The Key Stage 1 SATs officially assess your child’s maths and English abilities. Although these are formal tests, they are done in a relaxed way; in fact, most children are not even aware they’re taking a test!

There are a number of elements to the KS1 SATS tests, including maths, reading and English grammar, punctuation and spelling.


English reading: Two papers

  • Short test and questions
  • Longer test with separate questions


Mathematics: Two papers

  • Arithmetic
  • Mathematical reasoning


English grammar, punctuation & spelling (optional): Two papers

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation and grammar


Find out how the Key Stage 1 results are marked


What’s covered in the KS1 SATs papers?

The Key Stage 1 SATs take place in May of year 2. Unlike the KS2 SATs, these tests are not strictly timed as the ability to work at speed is not assessed. Teachers will have the option to stop the test at any point that they feel is appropriate for a particular child.

The results are used by teachers and schools as a way to check against national averages, measuring what has been understood and retained by each child. Individual results can be given to parents at the end of the school year.

Reading – two papers 

The Key Stage 1 reading test comprises two papers which cover fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts:

  • Paper 1 – This consists of a selection of texts totalling between 400 – 700 words, with questions interspersed
  • Paper 2 – This includes a reading booklet of a selection of passages totalling 800 – 1100 words. Children are required to write their answers in a separate booklet.

Each paper is worth 50% of the marks and takes approximately 30 minutes.


Spelling, punctuation and grammar – three papers

This element of the tests comprises three papers:

  • Paper 1 – This is a grammar and punctuation written task. Children will be provided with a prompt and stimulus for a short piece of writing with a clear text type, audience and purpose. The paper lasts approximately 20 minutes and is worth 15 marks. It’s worth noting that handwriting will be worth four per cent of the total marks.
  • Paper 2 – This contains a grammar, punctuation and vocabulary test.  This will involve a mixture of question types including multiple choice and some which require short written answers. This paper is split in two sections, each of which lasts approximately 10 minutes (with a break between, if necessary) and is worth a total of 20 marks.
  • Paper 3 – This is a 20-word spelling test taking approximately 15 minutes and worth 10 marks.


Maths – two papers

The Key Stage 1 maths test is made up of two papers:

  • Paper 1 – This tests your child’s arithmetic.  It’s worth 15 marks and takes approximately 15 minutes.
  • Paper 2 – This assesses your child’s mathematical fluency, problem-solving and reasoning through a variety of question types.  This element it worth 35 marks and takes around 35 minutes.

If you have any questions about the KS1 SATs, the experts at your local Explore Learning centre are happy to help!


KS1 SATs questions

Our experts have created a range of practice papers for the Key Stage 1 assessments to help children become familiar with the types of questions and build their core skills in maths and English. Here are just two examples.

SATs example question

SATs quiz

Our SATs quiz is a great chance for your child to apply the knowledge and skills they have been building up at school. Can they beat you? We love a bit of friendly competition!



Key Stage 1 SATs results

Key Stage 1 SATs results are usually returned to schools in July. Around this time, you may see head teachers taking to social media to share the news of how their pupils have done in the recent tests and many parents then receive information about their child’s results over the coming weeks.

How are they marked?

Although the KS1 tests are set externally, they are marked by teachers within the school. As of 2016, children’s raw scores (the actual number of marks they get) will be translated into a scaled score. A score of 100 or more means a child is working at the expected standard, and a score below 100 indicates that a child hasn’t reached the government expected standard. The maximum score possible is 115, and the minimum is 85. Teachers are given conversion tables to translate their pupils’ raw scores into scaled scores, which they’ll then use to inform their teacher assessment. This means the score that your child is given may not be just the result they achieved in their SATs but a score based on SATs results, classwork and the teacher’s observations.

To meet government expectations, pupils must achieve 100 in their scaled scores. But this equates to different marks for each paper (maths; reading; grammar, punctuation and spelling) and can change each year.

When will I receive the results?

For Key Stage 1 SATs it is unlikely that you’ll receive your child’s actual SATs score unless you ask for them, but you will be told whether your child is working at the expected standard as part of their end of KS1 report.


Practice Questions

We’re here to help

Whether you’re looking for friendly advice, free workshops or maths and English tuition support, we’re here to help your family prepare for the Key Stage 1 SATs with expert SATs tutoring.

Remember, the SATs are fleeting but the biggest challenge your child will face is the transition up to Key Stage 2 or secondary school. We work with children all the way up to year 9, so we can support families with each important step. Speak to the team at your local Explore Learning centre today!