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.
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.
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.
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). However, under new government plans, in the near-future, SATs at KS1 level could be scrapped.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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