How to Use SATs Papers at KS2 Level



In Year 6 of primary school, your child will sit their Key Stage 2 (KS2) SATs exams. For most children, this will be the first time that they experience test conditions. Practice SATs papers are one of the most effective ways of ensuring your child gives their best on exam day. In this article, we discuss how to use practice SATs papers at KS2 level.


Identifying Gaps in Knowledge


By Year 6, your child should have gained a solid grounding in the subjects covered in KS2 SATs, but there is often room for improvement. Practice SATs papers can help you identify your child’s weaker areas well ahead of the KS2 exams.


After your child has completed a few practice papers, take some time to see if you can spot any common errors they may be making. For example, in the English paper, your child might struggle with prefixes and suffixes, so more revision time should be given to understanding these processes.


At KS2, children can lose a considerable number of marks for not showing the working out of their answers, especially in the maths paper. If this is the case with your child, encourage them to take more time over their answers and record their workings. Doing so will certainly pay off in the end.


Tracking Progress


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It’s important to track your child’s progress in the build-up to their SATs to make sure that they’re improving and are at the right level in time for the exams. Practice KS2 SATs papers will give you a good indication of their progress from paper-to-paper, as you can easily refer back to previous results and compare. All of our SATs practice papers come with a full marking scheme, which allows you to easily check your child’s answers and see what they need to do to improve.


By using practice papers to track your child’s progress, you will have a good overview of where they excel and where they need additional study time. For example, your child might have good subject knowledge but may not have experienced exam-style questions. With practice KS2 SATs papers, you’ll have every eventuality covered.


Recognising Question Types


Students often struggle to understand exactly what SATs questions are asking. Using SATs papers at KS2 level will give children the necessary experience required to identify the types of questions they’re likely to be asked. If your child knows what to expect, they are less likely to worry about the exam itself.


Children who are able to identify the question type will be in a better position to provide the examiner with the answer they are looking for. Even if a child doesn’t fully understand the wording of the question, if they follow the process for the specific question type, they stand a good chance of providing the correct answer.


Essentially, practice SATs papers give children a confidence boost, so the more they work through them, the more familiar they’ll become with how the exam is laid out.


Practice Under Exam Conditions


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In order for your child to perform at their best in the KS2 SATs, they must have experience of taking timed tests. With increasing emphasis being placed on SATs, it’s not uncommon for children to feel worried or anxious about the exams. Taking KS2 SATs papers under timed conditions gets students used to answering questions under pressure, so try to introduce them into your child’s study routine as early as possible.


The more practice papers your child takes under exam conditions, the better they will become at gauging how long they should be spending on specific questions. They’ll also feel more resourceful, knowing that they’re capable of completing a KS2 SATs paper within the allocated time.


Our Resources


Key Stage 2 SAT Practice Test 1


Key Stage 2 SAT Practice Test 2



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English SATs Practice Papers: How They Can Help



In Year 6, your child will take their KS2 SATs exams, including three papers in English. In the English SAT, your child will be assessed on a number of reading and writing skills, so they will need to demonstrate accurate punctuation and good vocabulary. In this article, we explain how English SATs practice papers can help your child succeed in the exam.


Understanding Exam Structure


One of the biggest challenges that your child will face in their first SATs exam is understanding how the tests themselves are structured. Given that your child’s English SATs exam will likely be the very first one that they will sit in their school career, it’s worth taking the time to ensure that they know what to expect from each test paper.


The English SATs exam at KS2 level is split into three papers:


  • Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling: Paper 1. This paper tests all three areas and students are allocated 45 minutes to complete the test.
  • Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Paper 2. This paper is a spelling test. The teacher will read 20 sentences out loud and students needs to complete the missing word in each one, while spelling it correctly. This second paper takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
  • In this test, students are presented with three texts, all written in different styles, alongside an answer book with reading comprehension questions. This test takes one hour and questions can be answered in any order.


If your child already has a good idea of how the exam will be formatted, they won’t feel as nervous in the lead up to the big day. Familiarity breeds reassurance, so the more practice papers your child does, the more confident they’ll feel.


