are designed to be practical, supportive activities to support your child as they approach their KS2 English SATs.


Read Frequently, And for Meaning


Not every child enjoys reading and many find it a very difficult skill to master. However, studies have shown that the more frequently a child reads, the greater the impact on their reading ability. In particular, we should be aiming for a deeper understanding of the text. For example, look at the following simple sentence:


‘Mrs Giles delivered Sophie to school, giving her a small kiss as she left.’


Some literal questions we could ask about the text could be:


  • Who delivered Sophie to school?
  • What did she do as she left?


These questions can be drawn directly from the text. Harder questions that rely on inferring or deducing the meaning of the text could include:


  • What time of day might it be?
  • What relation is Mrs Giles to Sophie?
  • How old is Sophie likely to be?


These subtler questions are important preparation for the higher mark questions in the SATs reading paper.


Read a Wide Range of Genres


Photo of books on a shelf


Stories are fine, particularly if a child has a particular author or genre they love. However, there is a certainty that the reading paper will contain a non-fiction text as well as fiction, so it’s useful to prepare children for this eventuality.


There are lots of non-fiction publications aimed at children. First News is a great children’s newspaper that deals with current affairs in a sensitive and child-friendly manner. Magazines or periodicals devoted to a hobby or passion could be another great place to start, or even books on a topic of interest from the local library.


Focus on Improving Spelling


There’s little to be gained from forcing a child to plough through spelling lists. Instead, look at word patterns, play spelling games (especially fun ones online) and use reading time to recognise new words. Ask questions about root words, prefixes and suffixes. Make up mnemonics or other devices to remember harder spellings. Use flash cards or word building games – make it as fun as possible.


Work on Punctuation


This is always a tricky area, with seemingly endless rules and regulations for correct punctuation, which plenty of adults seem to struggle with too! As with spelling, there are plenty of fun online games to try. You could also revise in an ad hoc way. For example, on a trip into town, how many times can you spot an incorrect use of punctuation on a sign or label? At the greengrocer’s, are there any potatoe’s or cabbage’s for sale? (Misplaced apostrophes are one of the most common punctuation errors).


Use English SATs Practice Papers




Using English SATs practice papers can help your child improve their exam technique ahead of the KS2 English SATs. Having the required knowledge and understanding is one thing, but being able to apply it under test conditions is another. Not only do practice papers help children get used to the types of questions they may be asked in the SATs exam, they also help with time management.


As your child’s KS2 English SAT approaches, encourage them to complete a full English SAT practice paper under timed conditions. The more they practice against the clock, the better they’ll become at judging how long to spend on each type of question.


At Exam Papers Plus, we publish SATs practice exam papers that can help improve your child’s time management and boost their confidence. All of our papers also include a detailed mark scheme that you can use to monitor your child’s progress.


Our SATs resources include:



Overall, it’s important to remember that your child’s school may also be providing extra revision for the exam. As well as daily English lessons, there may be reading groups, homework tasks, booster classes and projects designed to strengthen and consolidate your child’s skills in this core subject.


Added pressure at home is not only counter-productive; it could negatively influence your child’s view of English in the long term. Including fun activities that engage rather than alienate is the best way to avoid this happening to your child.



Related posts:

How to Use KS2 English SATs Practice Exam Papers

Key Stage 2 SATs: A Parent’s Guide



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Online SATs Practice: How to Prepare for the Exam Online



By Year 7, most children are competent in using online resources, so it makes sense to include them in their SATs practice. If your child enjoys using the internet as part of their usual study time, there are a number of ways you can incorporate it into their SATs revision. In this article, we look at how your child can prepare for the exam using online resources.


Improve Spelling Through Apps


One of the best ways to prepare for the SATs exam is to focus on improving spelling. There are plenty of online spelling tests available, but using an app means your child can practice their spelling on the go, whether they’re in the car or waiting for swimming practice.


Squeebles Spelling Test is an app that allows parents to manually input words for their children to spell. By typing your selected words into the app, your child will be presented with a list of words spoken aloud for your child to spell. This app is easy to use and can make your child’s spelling revision a lot more fun.


