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?


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?


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?


SATs exam prepration


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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