Recognising Question Types


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One of the most common reasons for children answering exam questions incorrectly is that they don’t understand what’s being asked of them. If your child is able to identify the type of question being asked, they should be able to form an answer that reflects what the examiner is looking for. The reading test, for example, has a selection of question types, including:


  • Ranking questions that require students to allocate numbers to specific events within the text.
  • Labelling questions, where pupils have to identify particular parts of a story.
  • Word finding questions that require students to find a word that refers to a specific theme or event.
  • Response questions, where students are asked a straightforward question and need to find the answer within the text.


The grammar and punctuation tests tend to have two different questions types: selected response, and constructed response. The former typically involves choosing from a selection of answers like in multiple-choice and true/false formats. The latter typically requires a written answer, like in ‘complete the sentence’ questions.


Using English SATs practice papers gives your child a better understanding of the types of questions that may be asked in the exam. The more practice tests your child takes, the better they will become at answering each type of question well.


Highlighting Weaker Areas


When it comes to revising for the English SATs exam, efficiency is key. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that your child’s revision plan covers everything they’ll need to know, but a little insight into their current performance can help structure their revision for the better.


English SATs practice papers are a great way to identify your child’s weak areas. Once they’ve completed a few papers and you’ve checked their answers, you may notice a pattern in their shortcomings. For example, if you notice that your child tends to answer the same type of question incorrectly, you’ll know to allocate more time to that particular area.


If you feel that your child’s reading skills aren’t up to scratch, encourage them to read about topics that interest them. This will feel less like revision and will help keep them motivated.  If they struggle with grammar, take on the role of teacher and read sentences out loud that have missing words in them, as per the actual exam.


Practice papers are also a good way of making children feel comfortable with receiving feedback, which will help their learning in the long-term too.


Improve Concentration


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The English SATs papers require your child to concentrate for long periods of time – probably longer than they’re used to in class.


In particular, the hour-long reading exam might challenge your child’s ability to focus. Practice SATs papers help your child to gradually build up their concentration levels. We would advise that students start small, with short, 10-minute practice sessions, gradually building up to a point that they’re able to complete a whole test paper in one go, under timed conditions.


By gradually increasing the amount of time that your child has to concentrate for, by the time the exam arrives, they should easily be able to focus for its entirety.


Give your child the best possible chance of success in their English SATs papers by downloading our packs today:





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The Benefits of Using SATs Practice Papers



When it comes to the SATs exam, there’s no such thing as too much practice. The more practice papers your child sits, the better prepared they’ll be for the actual exam. In this post, we look at the main benefits of using SATs practice tests.


Improved Time Management


Most children preparing for their SATs need to improve their time management skills. The more questions your child can get through on the day, the better chance they’ll have of achieving a high score.


Time management in the SATs exam is all about process. The more practice papers a student does under timed conditions, the better they’ll become at knowing how long each type of question typically takes. Once they know how long to spend on each question type, they’ll instinctively know when it’s time to move on.


At the end of each practice test, you can analyse your child’s time management based on how many questions (if any) are still left to do. If there are only a few questions left, then it may only take a few small adjustments to make up those extra minutes needed to complete the entire paper. Similarly, if you find that your child completes each practice paper with lots of time to spare, it could be that they aren’t answering each question in full. Or perhaps they need to use their extra time to double check their answers.


Practice SATs exams help students to pace themselves correctly by understanding which sections are likely to take more time than others.


Identify Gaps in Knowledge


Photo of a boy studying


It’s easy to assume that your child already has all the knowledge they’ll need to perform well in their SATs. However, in reality, most students do have at least one weak area. With the help of practice exam papers, you can identify these early.


Once your child has completed a few different papers, have a look to see if you can spot any trends in the types of answers that they get wrong. You might find, for example in the Maths paper, that they struggle with tables and charts. In which case, you can allocate more focus to these weaker areas, giving your child time to improve before the exam.


The only way to improve your child’s weaker areas is through regular revision and testing using SATs practice papers. Our guide to the best revision techniques provides some useful insights into how you can make your child’s study sessions more effective.


Progress Tracking


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SATs practice papers are an excellent way of tracking your child’s progress in the lead-up to their exam. Although your child should certainly put in the hours when it comes to revising for their SATs, reading through notes alone won’t provide them with an indication of their progress.


Practice papers encourage children to think more critically about a topic or question and enable them to put their knowledge to the test. In some cases, children may have the knowledge and understanding but lack the exam technique to attain full points in certain questions.


