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Key Stage 1 SATs Explained

The SATs for year 2 children were updated in 2016 to reflect the changes to the national curriculum. All children are required to take these tests during the month of May and these will remain compulsory until 2023, after which date schools will be able to choose whether to administer them or not. Year 6 SATs will continue to be compulsory after this date.


So what will your Year 2 child have to do?

All children are required to sit tests in reading and maths, however the spelling, punctuation and grammar paper is optional for schools. All schools are free to set their own timetables for when these will take place.


Grammar, punctuation and spelling test

Paper 1 is a 20 word spelling test which takes around 15 minutes.

Paper 2 is a grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test which has a mix of multiple choices and writing short answers. This is approximately 20 minutes long.



The reading test consists of 2 separate papers, each of which has questions for the children to answer to test their comprehension skills. Each paper is expected to take around 30 minutes but teachers are able to use their discretion and children can be given longer if required. The teachers can stop the test early if they feel that is appropriate for an individual.

The questions are a variety of multiple choice, labelling, short answers and longer explanations.


Paper 1 lasts approximately 15 minutes and is testing arithmetic skills.

Paper 2 lasts approximately 35 minutes and is testing the children’s problem solving and reasoning skills where they are expected to explain or show how they have worked out an answer.


How are they marked?

The tests are marked by teachers within the schools.

Teachers will also assess the children with work which they have done over the year and this builds up a wider picture of the individual child’s achievements.

Parents are informed of both sets of results at the end of the summer term.

Please watch this short video for further information, which can be found on the Government’s website