What Do I Need to Know About Exams During Key Stage 2?

What Do I Need to Know About Exams During Key Stage 2?


Children take a second round of national curriculum tests called SATs at the end of Key Stage 2, which are marked internally by the school. These will serve the same purpose as in key stage 1 in assessing how your child has progressed and where they need support, and cannot be passed or failed. The tests will take place around May and your child will receive a level grade for writing (including spelling, grammar and punctuation), reading, overall English and Maths. Teachers will be aware of the level your child is working at, and may choose to request a level 6 paper for them to take if they feel your child is capable. Assessments on how your child is progressing in other subjects will be made by your child’s teacher.


Your child will take two tests relating to English that will be used in conjunction with teacher assessment to advise how your child is performing. This will include one reading test, and one writing test that will feature spelling, grammar and punctuation.


The tests for maths are formed of 1 short mental maths test, and 2 non-calculator test papers. As with English, the results will be used alongside teacher assessment to demonstrate your child’s progress.


Children are no longer required to take a formal science SAT as standard, and will be monitored through teacher assessment only. However, since sampling has recently been reintroduced, every 2 years 5 children from 1500 schools across the country will be randomly selected to take part in a science test composed of 3 short papers. Schools are legally required to participate if they are selected and so there is a chance that your child may be chosen to take part. The test will cover curriculum already being taught in class and should not pose any anxiety for you or your child. The results will be published nationally but results for individuals will not be provided for schools or parents to see, or published in league tables.

How will I know how my child is progressing?

Your child’s school with send a report at least once a year. As well as this, you will receive results for all children in the same age group, and the national results from the previous year. Most children will have reached level 4 by the end of key stage 2, although it is not unusual for children to achieve anything between level 3 and level 6. Remember that children learn at different paces and the tests are simply to be used to highlight areas that your child may need help with.

Visit our Educational Books page for further support for you and your child during Key Stage 2.

Key Stage 2 Further Reading: What Will my Child Learn During Key Stage 2
How Might my Child Change During Key Stage 2 How Can I Help my Child During Key Stage 2