2016 sees the introduction of new SATS that bring testing in line with the changes to the national curriculum.

These tests will take place towards the end of Year 6 (May) and will cover the following key areas:

1. Reading

The Reading test will consist of a one hour paper is focused on comprehension. A variety of texts will be included in the reading passages and will include fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Pupils will be required to answer questions based upon the following key competencies:

Ranking and Ordering Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story.
Matching Match the text to the purpose.
Labeling Label the text to show the title.
Find and Copy Find and copy one word that suggests…
Short Response What does the bear eat?
Open Ended Response Look at the paragraph beginning:
Once upon a time…
How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph?
Explain fully referring to the text in your answer.
Multiple Choice Where would you be most likely to see this text? Tick one of the options below.


2. Grammar, spelling and punctuation tests

The grammar, punctuation and spelling test will consist of two main parts

A. Grammar and punctuation test (45 minutes)

This paper will require pupils to tick, circle, line or write a short response.

Question Type Example
Identify Tick one word to complete the sentence below. Circle all the [nouns] in the sentence below. Which sentence [is punctuated] correctly?
Match Draw lines to match each sentence to [its type].
Complete / rewrite / correct Rewrite the sentence below, changing it to [past tense]. Copy the sentence below. Add [commas] where necessary.
Write Write a statement [to answer the question below].
Explain The sentence below has [an apostrophe] missing. Explain why it needs [the apostrophe]. Why is the [colon] used in the sentence below?

Key topics that will be covered are as follows:

  • Nouns
  • Verbs
  • Pronouns
  • Adjectives
  • Adverbs
  • Determiners
  • Conjunctions
  • Clauses
  • Subjunctive verbs
  • Passive and active voices
  • Subordinate clauses
  • Capital letters
  • Commas
  • Inverted commas
  • Apostrophes
  • Colons
  • Semi colons
  • Hyphens
  • Suffixes
  • Homophones
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms

B. An aural spelling test of 20 words (approx. 15 minutes)

The spelling test will incorporate both monosyllabic and polysyllabic words and will include common exception words, common homophones and near-homophones.

3. Maths

The Maths test will consist of 3 different papers that take a combined 110 minutes. Calculators cannot be used in any of the papers.

Paper 1 (arithmetic) will comprise constructed response questions, presented as context-free calculations. The majority of the arithmetic calculations will be worth one mark. However, two marks will be available for long multiplication and long division.

Key Subject areas that will be tested are as follows:

  • Fractions (including mixed numbers)
  • Decimals (including converting fractions to decimals)
  • Percentages (including how they relate to fractions)
  • Square numbers
  • Rounding
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Long and short multiplication
  • Long and short division

In Papers 2 and 3, mathematical problems are presented in a wide range of formats to ensure pupils can fully demonstrate mathematical fluency, mathematical problem solving and mathematical reasoning. Papers 2 and 3 will include both selected response and constructed response questions. Selected response questions, where pupils are required to select which option satisfies the constraint given in the question, will include question types such as:

  • Multiple choice, where pupils are required to select their response from the options given
  • Matching, where pupils are expected to indicate which options match correctly
  • True / false or yes / no questions, where pupils are expected to choose one response for each statement or problem
  • Constructed response questions, where pupils are required to construct an answer rather than simply select one or more options, will include the following:
    • Constrained questions, where pupils are required to provide a single or best answer; these might involve giving the answer to a calculation, completing a chart or table, or drawing a shape; for questions worth more than one mark, partial credit will be available
    • Less constrained questions, where pupils are required to communicate their approach to evaluating a statement or problem

Children will need to know how to accurately measure with a ruler and a protractor and good knowledge of times tables and number bonds will give children a real advantage.

Key Subject areas that will be tested are as follows:

  • Geometry (including coordinates, rotation, reflection, symmetry)
  • Ratios (and how to interpret them from fractions and percentages)
  • Charts and tables
  • Units and measures (including time, temperature, money, weight and volume)
  • Shapes and their properties (including triangles, hexagons and their angles.
  • Roman numerals
  • Mean, median and mode

4. Science

Some schools will be required to take part in Science tests which consist of 3 papers and last for combined 75 minutes.

There will be one paper for each of the following

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics.


Sample KS2 SATS tests

Sample questions have been published and can be found here:

National Curriculum Assessments Sample materials

See KS2 Resources