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KS2 Maths SATs test revision tips
Revision can be confusing and annoying. We have broken down some ideas that will help you along the way.
There are 6 fundamental ideas that need to be implemented, both in school and at home, if your child is going to have the confidence to reach as high a level as possible in the maths SATs.
Use past papers
Past papers are an excellent starting point for revision, but that is all they are: a starting point. They show the kind of questions and the maths required. Once a paper has been completed it is a good idea to go through it and make a list of the topics that posed difficulties.
Once a list has been compiled similar questions need to be found: the KS2 Maths SATs Revision Program is organised in a way to make this easy.
We provide Free Maths SATs Past Papers
Practice makes perfect
Practice those kinds of questions that proved difficult. Have a go at several similar questions. There is no harm in going through them with someone else who can lend a helping hand; in fact it is a great idea! You don't always need to print out the questions: view them on the screen. You don't always need to write down the answer. Sometimes it is good enough to talk through how to go about it. But practice, practice and practice some more.
This idea also goes for mental arithmetic. 10 to 15 minutes a day should be spent on mental arithmetic, so that mental skills can be practised and repeated until they become second nature. Quick recall of addition and subtraction facts, tables etc will not happen if time is not given to practise them. Look for every opportunity to test tables, do some quick addition of small numbers, take away from £1 etc.
Most people learn best when working ‘hands on’
Often in the SATs children are given a mirror to help with finding reflective symmetry patterns. It makes it easier. It is far easier to look at the properties of a cuboid if you have one to hold than it is to look at a drawing of one. It is far more useful to use a jug or a tape measure to measure than to work out a measuring problem on paper. Number lines to count along, construction bricks to build shapes, digit cards to move around to create numbers are all great learning tools, because they allow for that ‘hands on’ approach which most of us feel most comfortable with. Don't feel afraid of using them whilst working through the KS2 Maths SATs Revision Program questions. Once confidence has been gained there is less need, or no need for them.
Chat, Chat, Chat
Talking about numbers, shapes, fractions etc is the very best way to clarify what you know. Many of the SATs questions and the questions on the KS2 Maths SATs Revision Program are ideal for a follow up discussion. However, don't expect children to be able to talk fluently if they have not been given the correct mathematical vocabulary to use. Mathematical language is very precise and children need to understand it to explain their thinking ‘out loud’.
You learn from your mistakes
Mistakes can be hard to accept. They can be embarrassing and people don't like making them, yet we all make misjudgements and miscalculations and they are very important in learning. If the mistake is approached in the correct way it can be a powerful learning tool. Don't just tell a child something is wrong, help them to see where the mistake was made and why it was made. Often most of what they do is actually correct.
Mistakes can be made:
in calculating (getting a mental calculation incorrect), in misinterpreting what needs to be done (subtracting rather than dividing) or only completing part of the task by not knowing a fact (eg there are 90 degrees in a right angle).
Once the mistake has been identified, attempt another similar question, trying to avoid the same error.
Maths is interesting
Our society generally seems to have a negative attitude towards maths, yet it is fascinating and at the heart of all our commerce and industry, computing and technology. The world around us is full of patterns and maths can reflect and explain these patterns. From Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings to Escher's tessellations, our brains enjoy the structure and pattern that maths creates ‐ not to mention music.
Many of the questions on the SAT papers and on the KS2 Maths SATs Revision Program are quite interesting and relate to real life situations. Approach them in a positive way, see them as an achievable challenge rather than a chore. Praise ten times as often as you grumble and watch confidence grow!