Year 6 – What Is New In The Upcoming Sats Test?

What is the Year 6 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test?

From summer 2013, Year 6 children will be taking a new English test as part of the SATs. So what will your child need to know, and how can you help them brush up their skills? By LucyDimbylow.

What is the SPAG test?

The new English grammar, punctuation and spelling test (informally known as the SPAG test) is being introduced this summer as part of the KS2 SATs programme for Year 6 pupils, replacing the previous English writing test. ‘The Government wants all children to leave primary school with a sound grasp of essential English skills,’ says a Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson. ‘The test will put an additional focus on writing skills and encourage good teaching.’ The DfE has yet to confirm whether children will receive a standalone mark for the SPAG test, or whether it will form part of their overall English level.

What will the SPAG test be examining?

The SPAG test will include questions that assess the following elements of the English curriculum:

  • Sentence grammar through both identifying and writing sentences that are grammatically correct
  • Punctuation through identifying and writing sentences that are correctly punctuated
  • Vocabulary through identifying and writing sentences in which a word is used correctly
  • Spelling

What sort of questions will your child need to answer?

The SPAG test will consist of two papers. Paper 1 requires multiple choice or short sentence answers, covering areas such as using connectives (because, despite, however, etc), using pronouns (I/me) correctly, capitalising the correct words in a sentence and explaining why, putting the correct punctuation into a given sentence, writing sentences that illustrate two different meanings of the same word (such as ‘present’), identifying the verb/noun/adjective/clauses in a sentence, and using plurals correctly. For example:

Q: Which ending would make the word lazy an adverb?
A: laziness/lazily/lazier/laziest
Correct answer: lazily

Paper 2 is a spelling test, where children will have to spell words dictated by the examiner (presented within sentences). For example:

Pria turned on the television to watch her favourite cartoon.

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