Sats science questions

Sats science questions DEFAULT

Year 6 SATs Science papers

Download KS2 Science SATs papers online, and for free, from SATs Boot Camp. If you are looking for further help with your Science SATs papers, check out SATs Boot Camp.

Year 6 Science SATs tests have been replaced with teacher assessments, and a random selection of schools are chosen each year to take a sampling Science test so that standards of science learning can be monitored. Download these year 6 SATs science papers to help prepare for Year 6 Science SATs if your school is selected. For more detailed information, please read the sections below…

Year 6 SATs Science papers
In 2016, Key Stage 2 SATs were overhauled to bring them in line with the new national curriculum. This means that Science papers have been replaced by teacher assessments. However, a small number of Year 6 children are still required to take part in a sampling science test each year.

What are the Science SATs papers for KS2?
The Science SATs papers for KS2 are administered to a small number of Year 6 pupils who are thought to be representative of the population as a whole. 1,900 schools are selected to take the test, with up to 10 pupils from each school.

If you’ve found yourself researching when are Year 6 SATs, then you probably already know that the KS2 SATs Maths papers and the Year 6 English SATs papers are taken in May. However, the Science SATs papers for KS2 are different. Schools usually aren’t notified about whether any of their children need to take the Science papers until the end of April, and the tests are then taken in June.

Children selected for science sampling will sit three papers: one for Biology, one for Chemistry and one for Physics. Each paper will last for 25 minutes and will be worth 22 marks.

What does my child need to know?
If selected, your child will be tested on their knowledge of the following topics in the Science SATs papers for KS2:


  • Plants
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Animals, including humans
  • Evolution and inheritance


  • Rocks
  • States of matter
  • Properties and changes of materials


  • Light
  • Forces and magnets
  • Sound
  • Electricity
  • Forces
  • Earth and space

For each paper, they’ll be asked Year 6 SATs questions in a physics/chemistry/biology context.

It’s often particularly helpful for you to do some Year 6 SATs past papers with them, so they get used to the types of questions they’ll be asked and the format of the test.

How are the results used?
Once the papers have been graded, they are only used for national data. This means that no individual school or pupil will be identified within the published data.

Results are not returned to schools or pupils, and results are not used for school accountability or performance tables. Although the test results do not count towards your child’s SATs results, you can still do some SATs revision online to prepare, if you wish.

If you’d like to help your child prepare for the Maths and English SATs tests, you can do KS2 SATs revision with them online.




KS2 SATs are mandatory tests for all state schools in England. They are designed to give an accurate reflection of the ability of the UK’s children as a cohort. English and Maths SATs are administered to all Year 6 children. Progress in other areas, such as writing and Science are assessed through data collected by the class teacher. However, a selection of schools will also be asked to administer science sampling papers.


The current sampling consists of three separate papers which are based on the three key areas of Science: biology, chemistry and physics. The papers are expected to last 25 minutes each, and each paper is awarded around 22 marks. Children will answer questions based on their studies throughout KS1 and KS2.


Below are some examples of the types of question your child may be asked in the KS2 Science papers, based on the KS2 teaching programs.






  • Identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers.
  • Identify the requirements of plants for life and growth and how they vary from plant to plant.
  • Complete the life cycle of a plant.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 1


Living Things and Their Environment:


  • Group a selection of living things according to certain characteristics.
  • Describe environments and habitats and their features.
  • Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.
  • Describe the differences in the life cycle of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect or a bird.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 2


Animals, including humans:


  • Identify and explain correct nutrition and relate it to food types.
  • Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.
  • Identify the elements of a food chain or web.
  • Identify the main parts of the human circulatory system, and describe the functions of the heart, blood vessels and blood.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 3


Evolution and Inheritance:


  • Show an understanding that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.
  • Identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 4






  • Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.
  • Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 5


States of Matter:


  • Observe how some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (°C).
  • Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 6


Properties and Changes of Materials:


  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets.
  • Explain that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
  • Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials including metals, wood and plastic.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 7






  • Recognise that we need light in order to see things and that dark is the absence of light.
  • Describe the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.
  • Describe the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 8


Forces and Magnets:


  • Explain that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance.
  • Describe magnets as having two poles.
  • Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 9




  • Describe the patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it*.
  • Explain how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 10




  • Label a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers.
  • Explain how a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit.
  • Give reasons for variations in how components function, including brightness of bulbs, loudness of buzzers and on / off position of switches.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 11




  • Explain how unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.
  • List the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction that act between moving surfaces.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 12


Earth and Space:



  • Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.
  • Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.
  • Explain the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.


KS2 SAT Science Sample Question 13


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