At Exam Papers Plus, all of our SATs practice papers come with a full mark scheme, so you can check your child’s answers, identify their weak areas and see what they need to do to improve.


Recognising Question Types


Sometimes the most challenging part of answering an exam question is understanding what’s being asked exactly. The more experience your child has with answering different types of SATs questions, the more familiar each question type will become.


If your child is able to identify the type of question that’s being asked, they should be in a better position to form an answer along the lines of what the examiner is looking for. By following the process for that specific question type, they’ll be more likely to arrive at the correct answer, even if they don’t fully understand the wording of the question.


The more SATs practice tests your child takes, the better they will become at understanding exactly what each question is asking. And the more they work through SATs practice papers, the more familiar they’ll become with how the exam is laid out.


Our Resources


Key Stage 1

Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 1

Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 2


Key Stage 2

Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 1

Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 2



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What Are the Different Sections in a SATs Exam?



To help your child prepare for their SATs exam, we’ve put together this post which looks at the individual sections of the test. We’ve also outlined the skills your child will need to tackle them.


Sections in Key Stage 1 (KS1) SATs


Children sit their KS1 SATs at the end of Year 2 in primary school. These SATs are split into the following sections:




The reading test is made up of two papers:


  • Paper 1 – a selection of texts, with questions interspersed
  • Paper 2 – a reading booklet made up of a selection of texts. Children are required to write their answers on a separate sheet.


English Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)


The SPaG test is made up of two papers:


  • Paper 1 – a 20-word spelling test
  • Paper 2 – a grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test




The KS1 maths test is made up of two papers:


  • Paper 1 – arithmetic
  • Paper 2 – mathematical problem-solving and reasoning


To help your child prepare for their KS1 SATs, check out the following resources:


Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 1


Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 2


Sections in Key Stage 2 (KS2) SATs


Children sit their KS2 SATs at the end of Year 6 in primary school. These exams are more formal in nature and are usually externally marked. KS2 SATs are split into the following sections:




The KS2 reading test is a single paper with questions based on three passages of text. The paper will include a range of questions and children will be asked to interpret information within the text and comment on writers’ use of language throughout the passages.


English Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)


The SPaG test is split into two parts: a grammar and punctuation paper and an aural spelling test. In the former, children will be required to identify particular word types such as adjectives and nouns and rewrite sentences or add missing apostrophes to constructed sentences.




At KS2, children sit three maths papers:


  • Paper 1 – arithmetic, this is made-up of fixed response questions, such as long division and multiplication
  • Papers 2 and 3 – reasoning, these papers involve a mix of questions including multiple choice and true or false


To help your child prepare for their KS2 SATs, we recommend the following resources:


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 1


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 2


SATs Skills Your Child Will Need


Photo of a boy reading a book


Subject-wise, your child’s school will be doing all they can to prepare them for the SATs, but you may still want to help them at home. In fact, there are certain skills that you can focus on outside of school that will really make a big difference.


Reading and Interpreting Questions


Once this skill is learnt, it can be used in all tests that your child will sit in the future. Children can sometimes misread what they are being asked to do and lose marks, so this is a skill well-worth working on at home. Use practice SATs papers to help your child perfect this skill ahead of the tests.


Understanding Test Format and Structure


As a parent, you should spend time familiarising your child with the SATs exam format, structure and content. Our practice papers show children what the test will look like, how it is laid out and where they should provide answers. The more time your child spends using practice papers, the more likely they are to be comfortable with the marked assessment.




Boy concentrating


SATs are a challenge, particularly if your child tends to struggle with concentration. At KS2 level, your child will be required to concentrate for longer periods of time than might come naturally to them, so they will need to work to develop their capacity.


Help your child to gradually build up their concentration. Revision sessions tend to be more effective in shorter bursts of 20 minutes on a regular basis. It may be a while before children are able to concentrate for the full 20 minutes, so offer encouragement to maintain their focus. As the SATs tests draw nearer, begin to increase their concentration time, providing incentives if necessary.


Time Management


For your child to perform at their best in the SATs exam, they must have good time management. Practice this skill by challenging your child to see how many times tables or simple maths calculations they can complete in a given time period. You can build this up steadily and gradually give them more time.


