Year 6 SATs English Papers

The table below contains the old style Year 6 English SATs papers from 2015 and earlier...

The table below contains the old style Year 6 English SATs papers from 2012 and earlier...



Longer writing task

Shorter writing task & Spelling

Mark scheme


Marking - level 6












KS2 Year 6 English SATs tests

Download KS2 English SATs papers online, and for free, from SATs Boot Camp. If you are looking for further help with your English SATs papers, check out Year 6 Buddy.

The Year 6 English SATs papers (KS2) will help children revise for their English SATs test, which consist of:

  • A spelling test: this consists of 20 spellings.
  • A reading test – questions include multiple choice, finding information from the text, plus short and open-ended responses.
  • A Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar paper (Spag): this consists of short answered questions, to test a child’s punctuation and grammar knowledge.

For more detailed information, please read the sections below…

Year 6 SATs English papers
Children in Year 6 will sit three KS2 English SATs papers as part of their Key Stage 2 SATs. Here, we’ll cover which papers they’re required to sit, look at the topics covered in each paper and discuss how you can help your child with their SATs revision.

What are the SATs English papers?
In May of each year, Year 6 children take three English SATs tests as part of KS2 SATs week. Two of these Year 6 English SATs papers are Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar tests (known as Spag tests), and one is a reading test.

Paper One: Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary
The first of the Year 6 Spag papers focuses on grammar, punctuation and language strategies. It’s worth 50 marks and children have 45 minutes to complete it. Children are tested on topics such as:

  • Grammatical terms and word classes
  • Functions of sentences
  • Combining words, phrases and clauses
  • Verb forms, tense and consistency
  • Punctuation
  • Vocabulary
  • Standard English and formality

Paper Two: Spelling Task
The second test is a Year 6 SATs spelling test. It focuses entirely on spelling and is worth a total of 20 marks.

The paper consists of 20 target words and 20 distinct, contextualised sentences. The test administrator is responsible for reading the words and sentences to the pupils from a script.

Children will see the sentence in front of them and a word will be missing from the sentence. After the administrator has read the sentence and repeated the missing word, the child must write the word in the space, spelling it correctly.

Most classes complete this paper within 15 minutes. However, it isn’t strictly timed. This means that the teacher can take as long as they like to read the sentences and emphasise the words that need to be spelt.

Paper Three: Reading
The final paper is the KS2 reading SATs paper. It’s worth 50 marks and children have 60 minutes to complete it.

For the Year 6 reading SATs paper, students are given a reading booklet that contains a piece of fiction, a piece of poetry and a piece of non-fiction (in total, the booklet will be between 1,500 and 2,300 words in length).

After reading the booklet, children will answer a series of questions about the pieces they have read. These will include comprehension questions, and questions on literary technique or style. Children may be asked to give or explain the meaning of words in context, or summarise the main ideas from more than one paragraph of text.

How can I help my child get ready for the Year 6 English SATs papers?

The best way to help your child revise for their Year 6 SATs questions is to encourage them to read as often as possible. This includes you reading to them, and them listening to audio books. This is because the grammar questions are easier to solve when a child can think of what sounds right in that sentence.

To know what sounds right, your child needs to have a good understanding of the written word. Then, they can transfer skills they’ve learned to other texts, rather than simply memorising words from a list. This a very useful skill to have for when they take the KS2 SATs reading paper.

Similarly, when you’re reading something like a magazine or a newspaper article, encourage your child to locate information (like someone’s age). Or, read the piece thoroughly with them and ask them to pick out five key points so they can practice summarising.

Another good technique is to sit and do some past SATs papers with them. This way, they can get used to what the test looks like, and they’ll feel more comfortable with the questions they’re being asked. This is also useful for their Maths SATs revision, and you’ll find plenty of Year 6 Maths SATs papers online that will help you.

Finally, if you read a longer book together, ask them to recap their thoughts with you. Did they change their mind about one of the characters during the book and, if so, why? Or, did the characters change as the story progressed?

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