National Curriculum Tests

Information for parents: national curriculum tests at the end of key stages 1 and 2

Key stage 1 tests

Year 2 pupils

Your child’s teacher is responsible for judging the standards your child is working at in English, maths and science, by the end of key stage 1. To help inform those judgements, pupils sit national curriculum tests in English and maths, commonly called SATs. They may also sit an optional test in English grammar, punctuation and spelling.
The tests are a tool for teachers to help them measure your child’s performance and identify their needs as they move into key stage 2. They also allow teachers to see how your child is performing against national expected standards.
The tests can be taken any time during May and they are not strictly timed. Pupils may not even know they are taking them as many teachers will incorporate them into everyday classroom activities.


English reading
Short text and questions
Long text with separate questions
Mathematical reasoning
English grammar, punctuation and spelling (optional test)
Punctuation and grammar (including vocabulary)
Teachers will use the results from these tests, along with the work your child has done throughout the year, to help them reach their own judgements about how your child is progressing at the end of key stage 1. These teacher assessment judgements will be reported to you by the end of the summer term.

Key stage 2 tests

Year 6 pupils

If you have a child in year 6, at the end of key stage 2, they will take national curriculum tests in English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics.
The tests help measure the progress pupils have made and identify if they need additional support in a certain area. The tests are also used to assess schools’ performance and to produce national performance data.
The key stage 2 tests will be taken on set dates unless your child is absent, in which case they may be able to take them up to 5 school days afterwards.
Monday 14 May
English grammar, punctuation and spelling
Punctuation and grammar (including vocabulary)
Tuesday 15 May
English reading
English reading
Wednesday 16 May
Mathematical reasoning
Thursday 17 May
Mathematical reasoning
At the end of the summer term you should receive test results for:
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • English reading
  • mathematics
Teacher assessment
As there is no test for English writing, this will be reported as a teacher assessment judgement. This is a judgement teachers will make, based on your child’s work at the end of key stage 2. You will also receive teacher assessment judgements for English reading, mathematics and science.
How can you help your child to prepare?
Teachers will make sure all pupils in their class are prepared for the tests. There’s nothing specifically test related that you should do to prepare your child. You should follow the general advice teachers give about supporting your child’s education
throughout the year.
What do the tests look like?
You can look at past papers by clicking on the hyperlink or searching online at
Further information
Your child’s teacher will be able to answer any questions you may have about the tests and teacher assessment judgements.
For more details you can visit or watch our short videos for parents about the tests at key stage 1 and key stage 2.