Encourage your child to sit practice exam papers under timed conditions. This will enable you to identify any areas that might require more work. The SATs exam requires your child to be a good reader, so work on their reading skills by selecting a few pages from a book and reading it for a given time-period. You should also encourage any other form of reading.


Preparing your child for the different SATs sections is crucial. Your child needs to feel good about themselves and believe that they have the necessary skills to do their best in the exam. Remember to always take an interest in their SATs revision and provide them with good quality practice papers to hone their skills.




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How to Use KS2 SATs Practice Exam Papers



Using KS2 SATs practice papers is a valuable part of your child’s exam preparation. Not only do they help to keep revision focused on the important subjects, they also allow children to practice SATs exam-style questions.


In this article, we look at how practice SATs papers at KS2 level can help your child succeed in the exam.


Introduce Papers Early


Practice papers will help your child become familiar with the types of questions they may be asked in the KS2 SATs exam. The more your child understands the tests, the more comfortable they’ll be on the day. Similarly, the longer your child has to revise, the more opportunity they’ll have to retain all the information they’ll need. Early learning, little and often, is the best approach to using practice papers.


Track Progress


You can regularly track your child’s progress with our KS2 SATs papers. If your objective is to obtain an overview of how your child might perform in the SATs tests, then have your child take the tests under timed conditions.


However, if you are using the tests to identify any gaps in your child’s subject knowledge, then the time limit could be altered to ensure that your child is given enough flexibility to complete the test.


Practice tests help highlight the topics your child hasn’t mastered yet. To help them improve their knowledge, consider introducing different revision techniques into their study routine. Similarly, practice SATs papers can tell you which topics your child is most comfortable with, allowing you to direct their learning to other areas.


Practice Exam Papers as Mock Exams



A popular way of using KS2 practice exam papers is to do them under timed conditions, as a mock exam in order to give your child a more realistic experience. When using practice papers as mock exams, it’s important that students stick strictly to the time limit. They should also avoid talking to anyone during this time, and shouldn’t refer to study materials.


If, for example, they are stuck on a question, they should learn to move onto the next one and return to it at the end. This way, they are more likely to answer as many questions as possible within the allotted time. Students who sit practice papers under timed conditions tend to perform better than those who simply revise.


It’s better for children to experience the disappointment of underperforming in a timed mock exam, than in the actual exam. Doing practice SATs papers under timed conditions helps focus children’s attention and develops the skills they need to perform under the pressure of exam conditions.


Reduce Anxiety


KS2 SATs will likely be the first time your child has experienced formal exam conditions, and understandably, they may feel anxious about sitting the tests. By using practice papers, children can familiarise themselves with the structure and layout of the exam. The more comfortable they are with the types of questions they may be asked, the less they are likely to be anxious about it.


Reinforce Learning


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Practice papers don’t just measure how much your child knows, or how well they are prepared for the KS2 SATs tests, they also help reinforce learning. Practice papers enable students to put their theory into practice by testing their ability to recall information and processes.


Focusing on practice papers throughout a child’s KS2 SATs preparation can also help them get used to receiving feedback, which is an essential skill for them to develop.



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SATs Preparation: How to Support Your Child



For many children, the Year 6 SATs will be the first time they experience formal test conditions, and this can cause stress among some pupils. If your child is set to sit their SATs soon, they might be experiencing some anxiety. But don’t worry; as a parent, there is plenty you can do to support your child’s preparation. In this article, we outline some practical, easy-to-follow advice to help parents support their child during the SATs period.


Set a Revision Timetable


Parents should create a study plan that works for your child and your family’s life. Your child is more likely to stick to the plan if it slots easily into their daily routine. Most children respond better to revising little and often; just 20 minutes of SATs preparation every day can do wonders for your child’s knowledge and confidence going into the SATs assessment.


Support your child in the build-up to their SATs exam by preparing a revision timetable that they can easily follow. This timetable should clearly outline the topics that need to be covered and should offer a good mix of your child’s strong and weaker subjects, to maintain their overall motivation.


Maintain a Routine


Photo of a boy reading a Roald Dahl book


Exams are an inevitable and important part of your child’s education, but as their SATs date approaches, it’s vital to prioritise their overall wellbeing too. Keep the family’s routine on track; make sure your child continues to attend their usual sports clubs, or pursues their much-loved hobbies.


