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The SATs reasoning papers are designed to test a child’s ability to apply their understanding of all areas of mathematics. They also aim to test their ability to select relevant information and present answers in a correct context.

The question above expects the student to be able to add and subtract numbers in the thousands, once they have recognised that there are two stages to the question. They should show their working out as a mark may be awarded for doing so, even if the answer provided is incorrect.


In most cases, it’s usually the student’s inability to extract the key information that results in them giving an incorrect answer for this type of question.

This question focuses on equivalent fractions. Children may easily recognise 3 | 4 when the shape is divided into four equal parts and three are shaded. What they should also recognise, is that six out of eight, nine out of twelve and twelve out of sixteen all have the same value as three out of four. They should also recognise that those shaded sections do not necessarily need to be next to each other.


One thing to watch out for here is the shape in the top right-hand corner – although three sections are shaded, it is three out of six, not three out of four.