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4.6 out of 5 stars34
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 May 2013
I bought this book on the basis of previous 5 star reviews, but feel I should warn others thinking of buying the book themselves, about a number of flaws it contains. I am the parent of a child currently sitting KS1 SATS and of 2 others who have done so in previous years, and also a teacher and examiner as well, and so maybe spotted flaws that would not have been so obvious to those with less experience of the exams.

I particularly disliked:

1. The fact that the 'separate' papers are all in one book. Unlike other similar sample paper packs I have used previously, this does not consist of several separate papers in a cardboard folder, but one large book with lots of papers in it. This means it is quite a thick book - very hard to photocopy if you wish to repeat a test or re-use the material with another child, as it is not not spiral-bound either. It also makes the book quite intimidating-looking to a young child; a collection of separate, thin papers in the different subjects at different levels would have looked more like the real exam papers they have to do in class, and would have been more user-friendly.

2. The use of colour. All previous papers I've used made by other companies have just been in black and white,with maybe a thin band of a single colour round the edge at most. This uses incredibly bright full-colour illustrations UNDERNEATH THE TEXTS the children have to read for the reading comprehensions!! Clearly this book was designed by someone with no experience of teaching children or of how to create appropriate testing materials. As an adult with perfect vision, advanced reading skills and no dyslexia, I found it a strain to make out the words against the multi-colour backgrounds (including a pattern of random coloured dots on some pages, for no apparent reason than to make the images even more 'cheerful' and loud than they are already). Any child who suffered from dyslexia, or just found reading hard (because they were only 6 or 7 years old, for example), would really struggle with this book. It also means photocopying the book is totally impractical, if you wish to repeat a test, for example, or don't want your child to write directly on the page.

3. Poorly thought-out layouts. Again, the book does not seem to have been designed by people with any understanding of how to make it suitable for use. So the instructions for the maths test - which the parent (or teacher) needs to read out loud to the children, is printed on the back of the sheet where the child has to write their name. But to be usable, it then needs to be torn out - so the child can't then write their name there. Or the comprehension texts - these have been split up into small sections with questions on just that section underneath. But this makes it very hard for the child to read the texts all the way through, and is also unlike the layout they will actually encounter in the exam, where the text is a single, uninterrupted passage with questions afterwards.

4. Biased/politically correct characters and subjects. Of the reading texts, 2 out of 3 were so biased towards girls (not only in topic but also in design - pink backgrounds, etc), that there is no way my son would read them. If a book is aimed towards all children, the texts should appeal to both genders as much as possible. Also in one very confusing text, two 'sisters' were shown, one clearly Asian with an Asian name and one clearly white English with a white English name. The aim may have been to be inclusive but I would imagine it would confuse most children, Asian ones included, as they do not look like sisters - no reason why they couldn't be friends.

It's a shame as I own another, older set of Letts KS1 papers that my eldest child used about 6 years ago and these had none of these flaws; if you can get hold of those, I'd use those instead. The maths papers in this book seem OK (apart from the problem with the lack of pull-out sheets for the adult to read the instructions from, as above), but you can buy these separately and more cheaply, if you must buy a Letts product.

Personally, I'd look at other brands or free online resources, as I was not impressed with this book.
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on 20 May 2012
Well written, high quality product. It's certainly helped my child in getting to practice key skills. As I understand it, these test papers are very similar to the real ones.
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on 9 November 2012
Great set of papers, clear explanation of how things are marked and therefore it gives a clear idea of the standard required. It is also very interesting to see examples written by children which had also been marked, eg stories and examples of handwriting standards! Very enlightening. I would recommend.
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on 4 June 2014
I bought these as I was worried how my son would cope with the Sats papers. I thought it would give him an idea of how the questions were worded. But as it happened I didn't end up using them. I thought they were very well laid out in colour and levelled 1, 2 and 3. I may use them in the future for my daughter when she in in year 2.
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on 10 February 2013
Good
My son enjoys doing these
Easy to understand and really good and colourful pictures.
Yes I would recommend these
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on 11 February 2013
Very pleased with the layout of this revision book and the clear questions. A very helpful resource in the run up to year 2 SATs.
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on 27 May 2012
The book arrived promptly and was reasonably priced. It provides lots of opportunities to consolidate early years basic skills. A good format for young children to work from. I am pleased with this purchase.
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on 3 June 2013
Wanted to help my son with SAT preparation as was anxious about it. Good for us both as he could see what he would be expected to do and I got a good idea of how he was doing. We didn't work through methodically, we concentrated on maths and used it as a starting to point to see his weaknesses. He loved reading and gave him a boost for tests, which all went well
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on 15 June 2013
Book design a bit complicated as the chapters are designed by topic then level, so you have to really study it to ensure that your child does all the different tests. However, the test themselves are great, and it is good to get an idea of where your child is.
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on 21 March 2013
This book is very well set out and the type etc. used is clear for the child to follow. It was actually enjoyable for my son and he will be in no doubt what to expect now. The only negative was that I confused myself thinking their was meant to be a separate answer booklet...what it meant was that each answer section can be pulled out of the book and kept separately as the answer pages are perforated! Silly me.
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