Key Stage 1 Tests 2016 onwards


At the end of Year 2, children will take SATs in:


  • Reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Maths


Key Stage 1 Reading


The new reading test for Year 2 pupils will involve two separate papers:


  • Paper 1 consists of a selection of texts totalling 400 to 700 words, with questions interspersed
  • Paper 2 comprises a reading booklet of a selection of passages totalling 800 to 1100 words.


Children will write their answers in a separate booklet

Each paper is worth 50 per cent of the marks, and should take around 30 minutes, but children will not be strictly timed, as the tests are not intended to assess children’s ability to work at speed. The texts in the reading papers will cover a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and will get progressively more difficult towards the end of the test. Teachers will have the option to stop the test at any point that they feel is appropriate for a particular child.

There will be a variety of question types:


  • Multiple choice
  • Ranking/ordering, e.g. ‘Number the events below to show in which order they happened in the story’
  • Matching, e.g. ‘Match the character to the job that they do in the story’
  • Labelling, e.g. ‘Label the text to show the title’
  • Find and copy, e.g. ‘Find and copy one word that shows what the weather was like in the story’
  • Short answer, e.g. ‘What does the bear eat?’
  • Open-ended answer, e.g. ‘Why did Lucy write the letter to her grandmother? Give two reasons’



Key stage 1 Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation


Children taking Key Stage 1 SATs will sit three separate papers in grammar, punctuation and spelling:

  • Paper 1: a grammar and punctuation written task, taking approximately 20 minutes, and worth 15 marks. Children will be provided with a prompt and stimulus for a short piece of writing, with a clear text type, audience and purpose. Handwriting will be worth four per cent of the marks.
  • Paper 2: a grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test, in two sections of around 10 minutes each (with a break between, if necessary), worth 20 marks. This will involve a mixture of selecting the right answers e.g. through multiple choice, and writing short answers.
  • Paper 3: a 20-word spelling test taking approximately 15 minutes and worth 10 marks.


Key Stage 1 Maths

The new Key Stage 1 maths test will comprise two papers:

  • Paper 1: arithmetic, worth 25 marks and taking around 15 minutes.


  • Paper 2: mathematical fluency, problem-solving and reasoning, worth 35 marks and taking 35 minutes, with a break if necessary. There will be a variety of question types: multiple choice, matching, true/false, constrained (e.g. completing a chart or table; drawing a shape) and less constrained (e.g. where children have to show or explain their method).

Children will not be able to use any tools such as calculators or number lines


When will the KS1 SATs take place?


The new-style KS1 SATs are due to be administered in May.

How will the tests be marked?

Although the tests are set externally, they will be marked by teachers within the school. Instead of the old national curriculum levels, children will be given a scaled score (National Average of 100). Teacher assessments will also be used to build up a picture of each child’s learning and achievements. In addition, each child will receive an overall result saying whether they have achieved the required standard in the tests.





“Information for headteachers, teachers, governors and local authorities about scaled scores and the national standard from 2016”*


*Taken from:


“The old national curriculum levels are not relevant to the new national curriculum. However, in order to provide schools with some indication of the new standards, we have tried to indicate equivalence…


At KS1 the national standard will roughly equate to an old level 2B (APS 15).  Otherwise levels and scaled scores will not be comparable.”