As a Junior School parent, you may be aware of the gradual but increasing pressure on your child as they get nearer the KS2 SATs in May.  We all want to give our children the support they need and provide them with the best chance of experiencing a successful conclusion to primary school.  If you’re anything like most parents, then you won’t know what exactly you are trying to prepare your child for!  So here are 10 things you need to know about the year 6 Maths SATs:

1.   There are 3 non-calculator papers for Maths. 

2.  The first paper is a challenging 30 minute ‘Arithmetic’ paper for mental and written methods.

3.  The following 2 papers are 40 minute ‘Reasoning’ papers including lots of real-life and logic problems.

4.  Many of the questions from the 3 papers are the same as year 11 GCSE questions!!!

5.  In total, half of the content of the 3 papers require the use of multiplication or division facts.

6.  In the Reasoning papers, one quarter of the questions relates to either time or money.

7.  The Arithmetic paper requires each child to answer 36 questions in the 30 minutes. – Less than one question per minute – Eek!

8.  The harder questions in the Arithmetic paper include long multiplication and division, adding and subtracting fractions and decimals and working out difficult percentages of an amount.

9.  You can train your child to do well in the Arithmetic paper as there is no ‘problem-solving’ required – just Maths skills which can be learnt by repeated practise.  If they can do well in this paper, then it will bump up their total score, even if they found the Reasoning papers hard.

10.               It is much harder to train your child to do the ‘Reasoning’ papers.  The questions in it are much more diverse and surprising and require an in-depth understanding of Maths and problem-solving skills.


In conclusion, if you want to prepare your child well, then your time is best spent, working on the skills needed for the Arithmetic paper. 

For the Reasoning paper, make sure you spend lots of time in real-life situations talking to your child about time and giving them some opportunity to play with and budget their own money.

 For some specialised help to practise the Arithmetic skills in a fun and non-threatening way check out our KS2 SATs Skills Arithmetic pack – written by teachers and full of games and puzzles to cover every Arithmetic skill needed for year 6 SATs.  Don’t wait for your child to have a last-minute panic!  Grab a copy today and make sure your child is well prepared and confident to face their most rigorous round of testing yet.