A quarter of year 6 pupils are stressed about SATs

Twenty-seven per cent of children are “stressed” about their SATs, but only 10 per cent “hate” the tests, reveals a survey of year 6 pupils as standardised testing gets underway across England this week.

According to a ComRes poll of 750 10- and 11-year-olds for the BBC, 14 per cent admitted they “enjoy” the tests and 48 per cent “don’t mind” taking them.

Pupils from all over England were questioned – two to three weeks before the key stage 2 tests were due to start – about how they felt about the tests, whether they revised at home, who helped them prepare for the tests and whether they felt they had enough time to relax.


When asked to identify all the emotions they experienced when they took tests at school, 57 per cent said they felt “nervous” and 39 per cent were “worried”, but 21 per cent felt “confident” and 13 per cent felt “excited”.


Parents were the group that children most worried about telling if they did badly on the tests, while they worried least about telling the class teacher.


Twenty-eight per cent of pupils reported feeling “a lot of pressure” to do well in the school tests, with just 11 per cent saying they didn’t feel any pressure to do well, and most (59 per cent) saying they felt “some pressure”.


When asked about what they did to relax, the top slot went to “watching TV”, which was mentioned by 74 per cent of the children.  Playing computer games came second at 65 percent, closely followed by spending time with family. Spending time outdoors was cited by 49 per cent of pupils, reading a book or magazine by 35 per cent and, perhaps surprisingly, only 32 per cent listed playing sport as a form of relaxation.

The majority (81 per cent) of surveyed pupils said they had enough time to relax after school.


Parents and pupils made headlines recently when at least 6000 pupils were kept out of school in protest at “a school system”, organisers claimed, “that places more importance on test results and league tables than children’s happiness and joy of learning”.


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