26 Jul 2019

Everything Parents Need To Know About SATs 2019: All Your Questions Answered (What, When, Why, Dates)

  • By Connor Whelan  | 
  • 26 Jul 2019  | 
  • 14 min read
  •  |  Free download

As a parent of a primary school child in the UK, SATs are probably something that you have been aware of for a while now. Everybody knows that these are the tests that children have to take during their time in primary school, but just how much do you know about them? It can be hard to keep up with the dozens of letters and emails that your child’s school sends out about the SATs, and that is why we are here with our blog on everything parents need to know about SATs 2019.


2019 SATS RESULTS UPDATE: If you are looking to find out more information about the 2019 KS2 SATs results, head over to our new blog which is full of all of the information parents and carers need to know about their child’s SATs results.

SATS 2020 UPDATE: If you are looking for more information about the SATs 2020, we’ve written all about them in our blog. 


There is a lot parents need to know about the SATs, so where better to start than by looking at what they are!

What are SATs in the UK?

SATs are tests administered by primary schools in England to children in Year 2 and Year 6 to gauge their educational progress.

In KS1 (Year 2), children will sit official SATs in:

  • Reading
  • Maths

They will also be assessed by their teacher on science, writing, and speaking and listening. This however is known as the teacher assessment, and it is not an official SAT.

In KS2 (Year 6), SATs are compulsory, and children will sit official SATs in:

  • English Reading
  • English Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Maths

They will also be assessed by their teachers on subjects including speaking and listening, writing and science.

By using teachers assessment, schools and the government are able to judge a child’s performance in a subject over a longer period of time.This means that teachers are able to account for a child’s whole knowledge and ability in a subject, not just that which comes to the fore in a test environment.

Year 6 SATs Practice Pack (Papers 1 - 3)

Download our FREE Year 6 Assessment Practice Pack (Papers 1 -3) and let your child work their way through the three practice papers to master Maths in no time!

Does my child have to sit SATs?

SATs are compulsory for all 7 and 11-year-olds in England.

However, in 2017 the Department for Education announced that the KS1 (Year 2) SATs will be made non-statutory from 2023. This means that from this date, schools will be able to choose themselves whether or not they administer the SATs to their Year 2 pupils.

This announcement does not affect any children due to sit the SATs before 2023 though, so if your child was born before August 31st 2015 they will still have SATs in Year 2.

What does SATs stand for?

SATs stands for Standard Assessment Tests.

SATs may be a common acronym that is used on many websites and in most school communications regarding the tests, but there are also a number of others phrases that your child’s teacher may use when discussing the SATs.

Here are some of the most common examples dissected so that you’ll know your scaled score from your national standard come SATs time.

SATs jargon broken down for parents

SPaG: This refers to the spelling, punctuation and grammar tests that form part of the English SATs.

National curriculum tests: This is the official name for the SATs, but the vast majority of people refer to them simply by SATs.

National standard: This is the level that children are expected to reach in their SATs, which is set at 100 for both KS1 and KS2.

Floor standard: If under 65% of a school’s pupils meet the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, and fail to make sufficient progress in all three subjects, the school will be considered below the floor standard.

Expected level/standard: A score of 100 means that your child is working at the expected standard.

Raw score: This is the number of marks your child can get on the tests.

Scaled Score: This is a score that is converted to allow SATs results to be compared year on year. This helps to take into account particularly difficult test years and other factors.

Age-standardised test scores: This is a way for parents to understand how their child did compared with other children who were born in the same month as their own.

League tables: League tables are produced by the Department for Education and they allow primary schools to be ranked by many different measures, including by SATs results.

The DfE: This stands for the Department of Education, and this is the part of government that is tasked with all things education.

What are SATs for?

SATs are predominantly used as a way for both parents and teachers to learn more about their child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. They give teachers the chance to see how children are doing in comparison to their peers not only within the same school, but also nationally.

SATs are a useful tool to see how well a child has progressed from KS1 to KS2, and they also give secondary schools a base to compare against when the time comes for your child to leave Year 6 and make the journey up to KS3!

Headteachers, Local Authorities and the Department for Education also uses SATs data to identify which primary schools are excelling, and which may be struggling. Thanks to this information being available, schools that are doing well will share what they are doing well with other schools to improve teaching on a much wider scale.


How Matr’s one-to-one online tuition can help your child ace their SATs

At Matr we know how hard it can be as a busy parent to find the time to help your child with SATs. Even with the best of intentions, there’s not always time to tackle everything!