KeyStageFun has a host of pre-recorded spelling tests available to download for both KS1 and KS2 level. Their phonics tests can really help your child improve their spelling by sounding out words. The tests available on this app fully adhere to National Curriculum teaching requirements.


Use a Grammar Checker


Screenshot of the Scribens website


Learning the grammatical skills required for the SATs exam can be difficult. Nevertheless, it’s an important area for your child to focus on. In order to be awarded full points in the exam, your child needs to demonstrate that they have a solid grasp of English grammar. When preparing for the SATs, an online grammar checker is a useful tool for highlighting your child’s weaker areas.


Free online grammar checkers such as Grammar Check and Scribens can help children improve their writing skills, as they allow them to enter text for review. Initially, we would suggest that parents use these checkers with their children, to ensure that they’re being used correctly. Once your child understands how to use them, they can work with these tools independently.


Take Online Mental Maths Tests


Timed online maths tests are a great way to improve your child’s ability to work out sums in their head quickly. Mental maths tests like those found on BBC Bitesize can help sharpen your child’s skills.


Many of these online tests are timed, which give your children the experience of answering questions under pressure – something that they will face in the KS2 SATs.


Read Child-Safe News Sites


Screenshot of the WhizTimes website


Children sitting their SATs, especially at KS2 level, need to demonstrate good reading comprehension. This part of the exam involves understanding the meaning of words, reading at speed and critical thinking, all of which can be improved with regular practice.


It’s important to give your child plenty of reading material from a variety of sources to maintain their interest and to prepare them for the SATs texts that they might face.


Child-safe online news websites such as whiztimes.com and The Learning Network, aimed at older primary school children, are a good place to start. These child-friendly news sites are an invaluable resource for improving your child’s reading skills.


At Exam Papers Plus, we publish SATs practice exam papers that can help your child prepare for their SAT exams. We’d suggest introducing our online papers into your child’s preparation early on, to help them become familiar with the layout of the exam and give them experience of answering questions under timed conditions.


Our SATs practice papers can also improve your child’s time management and boost their confidence heading into the exam room.


Our SATs resources include:







Related posts

SATs Exam Preparation Tips and Strategies

SATs Grammar Test Advice



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SATs Mental Maths Advice



Being able to work out a Maths question in your head is an important skill when it comes to the SATs. In the Maths part of the exam, children need to show that they fully understand mathematical concepts and have the ability to solve problems logically and methodically. In this article, we share our advice on how to improve your child’s mental maths skills when preparing for the SATs.


Practice Mental Maths Skills Daily


Maths SATs questions are based on problem solving and usually take the form of real-life scenarios. You should therefore encourage your child to practice their mental maths skills in everyday situations.


We use maths in our daily routines more than we realise. Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate mental maths into your child’s daily routine:


  • Give your child small errands, such as buying a bottle of milk or a newspaper, and give them more money than they need, so they can work out which coins to pay with.
  • When at the supermarket, task them with finding the cheapest product of a particular item, such as apples or pasta.
  • In the kitchen, encourage them to weigh and portion food. Ask them questions like: ‘If everyone eats 3 potatoes, how many do we need in total?’


Using mental maths in everyday situations could hold the key to your child’s understanding of fractions, division and much more – these skills are vital for your child to perform well in their SATs.


Play Card Games


Screenshot of people playing cards around a table


We’ve discussed the benefits of using games to revise before, but when it comes to mental maths, card games in particular can be beneficial to learning.

Popular family games such as Crazy Eights, Memory and Uno require players to use numbers, sets and various mathematical concepts, so they’re often a good place to start.


Introduce Practice Papers


The Maths sections of our SATs practice exam papers will encourage your child to ‘think on their feet, which can help them improve their mental maths skills. Our practice papers cover every part of the exam and are fully up-to-date with the new SATs curriculum. They can help boost your child’s confidence and familiarise them with how the exam paper is laid out.


Introduce practice papers into your child’s preparation early on to give them as much experience in answering questions under timed conditions as possible.


Our SATs resources include:



Tackle Multi-Step Problems


Photo of a boy studying at home


The KS2 SATs exam requires children to solve problems using the four basic maths operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They will also need to know how to use these operations to calculate with fractions, decimals and percentages.


