KS2 SATs Maths: What You Need to Know



KS2 SATs Maths tests your child’s understanding of numbers and mathematical problem-solving. But for some children, this knowledge doesn’t come easily and this can lead to anxiety that can impact their final SATs score. In this article, we share everything you need to know about the KS2 SATs Maths test, including what to focus your child’s revision sessions on and how to prepare for the exam itself.


KS2 Maths: Understanding the Test


Towards the end of Year 6, all children in the UK sit a Key Stage 2 Maths SATs exam. There are three test papers in total, consisting of:


  • Paper 1 – arithmetic (30 minutes)


This arithmetic paper is made up of around 36 number-focused questions, that challenge pupils to use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. In this paper, children will be required to use percentages, fractions and decimals.


  • Paper 2 – reasoning (40 minutes)
  • Paper 3 – reasoning (40 minutes)


Both of these reasoning papers consist of around 20 problem-solving questions, in which children must show solid mathematical knowledge by solving various problems and puzzles.


KS2 SATs Maths: Areas to Focus On


For your child to perform well in the Maths SATs at KS2, they are required to understand a variety of mathematical topics. Although not an exhaustive list, below are some of the topics your child could be tested on during the exam:


  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Algebra
  • Fractions, Decimals and Percentages
  • Fractions – equivalent, adding, subtracting, improper and mixed
  • Geometry – properties of shapes and position and movement
  • Measurement – metric units, area, perimeter
  • Measurement – time and roman numerals
  • Multiplication and Division
  • Number and Place Value
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Statistics


With such a broad scope, it’s important that your child understands basic mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, before introducing more difficult topics such as algebra and ratio.


If your child is continually struggling with a particular question type, work out why that is: what skill are they lacking? Perhaps they don’t know their times tables, or are unable to convert units of measurement. Practice SATs papers can give you a greater knowledge of your child’s weaker topics, well ahead of the SATs exam date.


KS2 SAT Maths: How to Prepare Your Child 



If you are preparing your child for their KS2 SATs, take a look at our preparation tips. When it comes to KS2 Maths revision, you can simply focus your child’s revision sessions to include the skills they will need for the exam. Why not try a combination of the revision strategies below?


Use Revision Cards


Plenty of mathematical topics lend themselves well to visuals, which can help learners who prefer this learning technique. Revision cards can help more interactive children to visualise their knowledge more easily.


Write a Maths Revision Timetable


Whether this is part of an overall study plan, or is a separate revision timetable, make sure your child is committing enough time to their maths study. Again, this can be more of a visual timetable with a wall planner, or can be a very simple spreadsheet that is easy for your child to follow from session-to-session.


Use Games to Make it Fun


A great way to maintain your child’s motivation for SATs study is through revision games. Revising number facts and mental arithmetic through quizzes or roleplay will help to keep them engaged for longer.


Use Practice Papers


It’s best to approach KS2 SATs revision ‘little and often’; perhaps introduce one practice SATs paper per week at first and then build up to more as the exam date gets closer. These papers will boost your child’s confidence ahead of the Maths SAT, as they will have acquired a greater knowledge of how the exam paper will be laid out and what format it will take. If your child is approaching Year 6 and will soon be sitting the KS2 SATs Maths exam, we would recommend the following practice papers:


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 1


Key Stage 2 SATs Practice Test 2




SATs are important, but make sure that your child isn’t overworking or at risk of burning out. Encourage them to get outside and be active, to eat well and to get plenty of good quality sleep. They’ll need it if they are going to succeed in their KS2 SATs!



Related Posts:

KS2 SATs Preparation Tips

SATs Advice for Parents


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