Key Stage 1 SATs (Year 2)

Key Stage 2 SATs (Year 6)

What are SATs?

SATs is the acronym for Scholastic Assessment (or aptitude) Test. SATs were introduced in 1990 and have gone through several transformations. In line with the changes in The National Curriculum in 2014, the new SATs came into effect in 2016.

In the old SATs, at the end of Year 6, the average attainment was set at level 4c. The new SATs use a point system, where to pass the SATs, the child has to achieve 100. The range is between 80 and 120, with 120 being the highest achievable. The understanding is that 100 is the equivalent to the old 4b (a sub-level higher than the old SATs).


Who sets the tests?

The tests are set by The Standards and Testing Agency; government body and part of the DofE. The Standards and Testing Agency are responsible (amongst other things) for providing assessment and moderation unto the end of KS2. 


Why are they important?

SATs are used to measure not only each child’s progress during their time in primary school but also to measure each school’s performance in the core subjects of English and maths. 

For government purposes

They measure the four cognitive domains:

  1. Depth of understanding
  2. Computational complexity
  3. Spatial reasoning and data interpretation 
  4. Response strategy


For school purposes

They help schools mark and record the progress they have made over the year as well as to measure themselves against other schools.

They are also a useful indicator for secondary schools and gives them a starting point for each child so that they are put into the correct set. These can be used alongside the CAT tests (which are very similar to non-verbal reasoning tests).


For pupil purposes

They are a measure of your child’s progress and highlight the areas that need improvement


How are they marked?

KS1 papers are marked by the class teacher. 

KS2 papers are externally marked and the scores are returned to each school.


Who sits the tests?

Currently, all children in Year 2 (KS1) and all children in Year 6 (KS2) sit the tests. 


What is tested?

The tests will reflect what has been taught in the key stage, but are based on The National Curriculum, but must follow The Test Framework guidelines. The DofE states that the purpose of the framework is:

  • hold schools accountable for the attainment and progress made by their pupils 
  • inform parents and secondary schools about the performance of individual pupils 
  • enable benchmarking between schools, as well as monitoring performance locally and nationally.

So for KS1, children will be tested on all their learning in year 1 and year 2, and in KS2 they will be tested on what they learnt in year 5 and year 6. They will only be tested in English and Maths. Science is tested in key stage 2 but is done as a representative sample, so around 10,000 are selected for this.


How will my child be tested?

Most schools will create exam conditions, so the children may sit in the hall in full exam conditions. It means there are no distractions, and the administration of the tests is also easier for the school.


What is the test format?

Click on the links below to view the format of the SATs papers:

Format of the Year 2 (KS1) SATs

Format of the Year 6 (KS2) SATs


When do I get the results?

This may vary slightly from school to school. All schools will get the results on 9th July, so depending on the format (it might be verbal, an individual sheet or end of year school report) will depend on when you are told.


How will I know if my child has passed?

From 2016, the old levels were replaced with this new scoring system. To pass, a score of 100 needs to be achieved. Remember that the score range is from 80 to 120.

What that means is that is a child score below 100, they are not working to the expected standard. If this is the case, the school may provide or suggest additional support of some sort. If your child has achieved 100, then they are working to expected standards, and above 100 means they are working above expected standards. To look at the tables of conversion from raw scores, please click on the link below:

Year 6 (KS2) SATs

If you have any queries about the new national tests, there is a government-led National Curriculum Assessment Helpline which you can contact via email or telephone.


Telephone: 0300 303 3013


How can Redbridge Tuition help?

At Redbridge Tuition, we run SATs courses, which typically begin in January. This is because the SATs are testing more than the current year’s learning. The DofE wants to see the progress made in the 2 or 3 years that each child has spent in that key stage. 

We will look at the different areas that are being tested and help every child to revise, assimilate and practice to make sure they are ready and confident to take their SATs.

Book now to secure your child a space.

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