A lot of the mental maths problem-solving questions will involve multiple-steps, meaning children will need to carry out two or more operations in order to work out the answer. Please find some example questions below:


A group of friends earn £100 from washing cars.

The money is shared equally.

They get £20 each.


How many friends are in the group?


A school is raising money for charity.

Their aim is to collect £500.

So far, they have collected £365.17


How much more money do they need to collect reach their target?


Be More Visual


Mental maths questions can be difficult for children with weak working memory skills, so having facts or equations written down on revision cards can help. Using graphical representations for maths problems such as numbering steps or using arrows that connect information can be very helpful for some children.


Your child’s overall maths fluency will increase with the improvement of their mental maths skills. By using a combination of the techniques above, your child will be well prepared for their maths SATs.



Related posts:

KS2 SATs Maths: What You Need to Know
Sample Maths SATs Questions and Answers: Arithmetic



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SATs Revision Made Easy



For your child to succeed in their SATs exams, they need to feel fully prepared when they sit down for the tests. In this article, we make SATs revision easy with a series of easy-to-follow tips and techniques to ensure your child is confident about their SATs exam.


Start SATs Revision Early


Setting a SATs revision programme early is important. At Exam Papers Plus, we consider it beneficial to start revising 6-9 months before the date of the exam. The sooner your child starts revising, the more material they’ll be able to cover and the more time you’ll have as a parent to identify any areas that need improving.


Create a SATs Revision Timetable


A structured revision timetable can make SATs revision much easier. By creating a timetable together, your child will have a sense of ownership over the work they need to do. This should help with their motivation when it comes time to revise. Try to set aside specific revision periods on set days, so that your child knows exactly when they’re scheduled to study. This can help avoid ‘double bookings’ with their other activities and potentially avoid arguments.


Make sure that your child doesn’t become distracted by using the timetable to set achievable targets. Once they have successfully completed a session, get them to tick it off on the timetable. Don’t forget to include regular breaks as well, as giving their brain a rest is just as important as revising for their SATs.


Find a Quiet Revision Spot


Photo of a tidy desk space


A quiet place to study will help your child to concentrate, ensuring that they get more out of each revision session. Try to remove any distractions from the area, such as televisions, radios and the internet – or put a family ban on them during study time.


If younger siblings complain, kindly point out that they will need to revise for their SATs in the future and they will then appreciate a bit of quiet time too.


Play Revision Games


We know that children often complain about revision being ‘boring’, so games are a fantastic way of making SATs revision easy. As a starter, read our post on Revision Games for Primary Kids, which provides a list of games parents can play with their children during SATs revision.


Revision games are a useful development tool, so if your child responds well to them, be sure to introduce a few in the build-up to the exams.


Use SATs Practice Exam Papers


Practice SATs papers can be an effective tool in guiding your child’s revision. By including practice papers in your child’s revision routine early, you’ll be able to identify any knowledge gaps that need additional attention. You can also track their progress by comparing their practice scores as they work through more tests.


Practice exam papers will boost your child’s confidence by enhancing their understanding of what will be required of them in the actual exam.


Revise in Short Bursts


The average 10-year-old can concentrate for approximately 20 minutes, so use this knowledge to your (and their) advantage by aiming for short revision sessions. If your child is required to concentrate at home for any longer, they’ll simply become distracted or demotivated.


During the first few weeks of revision, we would advise setting out 20-minute revision blocks on your child’s timetable, which can then be increased to 30 minutes as the exam approaches.


Use Visual Aids


Photo of a boy working on a board


Visual aids, such as post-it notes and flashcards, can make SATs revision easier. Simply write keywords on post-its and stick them in strategic places around the house – ideally in rooms that your child uses regularly. When your child passes a note, it will help to jog their memory about key revision topics.


To succeed in the SATs, your child needs to be able to recall information quickly, so using visual aids is a great way to improve this particular skill.


Tackle Weaker Subjects First


At the start of revision sessions, children tend to be more alert and have more capacity to concentrate, so it’s wise to tackle any weak areas first. Once the ‘hard part’ is out of the way, the rest of the revision session will seem much more enjoyable. There’s also the added bonus that your child is more likely to retain information when they’re in a relaxed, positive frame of mind. Which brings us to our next point…


Stay Positive


Revising for any primary school test can be an anxious time for some children, but with SATs there tends to be additional pressure. The tests are more formal and are likely to be your child’s first experience of working under exam conditions. As a parent, it’s important that you stay positive throughout the revision process. Help your child out as much as possible and always be constructive in your feedback. The more positive you are, the easier the SATs revision will be for your child.


