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SATs Information 2017

In the summer term of 2016, children in Year 2 and Year 6 were the first to take the new SATs papers. The new-style SATs for English and maths reflect the new national curriculum, and are more rigorous than previous years' tests. There is also a completely new SATs marking sheme and grading system which has replaced national curriculum levels.


At the end of Year 6, children sit tests in:

  • Reading
  • Maths
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar


These tests are both set and marked externally, and the results are used to measure the school’s performance (for example, through reporting to Ofsted and published league tables). Your child’s marks will be used in conjunction with teacher assessment to give a broader picture of their attainment.

Key Stage 2 Reading

The reading test is a single paper with questions based on three passages of text. Your child will have one hour, including reading time, to complete the test.

There will be a selection of question types, including:

  • Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story’
  • Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title of the story’
  • Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that suggests what the weather is like in the story’
  • Short constructed response, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’
  • Open-ended response, e.g. ‘Look at the sentence that begins Once upon a time. How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph? Explain fully, referring to the text in your answer.’

Key Stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test

The grammar, punctuation and spelling test consists of two parts: a grammar and punctuation paper requiring short answers, lasting 45 minutes, and an aural spelling test of 20 words, lasting around 15 minutes.

The grammar and punctuation test will include two sub-types of questions:

  • Selected response, e.g. ‘Identify the adjectives in the sentence below’
  • Constructed response, e.g. ‘Correct/complete/rewrite the sentence below,’ or, ‘The sentence below has an apostrophe missing. Explain why it needs an apostrophe.’

Key Stage 2 maths

Children sit three papers in maths:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic, 30 minutes
  • Papers 2 and 3: reasoning, 40 minutes per paper

Paper 1 will consist of fixed response questions, where children have to give the correct answer to calculations, including long multiplication and division. Papers 2 and 3 will involve a number of question types, including:

  • Multiple choice
  • True or false
  • Constrained questions, e.g. giving the answer to a calculation, drawing a shape or completing a table or chart
  • Less constrained questions, where children will have to explain their approach for solving a problem

Key Stage 2 science

Not all children in Year 6 will take science SATs. However, a number of schools will be required to take part in science sampling: a test administered to a selected sample of children thought to be representative of the population as a whole. For those who are selected, there will be three papers:

  • Biology: 25 minutes, 22 marks
  • Chemistry: 25 minutes, 22 marks
  • Physics: 25 minutes, 22 marks

It sounds very intimidating, but these are ‘questions in a physics/chemistry/biology context’, for example:

Biology: ‘Describe the differences in the life cycle of an amphibian and a mammal’

Chemistry: ‘Group a list of materials according to whether they are solid, liquid or gas’

Physics: ‘Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, based on where the poles are facing’

Science sampling is not scheduled to take place in May 2017, but schools will be selected for it in May 2018.

When will KS2 SATs take place in 2017?

The Year 6 KS2 SATs will be administered in the week commencing 8 May 2017.

The 2017 SATs schedule is as follows:


Monday 8 May 2017

English reading

Tuesday 9 May 2017

English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1: questions

English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic

Mathematics Paper 2: reasoning

Thursday 11 May 2017

Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning

How will Key Stage 2 SATs be marked?

The previous national curriculum levels have been scrapped, and instead children are given scaled scores.

You will be given your child’s raw score (the actual number of marks they get), alongside their scaled score and whether they have reached the expected standard set by the Department for Education (‘NS’ means that the expected standard was not achieved and ‘AS’ means the expected standard was achieved).

The range of scaled scores available for each KS2 test is:

  • 80 (the lowest scaled score that can be awarded)
  • 120 (the highest scaled score)

The expected standard for each test is a scaled score of 100 or more. If a child is awarded a scaled score of 99 or less they won't have achieved the expected standard in the test.

Are there any practice papers for the new curriculum KS2 SATs?

Yes, the 2016 KS2 SATs papers are now available and can be downloaded for free from TheSchoolRun:


KS2 tests - video for parents

Still image for this video

A useful guide for parents/carers