There are two types of SATs: those done in UK primary schools, and those done by students in high school wishing to apply to an American University. SATs, or Standard Assessment Tests, aim to measure a pupil’s academic ability. SATs usually test a student’s ability in maths and reading. They may also test English grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills. SATs in previous years have included testing science as well as maths and English, but that has now been removed.
In the UK, SATs take place for pupils in Key stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Both of these assessments take place in May. These will only take place once a year at primary schools in the UK.
On the other hand, America-based pre-university SATs have multiple dates per calendar year and per academic year. The dates are separate to the for students writing the tests in America and for International students, including UK students. The international tests are expected to take place on August 27th 2022, October 1st 2022, December 3rd 2022, March 11th 2023, May 6th 2023, and June 3rd 2023.
SATs are a simple set of tests, but often complex to wrap your head around. Continue reading this article do find out, what SATs are, when they take place, and why they are important.
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What are SATs?
In the UK, SAT examinations are written in Year 2 – when students are around 7 years old – and then again in year 6. This is when students are around 11 years old. The reason they are sat near the end of these two years is because year 2 is the final year of Key Stage 1, and so this will be tested in the examinations. Year 6 is the end of Key Stage 2 and so this will be examined at the end of that year.
The SAT tests at the end of Key Stage 1 will test children’s ability in maths and reading. There is also an optional test in English grammar, punctuation and spelling. These examinations in Year 2 are not compulsory. Schools can decide whether or not to hold them, and parents are also able to refuse these tests.
The SAT tests in Year 6, on the other hand, are more formal and are compulsory. They are on the same date for all schools. These tests will test Key Stage 2, in the subjects English and maths. The English test will test skills such grammar, punctuation spelling and reading. Both the maths and reading paper last 45 minutes long.
To find out more information about SATs in the UK, visit the Exam Paper Plus website by clicking here.
When are SATs in the UK?
SATs occur in Year 2 and Year 6. This is when children are aged seven, this is Key Stage 1, and aged 11, which is Key Stage 2. The date on which the Key Stage 1 SAT examination is written is decided within schools. This means it can vary between schools and pupil may be able to write it on different days. This date will most likely be set in May in 2023.
Find the latest information on the dates of SATs in the UK on the UK government website here.
On the other hand, the date on which the Key Stage 2 SAT test is done by pupils should be the same between all schools. This means that all pupils should write the test on the same day. This date will be planned by the government but is most likely to be set in the month of May in 2023. There may sometimes be serious extenuating circumstance in which case some individuals may need to write the exams on a different day.
When are SATs for international students?
The important dates for international students to write the SATs for the 2022/23 academic year are shown in the table below. An international student is any students preparing to write the SATs, outside of the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
|Deadline for registration and/or cancellation||SAT test date|
|29th of July 2022||27th of August 2022|
|2nd of September 2022||1st of October 2022|
|3rd of November 2022||3rd of December 2022|
|24th of February 2023||11th of March 2023|
|21st of April 2023||6th of May 2023|
|19th of May 2023||3rd of June 2023|
Are KS2 SATs compulsory?
In brief, yes. The second primary school SATs are compulsory and are much more formal than the ones written at the end of Year 2. The KS1 SATs, on the other hand, are optional. This means many schools are now choosing not to test their pupils at the end of year 2.
However, private schools are not required to test their students through SATs. This means that the KS2 SATs are not compulsory at private schools. They are able to adopt other methods of examination. However, 20% of independent schools still close to examine their students in this way. The remaining 80% choose and alternative method of testing students, or they do not test the pupils at this time in their school career.
Follow this link on to another Think Student article to find out more about SATs at private schools.
What are SAT exams in the USA?
Pre-University SATs are written by students applying to an undergraduate degree at an American university. There are three components which are tested in these SATs. They aim to test Reading, Writing and Language, and Maths. Most questions in these exams are multiple choice style. The exception is a few Maths question which require you to write the answer out instead of selecting it.
The Reading component has an allotted time of 65 minutes and contains 52 questions. The writing and language section has an allotted time of 35 minutes and contains exactly 44 questions. Finally, the maths component has an allotted time of 80 minutes and contains 58 questions.
Pupils are required to, or choose to, write these examinations because they are applying to an American university. Universities in America regard the SAT score as quite high in importance when selecting the students who will receive offers. An applicant with a higher SAT score is more likely to be selected.
Find out more about applying to an American University at the A and J education website by clicking here.
Are SATs Important?
SATs are thought to be quite controversial exams. This is because children write them so young, which may be causing unnecessary academic pressure. Young primary school pupils should not be facing such high levels of stress at such a young age, and the SAT exams can help contribute to this academic pressure.
However, SATs are important because they help schools help to see how their pupils, individually, are performing. Even more important than this, SAT scores can help compare schools from different regions to see differences in education levels.
Furthermore, a pupil’s SAT scores are also sent to their secondary schools. This is in order to communicate their academic level and how to best teach different pupils, especially in English and maths.
Find out more about the importance and significance of SATs in the UK at ThirdSpaceLearning.com by clicking here.