Keep Your Child’s Usual Routine


In the build-up to the SATs exam, try to maintain your child’s usual routine as much as possible. Make sure that they continue to attend any after-school clubs and socialise with friends, as relaxation is a key component of SATs revision. Relaxing helps them to recharge and will improve their concentration for the next session.


By keeping these tips in mind, your child’s SATs revision should tick along nicely. As long as you are organised, follow a detailed study plan and stay positive, your child will have the best chance of performing well in the exams.



Related posts:

Study Skills for Primary School Children

Learning Strategies for Primary School Students



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SATs Preparation in Year 6



This article is for parents who are currently helping their child with SATs preparation in Year 6. Follow our useful tips on how to prepare for the tests at home and improve your child’s confidence before the exams.


Practice Mental Maths


The ability to do sums in your head is an important skill for your child to have in the Year 6 SATs tests. The best way to improve your child’s mental maths ability is to encourage practice – and lots of it.


There are a number of ways you can integrate mental maths practice into everyday situations, such as asking your child to double-check till receipts from shopping trips, counting change, and being the ‘scorer’ during a game of Scrabble. The more exposure your child has to situations that require them to ‘work out’ mathematical answers without a calculator, the more likely they’ll be to produce correct answers in their Year 6 SATs.


Focus on Problem-Solving


Try to set aside time for your child to focus on their problem-solving skills. At KS2 level, pupils are asked to complete three maths papers: one in arithmetic and two in reasoning. All of these papers involve an element of problem-solving that require pupils to demonstrate skills in the four key mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.


Make sure your child gets plenty of practice in calculating with fractions, decimals and percentages – and ensure that they learn to show all of their working. Our practice SAT papers cover the types of mathematics questions Year 6 children will be faced with in their SATs.


Improve Reading Comprehension


Photo of a crossword puzzle


As part of your child’s Year 6 SATs exam, they need to demonstrate their ability in reading comprehension. To help your child prepare for this element of the exam, encourage them to read a range of different texts written in different styles. Take the time to discuss the texts together, focusing on the characters and the structure of the texts as much as possible.


Asking questions about what your child is reading and discussing it together is beneficial for improving their reading comprehension skills. The more time your child invests in reading, the quicker their comprehension, vocabulary and decoding of words will improve.


Take Fractions Further


Photo of a puzzle on a table


Previous SATs results at Year 6 level show that children tend to struggle with multi-step questions, particularly fractions, when they are combined with addition, subtraction, division or multiplication.


As part of your child’s Year 6 SATs preparation, try to focus on working through questions that involve multiple steps. Begin by ensuring that they have a good understanding of fractions as a concept on its own, then aim to introduce questions that require additional mathematical knowledge.


Use SATs Practice Exam Papers


Practice exam papers can help to familiarise your child with the layout of the SATs exams. Try to introduce these practice papers into your child’s preparation early on, to ensure that they gain plenty of experience in answering questions under timed conditions.


In a typical SATs exam, students tend to score less in questions that are placed towards the end of the test paper. This would suggest that most Year 6 students struggle with time management in exams. Practice papers can help your child to improve this skill, by giving them the experience of gauging how quickly they need to answer each type of question. Ideally, your child should aim to complete each test paper with ten minutes to spare, so they can return to any unanswered questions.


At Exam Papers Plus, we have several Year 6 SATs resources that will help your child prepare for the tests:



Read Between the Lines


Photo of a student and teacher reading


To improve your child’s overall reading and comprehension skills, encourage them to focus on inference and deduction questions. Inference questions ask students to read between the lines of a text, and deduction questions ask them to read beyond the text. These are two vital skills that your child will need to master for their Year 6 SATs.


Here are some sample SATs questions that make use of inference and deduction:




…like a toy sitting on a glass table.


What does this description suggest about the boat?




Gaby thinks she makes two mistakes while trying to rescue the cat.


What is the first mistake that Gaby makes while trying to rescue the cat?


