Hellooooo Friday Peeps!
Just wanted to have a little chat about the upcoming SAT tests for year 6 pupils (and some year 5s if applicable).
I’ve seen a lot of stressed out and panicky kids this week as we’re getting seriously close to exam season. (If you have GCSE or A-Level offspring then please see my Education page.)
Little SAT-takers though are experiencing all this stress for the first time and are scared. So here are my top tips for helping them cope:
- Routine is king. Set times for eating and sleeping to make sure they’re at their best for coping. A set time for practice of no more than an hour at a time. Time for other things like homework and clubs is good but probably needs to be suspended for actual SATs week.
- Get free revision stuff. Click here or here to find past SAT papers. If you want to mark them, they have answers too.
- Timing. The best thing to practice with your child is timing. You don’t need to do a whole exam paper either; just look at a question to see how many marks it is and give them that long in minutes to do it. So for a 10 mark question, they need 10 minutes for writing and probably 2 minutes for checking. Set a timer for 12 minutes and remind them when they have 2 minutes left (as they would in an exam hall). Children miss the most marks by not finishing or not checking for obvious errors (like a spelling mistake because they hurried).
- Time off. Even if they have loads of homework and revision to do, they need one day off at the weekend and one of the 2 weeks at Easter off; none of us would cope with a job without rest days and holiday, an 11-year-old certainly shouldn’t have to.
- Explain to them what is happening and why. SATs assess how well the primary school has done, not the individual. They will only use the SATs result to set your child in a group at secondary school in September and after that, it won’t matter ever again. It does not go on their permanent record, no-one asks for SATs when you get a job or go to university. If the Secondary school think the child should be in a different group than they are initially set in, then they will be moved around at least once within the first school-year (possibly even before Christmas). So, as with every challenge in life, we tell them to do their best and not to worry because this time next year it’ll all be forgotten. 🙂
I hope that helps the children (and parents) out there who are worried.
Good luck and God bless,