Key Stage 2 SATs (Year 6)

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The KS2 SATS takes place in Year 6. Please see below for a breakdown of each paper. There is no detailed information given about the science SATS as these tests are taken by a chosen representative sample (10,000 schools) of children. These tests are taken every 2 years. Selected schools will be notified about the 2020 science tests.

Each science paper is 25 minutes and is worth a total of 22 marks each. The science questions will typically ask to describe, group or predict.

The tests are split into sections and are over several days. They consist of maths and English tests. There are some scientific tests but they are only for a few schools. (The information for that is on the main SATS page)



English is two papers:

Paper 1 focuses on punctuation and grammar, where the child is asked to write, tick or circle the answer.

Paper 2 is in 2 sections. The first section is made up of 20 spellings, which will be read out loud in the exam, then put into the context of a sentence and the child will be asked to write the correct spelling in the booklet. 

The second section is the reading text, where your child will be asked to read 3 texts and answer questions based on these texts.


English grammar punctuation and spelling format:
Component Description No of Papers No of Marks Timing of each Component
Paper 1:


grammar, punctuation and vocabulary 1 50  45 minutes
Paper 2 



(20 words)

1 20 15 minutes

(Not strictly timed)

Total 2 70 60 minutes


English reading format:
Component Description No of Papers No of marks Timing of each component
Paper 1:

English reading test

reading booklet and separate answer booklet

(1500 – 2300 words within the selection of texts)

1 50 60 minutes

(Includes reading time)

Total 3 50 60 minutes


Maths format:
Component Description Number of Papers No of marks Timing of each component
Paper 1:



assess pupils’ confidence with a range of mathematical operations

1 40 30 minutes
Paper 2 :



mathematical fluency, solving mathematical problems and mathematical reasoning

1 35 40 minutes
Paper 3:



mathematical fluency, solving mathematical problems and mathematical reasoning

1 35 40 minutes
Total 3 110 110 minutes

Click here to view the new sats grading system

Maths paper breakdowns:

Paper 1 (arithmetic) includes

  • Fractions (including mixed numbers).
  • Decimals (including converting fractions into decimals).
  • Percentages (and how they relate to fractions).
  • Square numbers.
  • Rounding numbers.
  • Applying Addition, subtraction, long and short multiplication and long and short division coupled with the order of operations (BODMAS/BIDMAS).


Papers 2 and 3 are mathematical reasoning papers and will require knowledge of concepts tested in paper 1, but are based on more problem-solving.

Topics will include (please note this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Number:
    • place value
    • four operations (including the order of operations)  
    • directed numbers
    • rounding
    • fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Geometry:
    • symmetry
    • reflection
    • rotation
    • coordinates
    • 2D and 3D shapes and their properties
  • Ratio and proportion: 
    • including direct and inverse proportions
  • Charts and tables:
    • line graphs
    • pie charts
    • pictograms
    • block diagrams
    • tables
    • tally and bar charts
  • Units and measures: 
    • time
    • money
    • mass
    • weight
    • volume
    • temperature
  • Shapes 
    • properties of various shapes 
    • angles 
  • Roman numerals
    • a bit of an odd one this!
  • Statistics 
    • mean
    • median
    • mode


How you can help your child at home:

The key thing to remember with these is that this is not a ‘pass or a fail’ test. The SATs test is for the school much more than for the child, so do not spend sleepless nights over them. There are plenty of general tips on our main SATS page, but here are some specific to KS2:

In incomprehension, get them to predict- what do they think will happen next in the story, or maybe, what an alternative ending might be for this passage. 

In maths, get them used to the mathematical language, so that they recognise, for example, that add and sum mean the same thing.

Also read through our key stage 2 page, as this will give you information about what each child is expected to know by the end of KS2. This will help you prepare for all of the expected topics in the papers.


How can Redbridge Tuition help?

The teaching methods used by your child’s school in maths and English may be very different from how you, the parent, were taught. 

For example, for multiplication, children are now taught that multiplication is repeated addition. So for example, 4 times 6 is 6+6+6+6 or 4+4+4+4+4+4. From there, higher-level multiplication is then taught.  

In literacy, there have been changes in some of the terminology. There is, for example, no longer a distinction between connectives and conjunctions. Instead, we now have to subordinate and coordinating conjunctions.

One of the key indicators (objectives) in reading is that children should be able to discuss and evaluate the language that the author has used and its impact on the reader.

At Redbridge Tuition, the small groups mean that children get the individual attention they need but are also able to discuss things in pairs. As speaking and listening is part of the National Curriculum, this is an excellent way to make sure that each child gets the best of both worlds.

Contact us for further information on our SATs courses.

We will help to make sure that children have strong subject knowledge and exam practice.

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