If your child is preparing for their SATs in Year 6, using a combination of the techniques above will do wonders for improving their overall confidence and stamina on exam day. Practice makes perfect, so be sure to use our SATs resources to ensure that your child is fully prepared.




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The SATs Exam Format

How to Use KS2 SATs Practice Exam Papers




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SATs Results Explained – What Does It All Mean?



All SATs papers taken by children in Year 6 are sent to be marked externally by qualified assessors, most of whom have previously worked as teachers.


Children are tested in their reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation and in mathematics. Writing is teacher-assessed.


Each year, 10,000 schools in the UK also receive a science test so that the subject can be monitored nationally. Schools that don’t use the national science test rely on their own assessment data instead.


When Are the Results Given?


The results of the externally marked tests are sent to schools at the end of July. There is a facility to challenge scores and potentially have papers remarked, providing there is a case for doing so.


The results of individual tests are normally given to parents as part of the written report at the end of a school year.


Schools receive exam results for individual pupils and as a school as a whole, by the end of July. National and local authority results, which form the league tables, are published in December.


What Do KS2 SATs Scores Mean?


Photo of a student and teacher reading exam results together


Scores are given in a scaled format, which enables peer comparison. The scores determine whether or not your child has achieved the national standard for each subject as part of that year’s cohort. In other words, the parameters for achieving a ‘pass’ will change slightly each year, based on the overall national results.


However much the raw scores may change, the range of scaled scores will always remain the same: 80 being the lowest and 120 being the highest.


A scaled score of 100 or more means that your child has met the expected standard in that particular test, whereas a scaled score of 99 or less means they haven’t reached the nationally expected standard.


Each paper your child takes will be awarded a ‘raw’ score. These scores, collated nationally, determine the national standard. A child who meets that standard would be awarded a confirmation of ‘AS’, with those who don’t meet the standard receiving ‘NS’. Other codes used in the results include:


  • A: The child was absent from one or more of the test papers
  • B: The child is working below the level assessed by KS2 SATs
  • M: The child missed the test
  • T: The child is working at the level of the tests but is unable to access them (because all, or part of the test is not suitable for a pupil with particular needs)


In certain, strict circumstances, children may be discounted from the results data. For example, the National Subject Association for EDL (NALDIC) states:


Schools can apply for pupils who have recently arrived from overseas to be discounted from performance tables calculations. To be discounted, a pupil must meet all 3 of the following criteria: they were admitted to an English school for the first time during the 2015 to 2016 or 2016 to 2017 school year; they arrived from overseas before their admission; English is not an official language of the country from which they came.”


The marks required for 2017 on each of the Key Stage 2 SATs tests were:


  • Maths: 57 out of 110 (down from 60 in 2016)
  • Reading: 26 out of 50 (up from 21 in 2016)
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling: 36 out of 70 (down from 43 in 2016)


This year, 61% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths (compared to 53% in 2016); 71% of pupils achieved the expected standard in reading; 76% of pupils achieved the expected standard in writing (which is teacher-assessed); 75% of pupils achieved the expected standard in mathematics and 77% of pupils achieved the expected standard in spelling, punctuation and grammar (also known as SPaG).


Other Assessments


To supplement the SATs test results, most schools also provide teacher assessment results for each child. These results will cover the same subjects as the SATs papers (reading, spelling, grammar, punctuation and mathematics) but will also include writing, science and other, non-core subjects too. All schools should give an indication of the level at which each child is working at, and may also include indicators to other important learning behaviours, such as independence, organisation and attitude to learning.


Some abbreviations that may be used in reporting these results include the following:


  • GDS: Working at greater depth within the expected standard (for writing assessment only)
  • EXS: Working at the expected standard
  • WTS: Working towards the expected standard (for writing assessment only)
  • HNM: Has not met the expected standard (reading and maths assessment only)
  • PKG: Pre-key stage, growing development of the expected standard (the child is working at a lower level than expected)
  • PKF: Pre-key stage, foundations for the expected standard (the child is working at a significantly lower level than expected)
  • BLW: The child is working below the pre-key stage standards
  • D: Awarded if the child is ‘disapplied’ (the child has not been tested at KS2 level)




It’s important to remember that each child works at a different level and in a different way. Some children learn quickly but perform poorly in tests; others may struggle in the classroom but can reach the expected standard anyway. If a child has not met the expected standard by the end of Key Stage 2, it’s not the end of the world; it just means they haven’t reached their full potential yet.