While children should be doing regular SATs revision, it shouldn’t be at the cost of their relaxation time. Children are more likely to perform well in their SATs if they have a good diet, get plenty of rest and participate in some physical activity.


Varying Their Learning  


Once you have established your child’s preferred learning strategy, it’s a good idea to mix up the types of learning they are using for their SATs. Support your child by running through some practice exam papers; doing so will give your child a better idea of the SATs format.


You can also play some fun revision games with your child, some of which can be done on the move or in the car. Turn everyday activities into SATs preparation, such as going shopping and estimating the cost of the items in your basket or create interesting stories based on an activity that happened during a visit to the park.


Learning shouldn’t be confined to a desk; SATs preparation can take many forms and parents should strive to pick a range of activities to help support their child ahead of the exams.


Use Good Quality Practice Papers




Parents should provide their child with relevant SATs resources during their exam preparation. For your child to succeed in their tests, they should already have good knowledge of the exam layout and format before entering the test room. Practice exam papers cater for this.


Our SATs practice papers are an affordable and comprehensive resource that are designed to help pupils prepare for their exams. They are updated regularly to ensure that they are current and accurate and detailed mark schemes are included, to help you monitor their progress and help them improve.


Work Against the Clock


Your child will be required to answer questions quickly if they stand any chance of completing the tests within the allotted time. So, put them under a little pressure to work under timed conditions. Again, practice exam papers are an excellent way of achieving this.


If your child struggles with time management, encourage them to use their time wisely in order to complete all the questions. Some children struggle to keep an eye on the time passing; if this is the case with your child, show your support by teaching them to assign a similar amount of time to each question. If they cannot complete a question, get them to move on and come back to it towards the end. The more your child works under timed conditions, the more likely they are to be calm during their actual exam.


Track Their Progress


 Photo of a girl working on a laptop


Your child will keep their motivation for longer if they can see that they are making progress. If you’re using our practice papers, detailed answers are included with the test, so you could set-up a bright wall chart in their designated study area to record results. This is a visual way to track progress over time.


Be Positive


Children are more likely to respond well to SATs preparation if their parents are positive and supportive throughout the process. Show your child that rather than being something to be feared, SATs are actually a good opportunity to share what they have learnt.


Keep the exams in perspective; don’t talk about ‘failing’ the SATs, as this can make things worse for a nervous child. Instead, share supportive words after each study session and work closely with your child during their revision periods.




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Key Stage 2 SATs: A Parent’s Guide



Parents with children about to sit their Key Stage 2 SATs are bound to have questions about these government-set assessments. It can be a daunting time for children and parents can often struggle to help them fully prepare.


In this guide, we cover all the essential information you need to know about KS2 SATs and answer those burning questions.


What Are Key Stage 2 SATs?


Key Stage 2 SATs are formal assessments that children sit in Year 6 at primary school. They are national tests that aim to assess pupils’ academic progress in a fair and consistent manner. The tests are both set and marked externally, and the results are used to measure a school’s performance. KS2 SATs were updated by the UK government in 2016 to reflect the new National Curriculum. They are generally considered more challenging than previous iterations of the SATs exams.


Why Are Key Stage 2 SATs Important?


Photo of papers on a desk


Key Stage 2 SATs exist primarily to provide an overview of a child’s academic attainment and are considered a good way of measuring progress. They provide a means for both parents and teachers to learn about a child’s strengths and weaknesses, ahead of them advancing to secondary school.


Parents should view their child’s KS2 SATs as an opportunity. The assessments give your child the chance to shine and can put them in a stronger position in their next school. Good SATs results can give your child access to better educational opportunities in the future.


What Subjects do Key Stage 2 SATs Cover?


The National Curriculum for KS2 SATs covers the following subjects:


English Reading


For the English reading SAT at Key Stage 2, your child will need to complete an hour-long exam paper that contains questions based on three passages.


