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Optional SATs

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Many parents don't realise that children are regularly assessed throughout Key Stage 2, but it is only the results of the Year 6 SATs that are nationally recorded.

In England primary-school assessments in Years 3, 4 and 5 can take the form of 'optional' SATs (optional because schools do not have to use this form of assessment, though they may choose to do so).

In Wales all children in Years 2-9 take tests in reading and numeracy at the end of each school year, the National Reading and Numeracy Tests.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland children are often assessed through end-of-year InCAS tests.

On this page you'll find links to free optional SATs past papers (based on the pre-2014 curriculum) for Y3, Y4 and Y5 to download, as well as optional SATs practice papers.


Child writing
What are optional SATs?
SATs don’t just happen in Years 2 and 6; in many schools, children sit tests every year throughout KS2. Here’s our guide to optional SATs and why your primary school child might take them at the end of this school year, plus links to free past papers to download.
What are primary-school CATs?
What are primary school CATs?
Even in non-SATs years, some primary-school children take formal tests known as CATs. We explain what the GL Assessment CAT or CAT4 tests for primary-school pupils involve and how the results are used.
Primary-school children using computers
The parent's guide to InCAS tests
Many primary-school pupils in Northern Ireland and Scotland are assessed every year using InCAS tests. We explain what’s involved.


Optional SATs papers: Year 3 English 2003
Optional SATs papers: Y3 English 2003
Optional tests help teachers assess children's progress at the end of each school year, and are used in some schools to help children get used to working in exam conditions. This Y3 English SATs paper from 2003 is free to download and can be used for at-home revision and practice.
Optional SATs papers: Year 4 English 2003
Optional SATs papers: Y4 English 2003
At the end of Y4 your child may take tests to help the teacher assess their progress and achievement. This Y4 English SATs paper from 2003 is free to download and may help your child practise and revise at home.
Optional SATs papers: Year 5 maths 2003
Optional SATs papers: Y5 maths 2003
The Year 5 maths optional SATs paper for 2003, available to parents for free download. Children may take tests in English and maths in Y3, Y4 and Y5 as part of the end-of-year teacher assessment process.
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Download free optional SATs papers for Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5

If you'd like to download an optional SATs past paper for your child's year group, the 2003 official papers used in schools are available for parents. (Papers written more recently are still used for testing in schools, so they are not distributed for parent use.) All the 2003 official optional SATs papers are available to download for free from TheSchoolRun.

Please note: all available optional SATs past papers reflect the pre-2014 curriculum.



Download optional SATs practice papers for Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5

Only a limited number of optional SATs past papers for maths and English are available for parent use. To offer your child more practice opportunities at home The SchoolRun has commissioned two maths and two English 'mock' optional SATs papers for each year group. TheSchoolRun's optional SATs practice papers are available exclusively to subscribers .

Year 3 optional SATs practice papers

Year 4 optional SATs practice papers

Year 5 optional SATs practice papers


SATs: Practice Makes Perfect

Our hugely popular SATs eBook is back in its sixth edition. SATs: Practice Makes Perfect has been written especially for all parents whose children are due to sit their SATs. In plain, straightforward language it tells you everything you need to know to help your child prepare for their exams, covering both Key Stage 1 and 2.

Your guide to KS2 SATs success

SATs tests can be a daunting prospect for teachers, parents and children. Give your child a head start with SATs preparation and boost their confidence about the exams with our KS2 SATs success guide, packed with tips, tricks and practical suggestions. In your guide you'll find:

  •     A complete guide to what parents need to know about the tests: what they involve, how teacher assessments are used and what the results you'll receive mean
  •     How to plan a SATs revision schedule
  •     Revision tips and tricks
  •     SATs study skills: practical techniques to teach your child to help them remember key facts and information

SATs paper

Key Stage 1 SATs revision course and Key Stage 2 SATs revision course

Be sure your child has covered all the learning objectives they are required to have mastered by the time they sit their Key Stage 1 SATs or Key Stage 2 SATs test (in the Summer term of Year 2 and Year 6 respectively). Work through the course of worksheets that cover all the core topics that could come up in the test to improve your child's chances of success and boost their confidence before SATs.