Being a Parent, Education, Home and Family

Why Should You Go Through Past SATs Exam Papers with Your Pupils?

Whether completing Key Stage 1 or taking their final A-Level papers before university, examinations can be tough for any student. At any level, it should be seen as a critical part of the revision process to go through past papers, but this can be particularly important for primary students in Key Stage 1 or 2.

Pupils in Key Stage 1 will never have gone through organised examinations before, while those in Key Stage 2 will probably not be able to recall just what was expected of them. This means that they really need to get to grips with what they will be required to do before they head into the examination hall.

After all, it isn’t just raw knowledge that is important when taking examinations. Pupils need to understand how to structure their time, so it pays to show the basic structure of each exam. You don’t want your students spending half their time filling out an answer that only accounts for a small percentage of the paper’s available marks.

You’ll also want to get your students used to the way certain exam questions can be posed. Answers may be requested in the form of one word answers, short sentences, or long essays; your students may be asked to handle multiple choice questions, or ones in which certain sections of a drawing need to be circled.

It can be stressful to have to deal with such questions for the first time when you’re actually taking the proper examination, and children will risk either making errors or taking too long working out exactly how to answer if they aren’t used to the format. Of course, going through past papers also helps reduce the general fear of taking an examination. Children often fear the unknown more than the task itself, so it helps to first go through a paper as a class and then set a practice paper under exam conditions.

Once you have all the answer sheets collected, marking them can provide a valuable window into the strengths and weaknesses of your class. You might find that one key area needs to be revised more thoroughly. You can always look at each child’s individual performance, but it’s also useful to be able to spot trends by going over the practice exam marks of each pupil.