Your child will be expected to answer a range of question types during the English reading SAT. The questions will assess some or all of the following:


  • Short constructed responses – children must pick out relevant pieces of information in order to answer the question
  • Ranking and ordering – children must rank events according to when they happened in the passage(s)
  • Open-ended responses – children must explain their answers using the passage(s) as guidance
  • Find and copy – children must find and copy a word that fits the description laid out in the question


English Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (SPaG)


The English grammar SAT at KS2 consists of two sections:


  1. A grammar and punctuation paper – this lasts 45 minutes and requires short answers.

This test will include two types of question: identification and constructed response. Identification questions require the student to identify or pick out keywords from a sentence. Children should be comfortable distinguishing between adjectives, nouns, verbs etc. Constructed response questions require students to correct, complete or rewrite sentences, or add a missing apostrophe where necessary.

  1. An aural spelling test – this lasts approximately 15 minutes and covers 20 words




At Key Stage 2, children sit three maths SATs papers:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic – this lasts 30 minutes
  • Papers 2 and 3: reasoning – these each last 40 minutes


Paper 1 will test a child’s ability to do fixed calculations, such as long division, whereas papers 2 and 3 will cover a range of questions, such as true or false, multiple choice or drawing shapes and completing diagrams.


Some schools also choose to test Science at Key Stage 2, so parents are advised to check with their child’s school prior to any SATs revision.


How Are Key Stage 2 SATs Marked?


Photo of a boy studying


KS2 SATs are no longer scored as ‘levels’. Under the current marking scheme, children receive ‘scaled scores’.


A child’s raw score – that is, the actual number of marks they get – is translated into a scaled score. This helps to allow for fluctuations in the tests year-to-year and allows for more accuracy when comparing results. Parents will receive both their child’s raw and scaled scores, and be told whether they reached the expected standard.


The range of scaled scores available for each test is:

  • 80 (the lowest scaled score that can be awarded)
  • 120 (the highest scaled score)


Children are expected to achieve a scaled score of 100 or more; if they received a scaled score of 99 or less, they will not have attained the expected standard in the test.


How Can Parents Help Their Children to Prepare for Key Stage 2 SATs?


Children set to sit the Key Stage 2 SATs should have access to the best practice resources available to improve their academic ability as well as their performance in the exams. As a parent, you can invest in practice SAT exam papers to ensure that your child has everything they need to achieve high marks in the assessments. Preparation is key, so alongside a revision timetable, children should regularly take practice papers to gain an idea of the types of questions they will face.


The following resources have been created specifically for those sitting the Key Stage 2 SATs exams:


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 1


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 2


These practice tests come with detailed mark schemes includes so you can see exactly what’s expected of your child. With a good parental understanding of KS2 SATs, and regular practice sessions with your child, these exams shouldn’t be the cause of any unnecessary worry at home.


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Chris Yarzab





SATs Tips for Tutors



Whether you are specifically helping your tutee prepare for SATs or not, it’s important to be aware of the SATs exam, and what it entails. In the first instance, if you are unfamiliar with the exam, find out more about SATs in this post.


Ensure Students Understand the SATs Exam Format


It’s essential that students understand how the SATs exam is structured. In Year 6, children sit exams that cover the following subjects:


  • Reading – A reading comprehension paper, 60 minutes duration
  • Spelling Punctuation and Grammar – Paper 1 is a 45 minute grammar and punctuation test and Paper 2 is a spelling test
  • Maths – Paper 1 (30 minutes) tests arithmetic , Paper 2 (40 minutes) and Paper 3 (40 minutes) test mathematical reasoning


A good way to help students become familiar with the exam layout and the types of questions they may be asked is to work through exam practice papers. SATs exams are relatively short time-wise, but require children to answer questions quickly and confidently.


Arrange for students to sit timed papers. If they run out of time, they’ll likely need to work on their time management skills. If they finish too early, they might have missed a question, or not answered each one in full. Practice exam papers give children vital SATs practice and immediate feedback after completion.


We would recommend the following resources for SATs practice:


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 1


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 2


Create a Tailored Study Plan


A study plan should be one of the first things you implement in a student’s SATs preparation. The plan should allow adequate time to cover all the required topics, while allowing students some much-needed relaxation in between sessions. A study timetable can be as simple as a spreadsheet, or as vibrant as a wall planner – either way, make sure that there’s a plan in place before you begin your first study session together.


