5 Step Guide to the 2018 KS2 Year 6 SATs Exams

This 5-Step Guide looks to answer the most common questions we get from parents like you:   

1. When are the KS2 Year 6 SATs Tests?

2. What are the formats and topics of the tests?

3. Is my child ready for the 2018 KS2 SATs tests? 

4. What are the main skills my child should develop to succeed?  

5. What can I do to help my child prepare?

1. When are the KS2 Year 6 SATs Tests?

The tests take place during the first full teaching week of May each year (i.e. the week after Bank Holiday Monday) and in recent years have been spread across four days. The upcoming test dates are between 14th-17th May 2018. Over the course of the week, there are six tests altogether covering the various areas of English and Mathematics as timetabled below:



Monday 14th May 2018

Monday 14th May 2018


Tuesday 15th May 2018


Wednesday 16th May 2018

Wednesday 16th May 2018

Thursday 17th May 2018


English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) Tests:

Paper 1: Short Answer Questions (45 minutes) 

Paper 2: Spelling (15 minutes) 

English Reading Test:

Paper 1: Reading Comprehension (60 minutes) 


Mathematics Tests:

Paper 1: Arithmetic (30 minutes) 

Paper 2: Reasoning (40 minutes) 

Paper 3: Reasoning (40 minutes) 

2. What are the formats and topics of the test?


English GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) Tests:


The grammar, punctuation and spelling test consists of two parts: a grammar and punctuation paper requiring short answers, lasting 45 minutes, and an aural spelling test of 20 words, lasting around 15 minutes.

The grammar and punctuation test will include two sub-types of questions:

  • Selected response, e.g. ‘Identify the adjectives in the sentence below’

  • Constructed response, e.g. ‘Correct/complete/rewrite the sentence below,’ or, ‘The sentence below has an apostrophe missing. Explain why it needs an apostrophe.’

English Reading Test:

The reading test is a single paper with questions based on three passages of text. Your child will have one hour, including reading time, to complete the test.
There will be a selection of question types, including:

  • Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story’

  • Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title of the story’

  • Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that suggests what the weather is like in the story’

  • Short constructed response, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’

  • Open-ended response, e.g. ‘Look at the sentence that begins Once upon a time. How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph? Explain fully, referring to the text in your answer.’

From 2018 the Department for Education has announced that the reading content of the KS2 SATs will be more closely linked to the curriculum to ensure children are drawing on their knowledge when answering reading comprehension questions.


Paper 1: Arithmetic Test:

This test consists of fixed response questions, where pupils have to give the correct answer to calculations, including long multiplication and division. 

Papers 2 and 3: Reasoning Tests:

The reasoning tests 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 questionswhere pupils will have to explain their approach for solving a problem

3. Is my child ready for the KS2 SATs Tests?

Most schools across the country will have carried out mock tests between September and November 2017. The results of these should have given you an indication of the level at which your child is performing. ​

If your child's school didn't carry out mock tests, or you were not happy with the level at which your child was performing but have no idea what level they might be at now, or maybe you just want to ensure your child performs at their very best, scroll to the bottom of this page for your limited time offer where we can assess your child's current curricular performance and work on a personalised learning plan based on their specific strengths and weaknesses and individual learning style. 

4. What are the main skills my child should develop to succeed?

In KS2 English SATs your child will be assessed on a range of reading skills, such as the ability to interpret information and comment on writers' use of language, and they’ll have to demonstrate accurate punctuation and an extensive vocabulary in a piece of writing.

In KS2 maths SATs they’ll be tested on a range of core skills, including knowing all times tables and using them to divide and multiply, using a protractor to measure anglescalculating the perimeter and area of shapes, solving problems by collecting and using information in tables, graphs and charts and solving problems involving ratio and proportion.

5. What can I do help my child prepare?

As a Parent, your focus should only have to be on:

  • Understanding your child's level of performance;

  • Communicating with their teachers and tutors about their progress; and,

  • Supporting and encouraging them. 

As School Teachers, their main focus is on:

  • Teaching all areas of the primary curriculum;

  • Taking responsibility for the progress of a class of 30 or more pupils; and,

  • Delivering lessons that cater for the needs of the whole class of mixed abilities.

As Realise Tuition Tutors, our main focus is on:

  • Assessing individual levels of performance and identifying strengths and weaknesses,

  • Implementing a personalised learning plan with short assessments to achieve mastery,

  • Providing feedback to your child in a way that develops their self confidence and then communicating their performance and progress to you. 

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We believe that every child has the potential for educational excellence, and it is our aim to ensure they realise it. Help us achieve our aim by sharing this information guide and free opportunity with other parents for their children. Thank you.

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