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What SATs papers will my child sit?

The Tests


Key Stage 2 SATs take place nationally in the week commencing Monday 11 May 2020. Statutory tests will be administered in the following subjects:

  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Spelling (approximately 15 minutes)
  • Punctuation, Vocabulary and Grammar (45 minutes)
  • Mathematics
    • Paper 1: Arithmetic (30 minutes)
    • Paper 2: Reasoning (40 minutes)
    • Paper 3: Reasoning (40 minutes)


Generally, there are no tests to be administered in science this year. Schools selected for science sampling will administer the test within a 2-week period.

All tests are externally marked.

As in recent years, writing will be teacher assessed.




The reading test consists of a single test paper with three unrelated reading texts. Children are given 60 minutes in total, which includes reading the texts and answering the questions.

A total of 50 marks are available.

Questions are designed to assess the comprehension and understanding of a child’s reading.

During the reading paper, a child’s inference and deduction skills are thoroughly tested. They will also be expected to answer questions on authorial choices, explaining why an author has chosen to use particular vocabulary, grammar and text features.

Some questions are multiple choice or selected response; others require short answers and some require an extended response or explanation.


Sample reading questions:

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

A spelling test is administered containing 20 words, which lasts approximately 15 minutes. A separate test is given on grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.

This test lasts for 45 minutes and requires short answer questions including some multiple choice. Marks for these two tests are added together to give a total for grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Sample question:


The mathematics tests have undergone the biggest change in recent years. Children will sit three tests: paper 1: arithmetic, paper 2: reasoning and paper 3: reasoning.

Paper 1 is for arithmetic lasting for 30 minutes, covering calculation methods for all operations, including use of fractions, percentages and decimals.

Questions gradually increase in difficulty. Not all children will be expected to access some of the more difficult questions later in the paper.

Papers 2 and 3 cover problem solving and reasoning, each lasting for 40 minutes.

Pupils will still require calculation skills but will need to answer questions in context and decide what is required to find a solution.