KS2 / 11+ / UKMT


At the end of Year 6, children in England sit KS2 tests in:  

  • Reading
  • Maths
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS)

KS2 SATs are compulsory for all Year 6 pupils. 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.

Maths SATs were updated in 2016 and consist of three papers:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic, 30 minutes
  • Paper 2: reasoning, 40 minutes
  • Paper 3: reasoning, 40 minutes

In 2020 and 2021 KS2 SATs did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

As of September 2016, the format for SATs has been overhauled.  The KS2 SATs since 2016 reflect the amended national curriculum, and are more rigorous than previous years' tests.  


Paper Format

Paper 1 will consist of fixed response questions, where children have to give the correct answer to calculations, including long multiplication and division. 

  • In this test, long division and long multiplication questions are worth 2 marks each. You will be awarded 2 marks for a correct answer. You may get 1 mark for showing a formal method.
  • All other questions are worth 1 mark each.
  • For questions expressed as common fractions, you should give your answers as common fractions.
  • All other answers should be given as either whole or decimal numbers.

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

For papers 1 and 2, if you cannot do one of the questions, go on to the next one. You can come back to it later if you have time. Calculators are not allowed. 



As of September 2016, the marking system for SATs has also been overhauled - there is a new SATs marking scheme and grading system which has replaced national curriculum levels.  The previous national curriculum levels have been scraped, and instead children are given scaled scores.  Now, children no longer get their results as a National Curriculum level, but as a scaled score and a judgement on whether or not they have reached the national standard expected for their age.

Their raw score – the actual number of marks they accrue – will be translated into a scaled score; this helps to allow for differences in the difficulty of the tests from year to year so that pupils' results can be compared accurately.  A pupil will be given your child’s 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)

A scaled score of 100 or more means that the child has met the expected standard in each KS2 SATs test; a scaled score of 99 or less means they haven't reached the government-expected standard.

The Department for Education expects at least 65 per cent of children to reach the expected standard (the figure was initially 85 per cent but has been revised).



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