Are SATs Important?

There are lots of arguments for and against formal exams at the end of primary school.  But, whatever your opinion, the truth is, your child is going to be tested in year 6.

Don’t wait until the last minute to discover that your child is not equipped with the skills to pass.  They will experience an enormous amount of pressure from the teachers to work harder and learn more in a short period of time to cram for the SATs.  The children who cope with this best are the ones that are already confident in the relevant Maths skills.

How to Pass SATs

If you are wondering how to pass SATs, then the answer is, start now!  Whatever age your primary school child is, there are 3 areas of Maths skills that you can drip feed into your child starting now!

Let’s make sure that when year 6 arrives, they will face the SATs with confidence and understanding rather than fear and confusion.


  1. Multiplying and Dividing

Out of the 3 Maths papers that your child will sit in year 6, at least half of the content relies on your child’s ability to multiply and divide – in other words – know and use their times tables.  This starts in year R with simple counting patterns – going up in 2s or 10s.  Consistent practise of these at home is key.  Get some ideas for sneaking in some times table practice here.  Don’t forget to practice dividing too, as many children know their multiplication facts really well, but struggle to apply it to division.


  1. Time

An understanding of clocks and the passing of time features highly on the two Reasoning papers in year 6.  Children who do well in this are usually the ones who can understand time in real life situations.  So, make sure you incorporate time into your daily conversations from a young age.  Start with learning about digital and analogue clocks, hours and minutes, days, weeks and years and develop it further to working out how long there is between two times, or what time it will be after, say, 2 hours 10 minutes have passed.


  1. Money

Together, time and money make up a quarter of the Maths SAT.  Applying their knowledge of money to real life situations is key.  Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities to play with real money and to spend and budget their pocket money.  If you are shopping with your child, make sure you discuss what you are doing, what things cost, and how this affects your choice of what to buy.

Practising for the SATs doesn’t need to be scary or formal and it’s never to early to start.  It’s more about making it a way of life and involving your child in the real-life Maths that you use daily.  If you start now, you will find that your child is more confident and resilient when they reach formal testing.

It’s not about a test-score, it’s more about how your child feels when they experience success at school.

If you feel that you need to do more to help your child with their Maths then try a free Maths Club by Post pack, full of puzzles and games to drip feed your child essential skills in a non-threatening way.


If your child is already in year 6, then you might want the SATs Skills Success Pack, loaded with puzzles to practise all the skills in the year 6 Arithmetic paper.