A Guide to Year 6 SATs 'Spag' Papers

If you’ve been carrying out research on your Year 6 child’s SATs exams, you will have discovered that your child will take papers called ‘Spag papers’. Now, if you don’t know the acronym, then this can be very confusing. But don’t worry – in this guide we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Year 6 Spag papers.

What are the Spag Papers?

Spag stands for spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Your child will take three English SATs papers in Year 6. All three are designed to ensure that your child has a firm grasp of the fundamental English skills they need. Two of these papers focus specifically on Spag, and the third is a reading paper.

The two Year 6 Spag papers are: 

Paper One: short answer questions

This paper covers areas such as your child’s use of connectives, pronouns, punctuation and capitalisation, and there are 50 questions in total in this paper (although some years, there have been slightly less questions as some questions carried 2 marks). The Year 6 SATs questions in the short answer paper will ask your child to do things such as identify verbs, nouns, adjectives and clauses in a sentence or to illustrate two different meanings of the same word in a sentence. The questions in this paper are written in a certain format, and a common theme is questions that ask a child to ‘tick one’ or ‘tick two’, listing 4 possible options as the answer.

Paper Two: spelling test

In the spelling test, children are presented with a list of sentences that each have a word removed. The test administrator (usually the class teacher) will read out the full sentence. They will then pause and say the missing word.

After this, your child will add the missing word into the sentence, spelling it correctly.

There are 20 spellings altogether in the spelling test.

How can I prepare my child for the Spag papers?

The best way to help your child prepare for the Year 6 Spag papers is to get them revising – for example, you may wish to do some SATs revision online with them, using a platform such as SATs Boot Camp.

Past SATs papers for KS2 are also available online, and completing these will help you and your child get a much better idea of the types of questions they’ll be asked during the tests. 

As well as doing SATs revision online with your child, you can also make practical, fun games that will help them with their English skills. For example, you could ask them to spell different parts of everyday life, or you could write out some sentences without punctuation and ask them to add in the missing punctuation.

If you’re wondering “when are Year 6 SATs“, then please visit our SATs Dates page to find out when SATs week is. We also have Key Stage 2 Maths papers available to download and get children revising with also.

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