This is where Matr can help. Our online one-to-one maths tuition is designed to give your child the chance to work through each of the crucial steps of a SATs revision plan in a fun, engaging and supporting environment. Our expert tutors are trained in all things SATs, and, with hundreds of schools across the country choosing it for their own Year 6 pupils, you know you’re in good company. Get ready for the SATs by booking our tuition programme today!


Why are SATs important?

Whilst there is a debate amongst some in the world of education that SATs are more important for a school than they are for an individual child, it is worth remembering that there are no direct consequences of a child ‘failing their SATs’. They won’t need to retake the exams, and you can rest assured that no prospective employer will be worried about a ‘below expected standard’ SATs result.

However, there are a number of reasons why SATs are important for your child:

They can be good measure of progress & can identify areas which may need a boost

SATs will help both parents and teachers to gauge the progress that a child is making. This enables teachers to identify areas where a child may need additional help, and then arrange for this help to be provided either in the classroom or via outside assistance such as one-to-one maths tutoring.

SATs are often used by secondary school to set streams

Most secondary schools look at Year 6 SATs results as part of the decision process when grouping students into sets or streams. Alongside Year 7 CAT exams, SATs results will help your child’s secondary school to put them in the right set to ensure that they get the most from their time there.

Hard work before SATs in KS2 is important

A student working hard in the run up to SATs.

Without the SATs, it would be difficult for schools to know whether to push and challenge a child, or whether they need some help in maths, English and the other subjects.

SATs are the measurement used in the school league tables

As a parent, chances are that when deciding on which primary school you would send your child to, you looked at the local league tables. These tables rank schools according to the percentage of students who reach the expected standard in SATs (which nationally is expected to be around 65%), and the percentage that exceeded the expected standard.

These tables will show you how well a school is performing against others in the local area, but it is important to realise that SATs results and the league tables are not the only things to take into consideration when choosing a school. They don’t tell you how well the students in the school perform in other, non-tested subjects, how many extra-curricular activities your child will be able to take part in or how many staff members will be on hand for example.

What are the SATs tests like?

If the word SATs presents you with a mental image of your child sitting in a large hall with row after row of desks covered in pens and papers, then you will be pleased to hear that this is not the case.

More often than not, both Year 2 and Year 6 SATs will be sat in the same classroom that your child has been learning in all year. This will vary from school to school though, so if you are interested in finding out more, talk to a teacher next time you are on the school run.

The papers themselves, whilst being designed to test your child’s knowledge, will consist of questions that are similar to the ones students would have seen in class or in end of year tests in previous years.

They will test techniques, skills and the knowledge gained not only from Year 6, but throughout the entirety of primary school. Roughly 50% of the content on the 2018 SATs papers came from topics studied in Year 6, with the remaining content being shared across Year 5, 4 and 3 in that order.

Year 6 SATs Practice Pack (Papers 1 - 3)

Download our FREE Year 6 Assessment Practice Pack (Papers 1 -3) and let your child work their way through the three practice papers to master Maths in no time!

What will be in The KS1 SATs papers?

KS1 maths SATs:

The KS1 maths SATs is made up of two papers:

  • Paper 1 is an arithmetic test which should take around 15 minutes. It will consist of 25 marks.
  • Paper 2 involves reasoning, problem solving and mathematical fluency. This paper has 35 marks available, will last for roughly 35 minutes, and contains a variety of question types.

KS1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling SATs:

  • Paper 1 is a 20 word spelling test worth 20 marks which should take roughly 15 minutes.
  • Paper 2 is a punctuation, grammar and vocabulary test. It comes in two sections of around 10 minutes each, and the paper is worth 20 marks.

For 2016, 2017 and 2018 the English grammer, punctuation and spelling tests were optional at KS1 so this may be the case once again in 2019.

KS1 reading SATs:

  • Paper 1 consists of a variety of texts totalling 400 to 700 words with questions placed at intervals throughout.
  • Paper 2 consists of a reading booklet containing different passages. These will total 800 to 1100 words.

Each paper for the KS1 reading SATs is worth 50% of the available marks and should take up to 30 minutes. The texts in the tests cover a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

What will be in the KS2 SATs papers?

KS2 reading SATs:

  • One paper with questions that are based on 3 passages of text. Students get 1 hour to answer the questions on the paper.

KS2 English grammar, punctuation and spelling SATs:

  • The written element of the spelling, punctuation and grammar SATs consists of a grammar and punctuation paper which lasts for 45 minutes.
  • There is also a 20-word aural spelling test which lasts around 15 minutes.

