Welcome to our blog guide to the SATs for English, Maths and Science. Our other blog entries are listed at the bottom of this page.

Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs)

Scholastic Aptitude Tests. Boy learning

First of all, Key Stage 1 SATs, taken at the end of Year 2 help alert teachers and the school to specific areas where support may be needed. The results are also scrutinised by Ofsted when they inspect schools to determine the consistency in performance and provide evidence of standards improving or declining.

What do the SATs measure?

As a result, the SAT’s test school pupils in the three core subjects. Plus:

  • Your pupils’ school success in teaching these core subjects (English, Maths and Science); and
  • Your child’s progress.

Therefore, the SATs are now carried out at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and Key Stage 2 (Year 6). In 2010 Key Stage 3 SATs were scrapped and have been replaced by formal teacher assessment in each of the National Curriculum subjects.

Similarly, it was confirmed on 14 September 2017, that Key Stage 1 SATs will be made non-statutory (schools will be able to choose whether they want to take it) in 2023. Until then all Year 2 pupils will be subject to these assessments.

Most noteworthy is that the content of these assessments is prescribed by the National Curriculum.

Key Stage 1:

SATs Key Stage 1 comprises of Year 1 and Year 2 and pupils’ ages range from 5-7.

This Key Stage normally covers pupils in infant school, but they can also form part of a first or primary school. There is a phonics screening done at the end of Year 1, but the main assessment is done at the end of Year 2.

There are two elements to statutory assessments at the end of Year 2, a combination of tests and teacher assessment judgements.

SATs are completed for Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Science.

For each subject, teachers use the available evidence to reach individual judgements, based on the national assessment framework.

The judgements available for Reading, Writing and Mathematics are:

  • Working at Greater Depth within the Expected Standard
  • At the Expected Standard
  • Towards the Expected Standard
  • Foundations for the Expected Standard
  • Below the Standard of the pre-Key Stage

The only judgement available in Science is ‘Working at the Expected Standard’ or an indication the child has not met the expected standard for his/her age.

For pupils with Special Educational Needs, a separate judgement may be made, on a separate grading system.

Key Stage 1 Test Papers

The tests in Keystage 1 consists of the following:

There are two reading papers. Each paper has a selection of texts and children have to fill in answer booklets. One paper takes about 30 minutes and the other takes about 40 minutes.

There are two Maths papers. Paper 1 is on arithmetic; it takes about 20 minutes. Paper 2 has five aural questions and then some problem-solving questions; it takes about 35 minutes in total.

There is also an optional spelling, punctuation and grammar test that consists of 20 spellings and a 20-minute paper.

None of the papers is strictly timed. Teachers can use their discretion to decide if pupils need a rest break during any of the tests or, if appropriate, to stop a test early.

Key Stage 2:

Key Stage 2 therefore consists of Years 3-6 and pupils’ ages range from 7-11. During May of Year 6, the final year of Key Stage 2, children undertake 3 National Curriculum Tests: Reading, Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling and Mathematics.
Once again these assessments comprise both tests and teacher judgements.

The judgements at Key Stage 2 differ from Key Stage 1 because of the different roles played.

Reading and Mathematics also have fewer judgements as the focus is on the test scores. Science has only one judgement, as in Key Stage 1. Subsequently, the Teacher Assessment Framework is very helpful in explaining the finer details of this process.


School Entrance Tests 11+ Blog

8 Study Apps to achieve top grades! / CAT Practice Tips Intro /School Open Days / Now is the best time to start your 11+ Prep for 2019  


11 Plus Test Taking Tips

Maths test tips  /  Verbal reasoning test tips  /  Non-verbal reasoning test tips  /  Literacy test practice

  Exam preparation for all ages, all in one place.