At Exam Papers Plus, we have several SATs practice exam papers that can help your child prepare for their tests. We recommend the following resources:




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What Are the Different Sections in a SATs Exam?

How to Score Highly in the SATS Test




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SATs Prep Materials: What You Need



Your child is more likely to perform well in their SATs exam if they are thoroughly prepared and confident. Whether your child is sitting SATs this year or not, this overview of useful exam prep materials will come in handy for when the big day arrives.


A Study Planner


It’ll come as little surprise to know that a good study planner is a vital resource for SATs preparation. A planner can take any form, whether it’s as a spreadsheet, a notebook, or a wall planner. Essentially, a study planner is a calendar that contains the topics and subjects that your child needs to revise on specific days.
As a starting point, consider using the following model for your planner:


  • Divide however long your child has until the SATs exam by the number of subjects they are required to study
  • Next, divide up all the topics your child needs to cover
  • Keep the planner simple, while including specific tasks your child should aim to achieve in each session
  • Include time for breaks


A study planner is one of the first SATs prep materials that your child should create, as it’ll likely form the cornerstone of their revision.


A SATs Reading List


Photo of books in a bookshelf


To succeed in the SATs exam, your child must be a confident and able reader. Devise a reading list to help improve their overall comprehension and increase their vocabulary.


Encourage your child to read a mix of genres and authors and actively ask them questions about what they’re reading to enhance their understanding of the text. Having them recount the information that they’re learning encourages them to think beyond the words on the page. This is a skill that will come in very useful in the English SATs exam and one that can easily be nurtured at home.


Practice Exam Papers


Practice exam papers are a key SATs preparation resource for primary school children as they put theory into practice. Exam practice papers allow your child to familiarise themselves with the layout of the SATs exam and they encourage good time management too. When creating your child’s study planner (mentioned above), allocate time for regular SATs practice papers. The sooner these are introduced into your child’s routine, the more time they will have to get used to answering questions under timed conditions.


Practice papers can quickly highlight areas that your child might need to improve in, which will allow you to adjust their study schedule to focus on their weaker areas in the lead up to the SATs exam.


Our SATs resources:



A Grammar Checker


Photo of spelling in a notebook


At SATs level, children are tested on their ability to use grammar correctly. For some students, grammar skills don’t come easily and can cause them to lose marks in the exam. A grammar checker is a useful tool to have when preparing for SATs.


There are several online grammar checkers that can help improve your child’s writing. Some of the free options include Grammar Check and Scribens, both of which allow users to enter text for review.


Alternatively, there are many paid grammar checkers that may be worth considering for longer-term use. Grammarly and Correct English are two of the most popular paid options out there at the moment.  Regardless of which grammar tool your child uses, we would advise parents to help them out initially, to make sure that they’re using them correctly.




In the SATs exam, students are required to recall a fair amount of information, whether it be maths formulas or specific keywords. Flashcards are a useful SATs prep resource, not least because they can make learning more fun. Flashcards are an effective tool for spelling or vocabulary games.


For instance, if your child has vocabulary to learn, have them create flashcards with all the words they need to know. Once they’ve created all the flashcards, test them on their spelling by having them write the word down or speaking it aloud. For all the words they get right, stick the corresponding flashcard onto a wall so they can chart their progress easily.


Planned Exercise Breaks


Photo of kids running on grass


Although this isn’t a physical tool, ensuring that your child takes regular breaks to relax and burn off excess energy is an essential part of their SATs preparation. If your child feels under significant pressure in the lead-up to the exam, they are more likely to become stressed, despondent and demotivated, so relaxation is key.


Allow your child some time to themselves when they come home from school before they start studying again. Ideally, your child should spend time doing some physical activity as this stimulates the part of the brain that’s responsible for learning. Time away from SATs preparation will help their brain and body to recharge, resulting in better concentration when they do return to studying.



Related posts:

SATs Reading Tips

The SATs Curriculum in the UK: An Overview



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