Children are more likely to perform well in the exam if they have a structured plan in place, so tutors should aim to:


  • Encourage students to study little and often – shorter study sessions make it easier for children to retain information.
  • Consider which learning strategy is best for your student. Good tutors should assess a child’s ability on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that their study programme is as tailored as possible and contains the right mix of learning techniques. For example, a good SATs tutor will know whether their student is good at note taking, or prefers visual aids to improve their memory.


Make Revision Fun


Girl in a classroom smiling


Motivation is key in preparing children to sit the SATs exam. Tutors should make revision sessions fun in order to maintain students’ interest in studying, particularly on days where their motivation is lacking. Of course, this can be difficult, especially after a tiring school day, but it’s vital to a child’s success that revision sessions don’t become boring.


Try to vary each lesson as much as possible by introducing different teaching methods and revision games.


Reward Good Effort


A large part of SATs exam success is down to confidence. If students believe that they can do well in the exam, they’re far more likely to perform at their best on the day. As a tutor, it’s important to acknowledge when your student has performed well in a certain task. By providing positive, encouraging feedback, your students will be motivated to continue doing well.


Although rewarding good effort is undoubtedly important, be careful not to give undue praise. It’s important that students have realistic expectations and know where their strengths and weaknesses lie.


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Department of Ed

SATs Advice for Parents



The build-up to SATs in primary school can cause feelings of anxiety and unease in young children and it can also be a tense time for parents too. In this post, we’ve put together some helpful SAT advice for parents, including how to help your child study and how to help them deal with exam stress.


How to Help Your Child Cope with SATs


The more preparation your child does for the exam, the more confident they’ll feel in answering the different types of questions. One of the best ways of helping your child establish effective learning habits is to plan what they’ll study beforehand. Creating a study schedule with your child can be a great way to ensure that they cover everything they’ll need to know for the exam.


However, coping well with SATs isn’t just about what, or when, your child studies but how. The way that your child approaches their revision is just as important as the time they put in. As a parent, there are several ways you can ensure your child develops good study habits, such as:


  • Helping them to find a quiet place to study.
  • Encouraging them to ask for help, either from yourself or a teacher, if they are unsure of something.
  • Investigating the best learning strategy for your child, to ensure all study time is as effective as possible.
  • Taking practice exam papers to enable your child to not only familiarise themselves with the test’s layout, structure and format, but to also improve their time management.
  • Splitting study time into short, 20-minute bursts. For the majority of children, this is a more manageable approach than long study sessions and it’ll keep their motivation levels higher for longer.


Coping with Exam Stress


Photo of Desks in an exam hall


Everybody reacts differently to exam pressure, including young children. While many cope well with test conditions, others might need more support. During this time, it’s important that parents also learn to cope with SATs stress, in order to keep your child’s anxiety levels low. But how?


Be positive


As an interested parent, you are one of your child’s main support networks – not to mention their biggest cheerleader. Children will have a better response to their SATs preparation if they are surrounded by positive messages during their revision sessions. Don’t talk about ‘failing’ the SATs; keep your child motivated by encouraging them after each study session and if they are struggling with a particular topic, work through it with them.


Think beyond the classroom


As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your child is eating well, sleeping properly and keeping active during the SATs revision period. Establish a routine of going to bed at a reasonable time, make sure they are eating a balanced diet and build time into their study plan for them to have some fun and get enough exercise. The key is to avoid SATs exam burnout, so allow your child to lead a balanced life in the run-up to the exam.


If your child is struggling with stress, watch this short video together and have a chat afterwards about their worries or concerns:



Be prepared


Feeling unprepared is one of the biggest causes of exam stress in children. The more your child prepares for their SATs, the more likely they’ll cope easily with the whole process – and therefore, so will you! Work through practice SAT exam papers with your child to ensure they are comfortable with the questions. Once they understand what the examiners are looking for, have them take a few practice papers on their own, under exam conditions. You’ll be amazed at how much a child’s confidence increases once they’re fully prepared for SATs.


Dealing with SATs Results Day


Photo of a girl upset


Waiting for SAT results can be a tense time for the whole family. If your child doesn’t get the results they’d hoped for, disappointment is understandable, but it’s not the end of the world.