KS2 maths SATs:

  • Paper 1 is the arithmetic paper which will last for 30 minutes. It will contain fixed response questions where children have to give the correct answers to calculations.
  • Papers 2 and 3 will involve a wider range of question types including multiple choice, true or false and reasoning based. Both papers will last 40 minutes each.

When are the SATs?

SATs for both KS1 (Year 2) and KS2 (Year 6) take part in May each year, but there is some variation on exactly when your child will be sitting the SATs depending on their year group and school.

When Are The 2019 KS1 SATs Dates?

There is no set date for the KS1 SATs, other than the fact that they will take place in May. Specific dates vary from school to school, and they depend on a wide range of factors. If you want to find out more about this, take a look at the government’s education website.

KS1 SATs Dates 2019 – Testing Period

May 2019: KS1 English Reading Test Paper 1

May 2019: KS1 English Reading Test Paper 2

May 2019: KS1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling Test- Grammar/Punctuation

May 2019: KS1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling Test- Spelling

May 2019: KS1 Maths Paper 1 (Arithmetic)

May 2019: KS1 Maths Paper 2 (Reasoning)

KS1 SATs dates 2019

Helpful link for the KS1 SATs 2019

Confirmation on the dates of the tests from the Standards and Testing Agency

When Are The 2019 KS2 SATs Dates?

Ordinarily, the dates for the KS2 SATs run over one week per school year. In 2019 that week is between Monday 13th May 2019 – Thursday 16th May 2019.

It is during this time that your Year 6 child will complete 6 different tests, English for the first part of the week and maths for the second.

KS2 SATs Dates 2019 – Testing Period

Monday May 13th 2019: Spelling, punctuation and grammar Test- Grammar/Punctuation- 45 minutes

Monday May 13th 2019: Spelling, punctuation and grammar Test- Spelling- 20 minutes

Tuesday May 14th 2019: Reading Test- 60 minutes

Wednesday May 15th 2019: Maths Paper 1 (Arithmetic)- 30 minutes

Wednesday May 15th 2019: Maths Paper 2 (Reasoning)- 40 minutes

Thursday May 16th 2019: Maths Paper 3 (Reasoning)- 40 minutes

KS2 SATs Period 2019

When are the SATs results released?

For Key Stage 2 children, SATs results day is 9th July 2019.

By this date papers will have been marked by the external examiners, the raw marks converted into a scaled score and made available to parents. You will be told whether or not your child is meeting the expected standard along with both versions of their score. As well as this, your child’s school will share how their results compare to the national average.

For Key Stage 1 children, SATs results day varies from school to school. You will be told the results of your child’s tests in English, maths and science, and the school should show you how your child’s results compare to those of other children in the school and nationally.

How can I help my child prepare for SATs?

If all of this information is beginning to sound a little daunting and you are worried about how your child will manage come SATs time, there are things you can do to help them.

Work with your child and introduce some learning at home

A great way to help cement the knowledge that your child will be gaining in school is to bring some learning into your home. In the maths SATs for example, the four operations (addition, multiplication, subtraction and division) are all bound to come up in some way, shape or form, and this means that you can revise them with your child well ahead of time.

For more ideas on how to bring maths into your home, take a look at our popular blog.

Place a focus on their mental health during SATs and give them time to relax

In the run up to SATs, things can seem quite hectic to a young mind. They know there are exams coming up, and although we all understand that they are not the be all and end all, to a Year 6 student they can definitely seem that way.

One of the best things you can do as a parent to help your child prepare for SATs is to give them a time and a space to simply relax after a long day of learning or revising.

That certainly doesn’t mean that you should ignore revision/work at home altogether, rather to not worry as much when dishing out iPad or TV time.

Use free SATs papers to help them your child prepare for the SATs

We’ve prepared a free maths SATs paper that you can use at home to help your child prepare for their SATs.

Take a look and download it now.

Bring in a tutor to boost their confidence in a subject

It can often be hard to find the time to help your child with their school work at home, and that is why it could be worth considering bringing in some outside help in the form of a one-to-one tutor.

One-to-one tuition helping sats preparations

With the best will in the world, most teachers are not able to give students one-to-one teaching time when there are often 29 others in the class, so this is where a tutor could really come into their own.

One-to-one teaching has been proven to be the best way to increase learning amongst primary school aged pupils, so if there simply are not enough hours in your day to consider adding maths homework help to the to-do list, take a look at what the tutoring world, and Matr in particular, has to offer.

Looking for more information on how to help your child prepare for SATs?

Whilst the above ideas should give you some inspiration on how you can help your child prepare for SATs, if you are looking for more help why not take a look at our blog: How To Help Your Child With SATs At Home: The Ultimate Parent Handbook.

