SATs revision: your KS2 SATs maths helper

KS2 SATs maths helper
Some of the maths topics your child needs to know by the time they sit their SATs at the end of KS2 can appear daunting, but we suggest simple and effective ways to practise and revise at home.

KS2 maths SATs: understanding the test

At the end of Year 6 all children sit a KS2 maths SATs exam, which is made up of three papers:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic (30 minutes)
  • Paper 2: reasoning (40 minutes)
  • Paper 3: reasoning (40 minutes)

The arithmetic paper consists of around 36 questions that are all number sentences involving the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Numbers used may be decimals with up to two places, or whole numbers with up to five digits. Children will be required to calculate with percentages and decimals.

The reasoning papers each consist of around 20 questions, each of which present a problem or puzzle that requires your child to apply their mathematical knowledge in a variety of contexts.

Using practice papers

In 2016, the format and content of SATs was completely overhauled. The 2016 official KS2 Maths SATs papers, 2017 papers and 2018 papers are now available to download for home study.

It may be a good idea to ask your child to do these papers unaided – maybe doing one paper every other day over the course of a week. You can then mark their papers using the mark scheme, which you can also download, and see where their strong and weak areas are. 

You can also download past Y6 SATs papers (these will be in the pre-2016 SATs format, but are still useful for practice) and work through them with your child to help familiarise them with exam technique. Looking through the kinds of questions they will be asked will help you identify any areas of difficulty, as well as boosting your child's confidence by highlighting all the skills they've learned in Key Stage 2.

Going through the arithmetic paper with your child is an excellent way to find out if they are secure with their methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and if not, work to address their difficulties. Some of the questions in the arithmetic paper are difficult, so don't force them on your child until you think they have all the basics. For example, they need to know how to find 10 per cent of an amount before they can possibly find 45 per cent.

When looking at your child's wrong answers in the reasoning papers, see if you can work out what skills they are lacking. For example, if they have misunderstood a two-step problem that requires multiplication and subtraction, where did they go wrong? If they got the multiplication wrong, they may need to brush up on their times tables. If they weren't sure which operations to use, they may need to practise a range of one-step problems before moving onto two-step problems. Think carefully about the skill they need to practise and then use the relevant TheSchoolRun worksheets to help them; you may want to use Year 4 or Year 5 worksheets, if appropriate.

Little and often is the best way to approach SATs revision; maybe you could work on two or three questions a day with your child so that they are not overloaded (read our parents' guide to using a KS2 SATs maths past paper for tips). Don't keep labouring over something they are finding too difficult; they will just get demoralised and you will put them off altogether. 

Here are the main maths objectives children will need to know when sitting the KS2 SATs. Each one is followed by a link to a TheSchoolRun worksheet that will help your child practise the skill.

Confused by the maths terminology? Our primary-school maths glossary explains the vocabulary in plain English.

Number and place value

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Read, write, order and compare numbers up to 10,000,000 and determine the value of each digitRead, write and order 7-digit numbers
Find the difference between a positive and negative integerDifferences between positive and negative integers
Round any number to a required degree of accuracyRounding decimals to one decimal place or the nearest whole number
Rounding to two decimal places

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Multiply numbers up to four digits by a two-digit number using long multiplicationMultiplying using long multiplication
Divide numbers of up to four digits by a two-digit number using long divisionDividing numbers with the long division method
Divide numbers of up to four digits using short divisionThe short division method
Identify common factors, common multiples and prime numbersCommon factors, common multiples and prime numbers puzzles

Fractions, decimals and percentages

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Use common factors to simplify fractionsSimplifying or reducing fractions
Compare and order fractionsCompare and order fractions
Add and subtract fractions with different denominators and mixed numbersFractions: addition and subtraction
Multiply simple pairs of proper fractionsMultiplying pairs of fractions
Multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100, and 1000 giving answers up to three decimal placesMultiplying and dividing numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 speed challenge
Multiply decimal numbers by whole numbersMultiplying decimals using the grid method
Work out equivalence between simple fractions, decimals and percentagesEquivalent fractions, decimals and percentages memory game

Ratio and proportion

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Solve problems involving ratio and proportionRatio problem-solving
Proportion puzzle
Solving problems: ratio and proportion
Find percentages of amountsPercentage problem
Solve problems involving similar shapes with a scale factorShapes and scale factors

Algebra

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Work out simple equationsIntroduction to algebra
Generate and describe linear number sequencesLinear number sequences explained
Find pairs of numbers that satisfy an equation with two unknownsWhat could the two numbers be?

Measurement

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Solve problems involving the calculation and conversion of units of measure, involving answers with up to three decimal placesSolving length problems
Solving weight problems
Solving capacity problems
Solve problems involving conversion of timeConverting measures time puzzles
Convert between miles and kilometresMiles and kilometres conversions
Calculate the area of parallelograms and trianglesCalculating the area of parallelograms and triangles
Work out the volume of cubes and cuboidsVolume of cubes and cuboids

Geometry: properties of shapes

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Draw 2D shapes using given dimensions and anglesFollow instructions to draw shapes
Recognise, describe and build simple 3D shapes, including making netsDraw your own 3D shape net
Find unknown angles in triangles, quadrilaterals and regular polygonsAngles in a triangle
Finding unknown angles in quadrilaterals
Illustrate and name parts of a circle: radius, diameter and circumferenceParts of a circle
Calculate unknown angles that are around a point and on a straight lineAngles around a point

Geometry: position and direction

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Describe positions on all four quadrants of the coordinates gridCo-ordinates and quadrants
Draw simple shapes on the coordinate plain, then translate and reflect themTranslating and reflecting shapes on all four quadrants

Statistics

Numeracy objectiveWorksheet
Interpret and construct pie charts and line graphs and use these to solve problemsAnswering questions on a pie chart
A
nswering questions on a line graph
Displaying information as a pie chart
Constructing a line graph
Calculate and interpret the mean as an averageCalculating the mean average

KS2 English SATs revision

For preparation and revision tips for Year 6 English SATs see our KS2 English SATs revision helper.