How to use a SATs past paper: KS2 maths

Girl doing homework
Help your child get to grips with their KS2 maths SATs test format by completing past papers at home. Our parent's guide offers guidance on how to administer the test, from the equipment your child needs to what examiners are looking for to award top marks.

The new 2016 maths SATs consist of three papers:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic
  • Paper 2: reasoning
  • Paper 3: reasoning

Practising with past papers is a great way to find out where there are gaps in your child's knowledge and to familiarise them with the experience of taking a test, including sticking to the time limits. There is only one set of official practice papers currently available for the new-style SATs, which are available to download. However, practising with old past papers can also help your child get used to exam formats and protocols.

If you want to try out the new practice papers at home, here's how to do it.

Paper 1: arithmetic

Your child will need a blue or black pen or a pencil (plus rubber if you think this is necessary) for this test. They must not use a calculator. When your child is ready to start the test, read out the following instructions: 

Write your name on the front of your mathematics test paper.

Open your test paper to page 3. I will read the instructions to you. (Read the instructions on page 3 of the test paper to your child).

You have 30 minutes for this test.

Work as quickly and as carefully as you can.

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.

If you finish before the end, go back and check your work.

Put your answer in the box for each question.

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.

To make sure your answers can be marked, don’t write in the grey areas, on the barcode or on the lines at the top and bottom of the edge of the page and do not crumple your test paper.

If you want to change your answer, put a line through the response you don’t want the marker to read.

Remember to check your work carefully.

If you have any questions during the test, you can ask me, but remember: I cannot help you with any of the questions.

I will tell you when you have five minutes left. I will tell you when the test is over and to stop writing.

Paper 2: Reasoning

Your child will need the following for this test:

  • a blue or black pen 
  • rubber (optional)
  • a sharp, dark pencil for mathematical drawing
  • ruler (showing centimetres and millimetres)
  • angle measurer or protractor
  • mirror

They mustn't use a calculator or tracing paper.

When your child is ready to start, read the following instructions: 

Write your name on the front of your mathematics test paper.

Open your test paper to page 3. I will read the instructions to you. (Read the instructions on page 3 of the test paper to your child).

You have 40 minutes for this test.

Follow the instructions for each question.

Work as quickly and as carefully as you can.

If you need to do working out, you can use any white space on a page.

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.

If you finish before the end, go back and check your work.

To make sure your answers can be marked, don’t write in the grey areas, on the barcode or on the lines at the top and bottom of the edge of the page and do not crumple your test paper.

If you want to change your answer, put a line through the response you don’t want the marker to read.

If you want to change a drawing, you should either put a line through the response you don’t want the marker to read, or use a rubber.

Remember to check your work carefully.

If you have any questions during the test, you can ask me, but remember, I cannot help you with any of the questions.

I will tell you when you have five minutes left. I will tell you when the test is over and to stop writing.

Paper 3: Reasoning

The instructions for this paper are the same as those for paper 2.

Marking

To mark your child’s paper, you’ll need the Teacher’s mark scheme. This goes through every question, and explains which answers will be given marks in the official maths SAT depending on how your child has answered.

For top marks, examiners are looking for:

  • Clear, unambiguous answers
  • Correct placement of decimal points
  • Correct use of measurements and units
  • Correct working of problems given – if your child has given an incorrect or incorrectly-written answer, correct working could be awarded half marks rather than no marks at all
  • Clear explanations on how to find a solution to a problem, when required

The old-style national curriculum levels have now been abolished. Instead, your child will be given their raw score (the number of marks they got), scaled score (a conversion of their raw score to allow results to be compared) and whether or not they have reached the national standard. The government has yet to announce what score children will need to get to reach the national standard, but working through the official practice papers and past papers should help you identify any areas that your child needs to work on.

KS2 English SATs practice papers and how to use them at home

Comments

can you tell me if the children are allowed calculators in their maths SATS tests this year? i mean test paper B

Hello - KS2 maths SATs papers are changing this year and a ban on calculator use has been announced (http://www.theschoolrun.com/changes-to-ks2-sats-in-2014-what-parents-need-to-know), though we won't know exactly what modifications will be made to the paper and type of questions until after the test. Elena Dalrymple, TheSchoolRun Editor

this would be a test of knowledge and skills for the children.. good practice..!