Children in year six take the Key Stage Two (KS2) SATs in May each year. There are a number of elements to the KS2 SATS tests, including English reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar and maths. Writing is assessed through teacher assessment over the course of the year, rather than through a writing test.
The KS2 reading test is only one paper, containing comprehension questions based on three different genres of text. The test has a reading booklet and a separate answer booklet. Children will have one hour to read all three texts and complete the questions, which are worth a total of 50 marks.
The spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) element of the tests requires children to identify and write sentences that have correct grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling. This assesses children on their technical understanding of the English language as well as their writing ability. It comprises two papers:
The maths test comprises two components, presented to pupils as three test papers:
Children's raw score (the actual number of marks they get) will be translated into a scaled score. Tests are set each year to the same specification, but because questions must be different, the difficulty of tests may vary slightly each year. For this reason, raw scores are converted into scaled scores to ensure accurate comparisons of pupil performance over time.
A scaled score of 100 or more means a child is working at the expected standard, while a score below 100 indicates that a child hasn’t reached the government expected standard. The maximum score possible is 120, and the minimum is 80. To meet government expectations, pupils must achieve 100 in their scaled scores. However, this equates to different marks for each paper (maths; reading; grammar, punctuation and spelling) and can change each year. Pupils may be identified as achieving a higher standard if they have a scaled score of 110 or more (this score can change, but in recent years has been 110).
You will receive your child's results with the their end of year school report. Each child will receive confirmation of whether they achieved the national standard. As a parent, you might be given your child’s scaled score or a code but you are unlikely to be told your child’s raw score.
Secondary school teachers will be told their incoming pupils’ SATs scaled scores. The way these scores will be used will vary between schools; some will use scaled scores to set year 7 pupils in maths and English, many use these in combination with their own year 7 tests at the start of secondary school.
Below is further guidance for parents in supporting pupils. Additionally, you will find a selection of practice packs for each test area mentioned above.