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  • Maths SATS Test

  • Key features of the new Mathematics tests  (introduced in 2016)

    At key stages 1 and 2, the new tests for mathematics will have two components. The first component is an arithmetic paper testing fluency through calculations. The second component assesses the ability to reason and apply mathematics. The key change for statutory assessment at both key stages 1 and 2 will be the introduction of an arithmetic paper.

    The Key Stage 1 mathematics test will consist of two components:

    • Paper 1: an arithmetic paper. This will comprise of a practice question and a number of questions which will be linked to national curriculum areas such as number, calculations and fractions. It is expected that pupils will use informal or formal methods to help them work out the answer to each question (if needs be). Additional marks will not be awarded for working out, but pupils should be encouraged to use an appropriate method for the more difficult calculations. It is expected that pupils will use mental methods to work out the answers for some questions. It is currently proposed that mathematical equipment is not used in the arithmetic paper.
    • Paper 2: assesses pupils’ ability to apply mathematics to problems and to reason. The test will contain a mixture of contextualised and context-free questions, and real life and abstract problems. Language will be appropriate to key stage 1; word length will be kept to a minimum. The first question will be a practice aural question. No marks will be awarded. The next five questions will be aural questions, similar to the previous versions of the national curriculum tests. These will be read to pupils so they can become more familiar with the test environment. Pupils will work on their own for the rest of the test, unless they require access arrangements. There will be a variety of question types in the tests. One question type in key stage 1 mathematics will be the ‘working mark’ question. Pupils will be given one mark if they show appropriate working, even if the answer is incorrect.

    The Key Stage 2 mathematics test will consist of three papers:

    • Paper 1: an arithmetic paper. Questions will be context free. They will assess number, calculations and fractions. Note that the ‘fractions’ strand in the new national curriculum covers fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils will be expected to use formal methods to solve specific arithmetic questions, eg long multiplication and long division. There will be clear guidance in the test booklet and the administration guide to indicate when a formal method is required. Two marks will be available for these questions. One mark may be awarded if an appropriate formal method is used but the final answer is incorrect. Each question in the arithmetic paper will have a grid area to encourage appropriate working out.
    • Paper 2 and Paper 3: assesses pupils’ ability to apply mathematics to problems and to reason.

    There won’t be significant differences in format or difficulty between the two papers. The tests will contain a mixture of contextualised and context-free questions, and real life and abstract problems. Pupils will not be allowed to use calculators in any part of the mathematics test.