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Year 6 SATs maths exam: what to expect

By Atom | Sep 14, 2023, 2:16 PM

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Is your child in Year 6? They'll be taking their Key Stage 2 SATs maths exam in May 2024. Learn what they'll be tested on and get free resources to help your child prepare.

What is the Year 6 SATs maths exam?

The Key Stage 2 Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) are compulsory for all Year 6 students at state schools in England. They're used to assess your child’s knowledge of the Key Stage 2 national curriculum and gauge the quality of education across England’s schools.

The KS2 maths test is designed to test pupils’ knowledge and understanding of:

  • Arithmetic: confidence with the range of mathematical operations

  • Reasoning: mathematical fluency, logic and problem-solving

The maths curriculum covers these eight key topics:

  1. Number and place value

  2. Calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)

  3. Fractions, decimals and percentages

  4. Ratio and proportion

  5. Algebra

  6. Measurement

  7. Geometry (properties of shapes, position and direction)

  8. Statistics


Fractions worksheets

Download 38 free questions covering all the fractions subtopics your child should know by the end of Year 6. Includes answers after each sub-topic.

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Converting fractions into decimals

When is the 2024 SATs maths exam?

There are three maths papers on the Year 6 SATs. These take place over two days.

Wednesday 15th May 2024

  • Paper 1: arithmetic test – 30 minutes, worth 40 marks

  • Paper 2: reasoning test (1) – 40 minutes, worth 35 marks

Thursday 16th May 2024

  • Paper 3: reasoning test (2) – 40 minutes, worth 35 marks

What format are the KS2 SATs maths papers?

There are different question formats in the Year 6 SATs maths papers.

In the arithmetic paper, your child will need to write their answers in free-form. They will have space for working out.

In both reasoning papers, your child might need to complete a grid/graph, write free-form answers, or choose the correct answer(s) from multiple-choice options. They will have plenty of space to write their workings.

A question on an Atom mock test for Year 6 SATs maths reasoning paper 2

Example of a question in a Year 6 SATs maths reasoning practice test on Atom

How is the maths SATs exam marked?

There are 110 marks available across the three maths papers. Partial marks will be awarded for correct working where the final answer is wrong, but the pupil has used the formal method of working.

Your child’s raw score (out of 110) will be converted into a scaled score. This makes sure all pupils in the year group are tested on a consistent scale. The scaled score is adjusted for any differences in the difficulty of the test year on year.

Learn more about how the SATs are marked.

How to prepare for the Year 6 SATs maths exam

Free parent webinar

Supporting your child with maths

Build the knowledge you need for SATs

The most reliable way to perform well in the SATs is to build a stable understanding of the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Atom is a home learning programme created by teachers, designed to help your child build knowledge and confidence across English, maths and science.

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Practice tests

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We're here to answer any questions you have about Year 6 SATs in 2024. To discuss your child’s progress with a SATs expert, get in touch.

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