Keep SATs in perspective on results day by:


  • Reassuring your child that you’ll be proud of them however they do. Explain to them that their SATs results are only a small part of their time at school, and an even smaller part of their whole life, so as long as they tried their hardest, you’re happy.
  • Explaining to your child that SATs only focus on specific subjects. If they have a passion for a subject or two that isn’t tested, then the results don’t showcase their overall ability.
  • Learning from the overall experience. If your child has taken SATs in KS1, is there something different you would do for their SATs preparation in KS2? Or if your child has taken SATs in Year 6, can they learn from their experience? Parents should remain positive on results day; even if your child doesn’t do as well as you’d hoped, it’s important to stay constructive about their future learning. If you’re positive, your child is less likely to be despondent.


Related posts:

Study Tips for the SAT Exam

What are SATs in the UK?


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Emmy Kid 49


KS2 SATs Preparation Tips



Key Stage 2 (KS2) SATs take place in May and aim to give teachers an indication of the academic progress your child has made so far.


Pupils sit their second set of SATs at KS2 in Year 6 and are tested on:

  • Reading
  • Maths
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar


KS2 SATs are marked externally, with children receiving their results before they leave primary school in the summer term of Year 6. As a parent, it can be easy to feel unprepared ahead of the SATs exams. But with some organisation and planning, KS2 SATs revision needn’t be a stressful experience.


To get the most from your child’s SATs preparation at KS2, consider the following advice:


Be Organised


This is arguably the most important part of SATs preparation. Success in the exams comes from starting your child’s revision early and establishing an action plan. It’s important to involve your child in establishing a study routine from the very beginning, so that they feel included and more willing to listen to advice later on.


Devise a Study Plan


At KS2 level, SATs are more formal than previous exams your child will have taken, so it’s a good idea to create a study plan early on. Some children prefer a wall planner, so they can actively cross off completed study sessions, while others work better online with a spreadsheet that’s updated regularly with progress.


A KS2 SAT study plan should clearly state the subjects that need to be studied, when, and for how long. You should encourage your child to make time to study every day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. It may be a good idea to complete SATs study immediately after school, so your child has some valuable relaxation time before they go to bed.


Read Anything – and Everything!


Photo of books on a bookshelf


At KS2 SAT level, children need to be good readers, so encourage them to read more. Pick a book from this reading list or suggest they expand their reading into something more meaningful to them, such as sport, travel or appropriate news stories.


At 11 years old, your child might think they are too old for a bedtime story, but reading together will improve both their reading and listening skills very quickly. The KS2 Reading SATs exam focuses on comprehension, so try to ask them questions during the story.


Make SAT Revision More Fun


Asking a child to commit time regularly to KS2 SATs revision is a big ask, but by making it more fun, there’s more chance of them enjoying the process. Revision games are an excellent way of keeping a child focused on the task at hand.


Take some time to make up a quiz, play a round or two of revision snap or help your child to remember key facts with silly mnemonics or ridiculous rhymes. These types of games work particularly well for children who struggle to sit still for fixed periods of time.


Use Practice Papers


Practice papers for KS2 SATs can be used early on in your child’s preparation, as they give a clear idea of how the exam paper will be laid out and what format it will take.


At Exam Papers Plus, our practice tests cover the subjects your child will be tested on in the KS2 SAT exams: Mathematics, Reading and English grammar, punctuation and spelling. They also come with detailed mark schemes, so you can easily identify in which areas your child may need additional preparation.


Our SATs practice tests cover all the required subjects of the real exams and have been updated to ensure they are current and accurate. Download a pack today:


Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 1

Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 2

Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 1

Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 2


Keep a Normal Routine


Kids playing soccer outside


Ahead of the KS2 SATs, children should continue with their usual routine. Don’t skip after-school clubs or sports practice, as this down-time is a vital component in keeping your child happy and healthy. In fact, in these periods of relaxation, children are able to recharge their brain and often come to their next study session more focused and able to concentrate for longer. Ensure your child gets a good night’s sleep ahead of the exam and give plenty of reassurance that there’s nothing to worry about, it’s just another day at school.


This selection of SAT tips for KS2 should banish many of your worries about the tests themselves. If you and your child are organised, follow a study plan and keep positive throughout the process, you’ll realise that the KS2 SATs aren’t so difficult after all.


Related posts:

Study Tips for the SAT Exam

What are SATs in the UK?


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