The English Tests

English tests header


Format of the test

There is only one paper in the Reading test, worth 50 marks. The paper will cover a selection of texts with between 1500 and 2300 words for children to read, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Children will be given a reading booklet and a separate answer booklet containing comprehension questions about each text. Easier texts will appear first in the reading booklet. The test will last one hour.

What kind of questions are there?

There will be a mixture of question types including 1-mark, 2-mark and 3-mark questions. In some questions, your child will need to choose an answer (selected responses) by ticking, drawing lines or circling. For some, they will need to write their own answer (short or extended constructed responses). The length of the answer expected will be shown by the space given for the answer, e.g. a short line or box for one-word answers, a few lines for a sentence or two, or a large box for a detailed answer to explain an opinion.

Examples of selected response questions include:

Multiple choice, e.g.

  • Where would you be most likely to see this text? Tick one of the options below.
  • Circle the correct option to complete each sentence below.

Ranking/ordering, e.g. Number the events below to show the order in which they happen in the story.

Matching, e.g. Match the events below to the year in which they happened.

Labelling, e.g. Label the text to show the title.

Examples of short constructed response questions include:

Find and copy, e.g. Find and copy one word on page 9 that suggests Malone feels part of the team of explorers.

Short response, e.g.

  • How did Anousheh’s trip into space make history?
  • What is the tremendous monster in the poem?

Examples of extended constructed response questions include:

Open-ended response, e.g.

  • Look at the paragraph beginning ‘Once upon a time …’. How does the writer increase the tension throughout this paragraph? Explain fully, referring to the text in your answer.
  • Based on what you have read, what does the last paragraph suggest might happen to the explorers next? Use evidence from this paragraph to support your prediction.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar

Format of the tests

There are two papers in the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test. The first paper includes questions on grammar, punctuation and vocabulary and is worth 50 marks. The second paper is an aural spelling test worth 20 marks. In each paper the questions appear in order of difficulty.

In Paper 1: questions, children are given a booklet containing various questions that assess their understanding of grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. The test will last 45 minutes.

In Paper 2: spelling, children are given an answer booklet containing 20 sentences with a missing word in each sentence. For each sentence, your child’s teacher will read aloud the missing word, then the whole sentence, and then the missing word again. Children must spell the missing word correctly, including any necessary capital letters, apostrophes and hyphens, to gain a mark. The test will last approximately 15 minutes.

What kind of questions are there?

There will be a mixture of question types. In some, your child will need to choose an answer (selected responses). For some, they will need to write their own answer (constructed responses).

Examples of selected response questions include:

  • Multiple choice, e.g.
  • Tick the sentence that must end with a question mark.
  • Underline all the conjunctions in the sentence below.
  • Circle the two words in the sentence below that are synonyms of each other.
  • Matching, e.g. Draw a line to match each prefix to the correct word so that it makes a new word.

Examples of constructed response questions include:

  • Complete / correct / rewrite, e.g. Rewrite the sentence below, adding a subordinate clause.
  • Write, e.g. Write a sentence using the word cover as a noun.
  • Explain, e.g. Explain how the use of commas changes the meaning in the two sentences below.