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Past SATS Papers

There are two papers in the Mathematics test. One focuses on simple arithmetic and is worth 25 marks. One focuses on mathematical reasoning and is worth 35 marks. In each paper, questions appear in order of difficulty.


In Paper 1: arithmetic, children answer 25 context-free questions to test their fluency with number and calculation skills. They may not use calculators, rulers or any number apparatus to help them. In the test booklet, space is provided for children to use for working out, but they should write their answers in the answer box.


In Paper 2: reasoning, children answer questions to test their understanding of number, measures, geometry and statistics. The teacher will read the first 5 questions and children must listen and write their answer in their booklet. 


Some questions involve a problem-solving context. Some questions prompt children to show their working and are worth 2 marks. Children may use rulers, but are not allowed calculators or any other number apparatus.


What kinds of questions are there?

In Paper 1: arithmetic, all the questions will be context-free calculations, for example:

17 – 6 = [ ]
[ ] + 5 = 9
8 x 10 = [ ]
35 ÷ 5 = [ ]
65 + [ ] = 93
¾ of 40 = [ ]

In Paper 2: reasoning, there will be a mixture of question types. In some, your child will need to choose an answer (selected responses). For others, they will need to write, draw, or complete a table to give their answer (constructed responses), sometimes in a problem-solving context. In some questions, children can gain an extra mark for showing their working.

Examples of selected response questions include:

Multiple choice:
Look at the shapes. Tick the hexagon.
One shape is in the wrong place on the sorting grid. Draw a cross on it.

True/False or Yes/No:
Do these calculations have the same answer? Write yes or no next to each.
8 + 2 and 2 + 8
8 x 2 and 2 x 8
8 – 2 and 2 – 8
8 ÷ 2 and 2 ÷ 8

Examples of constructed response questions include:

Constrained question:
Complete the number sentence below.
3 x 8 = 2 x [ ]

Less constrained question:
Amy plants 4 rows of carrots. There are 3 carrots in each row. A rabbit eats two of the carrots. How many carrots are left? Show your working.