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


SATs preparation


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


SATs exam preparation


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:


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


Read Between the Lines



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.



Related posts:

The SATs Exam Format

How to Use KS2 SATs Practice Exam Papers

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