The introduction of the arithmetic paper is a key change for the Key Stage 2 National Tests (the mental maths test is no longer part of the tests). It is not strictly timed, but the demand to answer 35-40 questions in 30 minutes could be challenging for some. Questions are purely arithmetical with a good proportion coming from the Year 5 and 6 National Curriculum Programme of Study. Children are not allowed to use calculators or concrete apparatus. There is typically one mark per question, but for long multiplication and division questions there are 2 marks awarded for each correct answer and one mark may be awarded if the answer is incorrect but the correct formal method has been used.
Reasoning is covered in two tests, each consisting of 20 questions. Children will have 40 minutes for each paper. Again, calculators are not permitted. Children may use bilingual aids for translation if this is part of their normal classroom set-up.
A significant proportion of the content comes from Years 5 and 6 National Curriculum Programme of Study and clearly demonstrates increased expectations. Questions include using simple formulae for algebra, calculating missing angles, calculating the mean and reading roman numerals. The mark schemes will need to be read carefully to understand when marks can be awarded, especially for money, time and measures. As with the arithmetic paper, partial marks will be awarded for using the correct formal method if an incorrect answer is given.
Scoring and reporting
Each child’s raw score will be calculated (the total score for the two papers). This will then be converted to a scaled score out of 100. We won’t know until after the 2016 test has been taken what the required standard will be.
This blog post is part of a series of posts from experts breaking down the new 2016 National Curriculum tests by subject area to show you exactly what has changed and what to expect in May 2016. Read the next post: Your guide to the 2016 National Curriculum Tests: KS1 Reading
Jayne Jarvis has worked in educational publishing for more than 10 years, specialising in primary maths. She is a senior publisher, working on transformational maths resources such as Numicon and Inspire Maths.