Year 6 SATs Practice Pack (Papers 1 - 3)

Download our FREE Year 6 Assessment Practice Pack (Papers 1 -3) and let your child work their way through the three practice papers to master Maths in no time!

When do the SATs results come out?

The time the SATs results come out each year varies depending on the Key Stage, the school and a number of other factors.

When will the KS1 SATs results 2019 be released?

As the papers at KS1 are marked internally by teachers in accordance with the mark scheme provided by the Standards and Testing Agency, it is up to schools to decide when and if they share the results.

Teacher for KS1 SATs

Teachers look through KS1 SATs papers.

Schools are not obliged to share the results of these tests with parents, but many include a summary of them in the end of year report.

When will the KS2 SATs Results 2019 be released?

At the time of writing, the Standards and Testing Agency has not released a date for the KS2 SATs results 2019.

However last year’s SATs results were published on the 10th July so we are able to use this as a guide as to when they will be released in 2019.

Once more information is released, we will update this post.

Understanding the SATs results your child gets

One of the hardest things to get to grips with as a parent is figuring out an answer to the question “What do Year 6 SATs results mean?”

You may have heard a number of phrases discussed above like ‘scaled score’ and ‘expected standard’, but understanding what this all means for your child can prove tricky.

Since 2016, (after a change in the national curriculum), children have been given scaled SATs scores. Fortunately, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

The scaled scoring method is used all around the world, and it simply means that your child’s raw score (the actual number of marks they achieved) will be converted into a scaled score.

This can then be used to show how children compare to their peers within their own school, across the country, and across the years over which this scoring system has been in place. This creates the fairest possible way to measure a school’s SATs improvements from 2016-2018.

KS1 SATs scores explained for parents

In KS1, a scaled score of 100 means that your child is working at the expected standard.

A score below 100 means that your child is currently working below the expected standard and may need some additional support, and a score above 100 means that your child is working at a level higher than that which is expected of them at their age and they may need to be challenged further.

The maximum score available at KS1 is 115, and the minium is 85.

It is worth noting however, that as SATs at KS1 are marked internally by teachers, that the score your child is given in an end of year assessment may not be the result of purely their SATs, but rather based upon their classwork and teacher observations.

KS2 SATs scores explained for parents

At KS2, SATs papers are marked externally, and your child’s teacher will not be involved in this process in any way at all.

Your child will receive a scaled score as well as an indication of whether or not they have reached the national standard. NS on a report will mean that the expected standard was not achieved, and AS will mean that it was.

You may also see other letters on your child’s report about SATs, and they are:

  • AS: This means that the expected standard was achieved
  • NS: This means that the expected standard was not achieved
  • T: A child is working at the level of the tests, but cannot access them (because either all or part of a test is not suitable for a student with special educational needs)
  • B: A child is working below the level that is expected of them, and that which is assessed by the KS2 SATS
  • M: A child missed the test
  • A: A child was absent from one or more of their SATs papers

For their KS2 SATs, students will be able to reach a top scaled score of 120, and the lowest scaled score they could possibly get is 80. A scaled score of 100 or more means that they have met the expected standard, and a score of 99 or below means that they have not met the expected standard.

Changes to the SATs in 2015

Before 2016, success in SATs at KS2 was measured in levels rather than the current scaled score, so if you have children going through the SATs and you are noticing a difference, this may be why.

The newer tests were designed to ensure that there was only one set needed for each subject, and each test included a small number of questions which were specifically designed to test the most able pupils, therefore removing the need for the old level 6 tests.

How can tuition help your child prepare for their SATs?

Even with the information provided in this blog, helping your child to prepare for their SATs can feel like quite the challenge.

But, it doesn’t have to be.

By getting a tutor for your child to help them prepare for their SATs, you will be giving them the best possible chance to ensure that they see AS on their end of year report.

Here at Matr, all of our tutors are trained in the SATs, and they are experts at sharing this knowledge with your child. There is nothing better than the chance to access dedicated, one-to-one learning in the run up to the exams, and benefits of online tuition include:

  • The chance to ask questions that they may never get the chance to before the SATs come around when in a busy classroom;
  • An opportunity to learn from someone who has been trained in both the national curriculum and SATs;
  • A chance for you as a parent to rest easy in the knowledge that your child will be spending their time revising with a KS2 SATs expert who will know which knowledge gaps your child has, and how to fill them to help them master maths!

If this sounds like something you would be interested in to help your child prepare for their SATs, sign up to our online, one-to-one tuition today and get your child ready and raring to go to for SATs!


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How to help your child with the SATs at home

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