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Comparing the content and difficulty of SATs and the 11plus exam

Is the 11plus harder than SATs?

comparison of 11plus and sats
A comparison of SATs and the 11plus exam.

SATs in the UK refer to Standard Assessment Tests, which are standardised assessments administered primarily in primary schools in England. These tests are conducted to evaluate the educational progress of students in specific year groups, specifically Year 2 (Key Stage 1 or KS1) and Year 6 (Key Stage 2 or KS2). The SATs serve as one measure used by the government and parents to assess the quality of education provided by schools.


In Year 6, SATs are a more formal process compared to Key Stage 1. Students typically sit SATs in various subjects including English reading, English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and maths. Additionally, they may be assessed by their teachers in subjects such as speaking and listening, writing, and sometimes science.


Teacher assessment is also utilised alongside SATs to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of a child's performance in a subject over a longer period. This approach allows teachers to consider a child's overall knowledge and abilities in a subject, rather than solely relying on performance in a test environment.

While UK SATs are standardised assessment tests administered mostly in schools in England to measure children's progress in key subjects such as English and Maths, the 11+ exam is an entrance examination used by selective secondary schools across the United Kingdom, especially in England. The 11+ exam is typically taken by students at the beginning of Year 6 and assesses subjects like English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning, and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Its purpose is to evaluate students' academic abilities and suitability for admission into these selective secondary schools. Therefore, while both assessments play roles in evaluating students' educational progress and abilities, they serve different purposes within the education system.

Which is harder, SATs or the 11 Plus?

The 11 Plus exam is often considered more challenging than Year 6 SATs due to several factors:

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