Study Tips for the SATs Exam



For your child to do their best in the SATs exam, they need to be fully prepared and confident in their ability. As a parent, there’s plenty you can do to ensure that your child’s SATs revision time is fun and not overwhelming. In this post, we cover a variety of useful study tips that will help your child through stress-free, SATs exam preparation.


Create a Designated Study Area


At home, it can be tough to create an environment that’s conducive to studying, but it’s important to make the effort. It’s worth setting up a separate desk space in a lesser-used room in the house, rather than having your child study in their bedroom, where there are lots of distractions.


If you have younger children, make sure they know that they shouldn’t interrupt during study periods. For SATs, revision sessions should be little and often; you don’t want to overwhelm your child. Try to aim for 30-minute bursts of learning on a regular basis.


Create a Study Plan


Photo of a hand-written timetable


The key to performing well in SATs is good preparation. Not only does being prepared reduce stress levels for you and your child, but it provides an overview of what topics are left to cover. Play to your child’s preferences with the planner – if they’re a visual learner, opt for an attractive wall planner, for example. Alternatively, set up a simple spreadsheet.


A good SATs study plan should outline the topics that need to be studied, when and for how long. Keep your child’s confidence high by mixing up their weaker subjects with their strongest. Tick off each study session and reward your child for completing them.


Take Regular Breaks


Breaks should be accounted for in the study plan. Without them, your child will lose their focus and they may begin to resent their study sessions. Ideally, your child should give their brain and their eyes a rest during their breaks, so encourage them to go for a walk, or play in the garden, rather than using the internet or watching TV.


Make Learning More Fun


Even the most diligent pupils can sometimes find study sessions a chore. Revision games are an excellent way of keeping your child on track with their SATs study.  Some games you might want to try include creating a rhyme, or rap to remember important information, making quizzes to test their knowledge, and making voice recordings as a passive learning technique.


Use Practice Exam Papers


SAT Practice Exam Papers


When studying for SATs, it’s important to ensure that your child has a good understanding of what to expect in the actual exam. Exam practice papers are a great opportunity to familiarise them with the exam structure and layout. As the SATs get closer, arrange for your child to do timed papers. This will help them get used to answering questions under pressure and improve their time management skills.


Adapt to You Child’s Preferred Learning Style


Most children have a preference for a particular learning style. If your child is a visual learner, encourage them to use mind maps or diagrams. If they are an auditory learner, suggest they record their notes and play them back through headphones. For more active learners, give them space to move around the room while reciting their revision notes. Find what style works best for them early on in their study plan and they will make excellent progress in time for their SATs exam.


For more information about learning styles, check out this video:



Make it a Family Affair


The whole family should be aware of any impending SATs exam and should try to be as encouraging as possible during the preparation period. Many children respond well to the challenge of quizzes, so devise short question tests for family members to run through with them.


Related post:

What are SATs in the UK?


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What Are SATs in the UK?

If you have a child at primary school in England, you’re probably aware of SATs. In this post, we look at the exams at each level and provide advice on the best way to prepare for them.


What Are SATs?


SATs are national tests that children take twice during their primary school life. Firstly, at the end of Key Stage 1 (KS1) in Year 2, and then secondly, at the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2) in Year 6. These standardised tests are actually known as End of Key Stage Tests and Assessments, but most people know them as SATs.


What do SATs Aim to Achieve?


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SATs are an indicator of the progress your child has made at school so far. They are not a measure of whether your child is passing or failing; they simply show what level your child is currently working to.


Every year, there is a debate about the effectiveness of SATs. Our advice is to find out your child’s preferred learning methods and support them during the build-up to the exams.


SATs at KS1


KS1 tests are assessed by teachers. This means that there is no external marking, except occasionally for moderation, and the tests themselves tend to be fairly informal, so as not to create any undue pressure for pupils. Currently, children are tested in maths (arithmetic) and English (reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar).


In Years 3, 4 and 5, some schools choose to have children take optional SATs. Although the results from these tests are not nationally recorded, they do enable teachers to assess a child’s progress.


Our resources:


Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 1

Key Stage 1 SATs Practice Test 2


SATs at KS2


Pupils sit their second set of SATs at KS2 level in Year 6. These tests are more formal than those taken in KS1 and have set exam days as well as external marking in the majority of schools. Children will take exams in English reading comprehension, grammar, punctuation, spelling, mathematical reasoning, and arithmetic.


Our resources:


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 1

Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 2


When Do We Get SATs Results?


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Once the KS2 SATs are complete, they will be sent away for external marking and children should receive their results towards the end of the summer term in July of Year 6. You will receive a report stating your child’s:


  • Raw score – simply, the actual number of marks they received in their SATs
  • Scaled score – a conversion score that allows results to be compared year-on-year
  • Expected standard – whether or not they have achieved the national standard


SATs have undergone significant changes in recent years, having previously been marked using ‘levels’. As of 2016, national SATs results are to be reported only in the form of scaled scores.


How Can I Help My Child Prepare for SATs?


A lot of the skills that students need to do well in the test are taught in the classroom, but you can also do additional preparation at home to make your child feel confident going into the exam, including:


  • Agreeing on a revision plan and ensuring your child sticks to it.
  • Revising little and often – asking children to concentrate for 45 minutes requires practice, so don’t overwhelm them. Take a look at our revision tips for more practical advice.
  • Take SATs practice papers. Practice papers will go a long way in helping to familiarise your child with the types of questions they might come across.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Yes, SATs are important but if you stress out about your child’s upcoming tests, it might rub off on them.


Our SATs practice tests cover all the topics your child will need to know for the real exams. They are updated regularly to ensure that they are current and accurate. Detailed mark schemes are included.


Download one of our packs 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


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