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QTS Tests (required for entry for all teaching courses 2015)

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    I thought it would be useful to have a thread here for the Professional Skills Tests (or QTS tests).

    Update: 2015 entry:
    There have been no changes so far announced to the skills tests for 2015 entry.

    Update: 2014 Entry:
    It would seem that the government has decided not to bring in harder tests, so the information below is current and relevant for the 2014/15 cohort's skills tests.

    So, what are the skills tests?

    The skills tests consist of one literacy and one numeracy test. The tests are the same standard for everyone, whether you are just finishing your A levels or whether you are 30 and changing careers!

    When do you have to take them?
    You need to have completed these tests before you can start a teaching course in 2013(be it undergraduate or postgraduate!). However, you need to submit an application before you can take the tests, as you will be asked for proof of your application when you go to take the test.

    Where can you take them?
    There are various centres all over the UK where you can take the tests.

    How can I prepare?

    There are practise tests available online that resemble the test exactly:



    To book and register for the tests go here:

    Numeracy test:
    There is a mental maths section and an on-screen question section. You will be given a whiteboard and pen to jot down your working out on for both sections. Both sections will run straight on from each other.
    Mental maths = 12 questions.
    On-screen test = 16 questions.

    The current pass mark is 18/28.

    Top tip: Revise times tables!

    Literacy test:
    This test is divided into four sections: spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. The marks you need to get to pass will vary in this test as the amount of marks you can get will vary.

    -The pass mark is 63% for each test.
    -Each test must be completed within 45 minutes, unless special arrangements have been granted.
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    I am hearing lots of different thing about the QTS tests, as i know in the past people have had unlimited amount of attempts and do it during the actual course?
    However, i have heard that there are now only 3 attempts and we have to do it before we enroll?
    What do people know?
    Thanks X
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    Not sure if it has to be done before re-enrolling (this seems unlikely but I uses could be true), but the three attempts is correct, and so it should be. I did them this year and they were genuinely easy. 1 attempt is all it takes and all people should get with the level of subject knowledge it requires. If you can't get that first time, you shouldn't be teaching!
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    Thanks very much, i guessed they couldnt be too hard, but was still at bit worried. I know they have scrapped the IT one now
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    I went on the practice ones online, I'm fine with literacy but I'm terrible at maths, especially arithmatic. I scraped a C at GCSE so made the statutory requirements for ITT. I'd never in a million years teach maths, I'm going to be a history trainee!! I'm already revising because I'm so dire. And you only get two attempts!
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    I can see how the Mathematics one would cause problems for those who have never found it easy, and how no interest. It is the stand out difficult one, as we all speak and write English, so should have a good grip of it, and a very large percentage of us use ICT on a daily basis (I know the ICT test is gone for now).

    What limiting the number of attempts does, is force those who are not so good at Maths to PRACTICE and LEARN the skills needed to pass the test before sitting it. I know of trainees who had 14/15 attempts at it! If they pass 1 out of 15, they certainly aren't competent enough at Mathematics to be deemed 'pass' standard.
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    Apparently us 2012 entrants are safe from the changes. From Sept, they are changing it so that entrants for 2013 have to pass to get on the course. That is also when the limits come in. So I've calmed down a bit!
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    I too am really bad at the Maths test, however when I was at the interview the interviewer asked me if I had tried the tests so I said yes and I still havnt passed a maths one, she said that 1) History students tend struggle with the maths one, and 2) that many students say that the test on the day is far easier than the tests on the interview that you practice with.

    I've bought a QTS skills test guide and hope to get my tests out of the way as soon as I get my teacher number.... 3 attempts though, I hope to pass it first time or at worst second!
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    I too have bought the guides. My sis is doing her PGCE primary at the moment and she said the real test was far easier than the online ones.....but she is still far better at maths than me!! I scraped a C at GCSE and my very worst aspect is mental arithmatic I'm dreading it!
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    (Original post by StarBabyCat)
    I too have bought the guides. My sis is doing her PGCE primary at the moment and she said the real test was far easier than the online ones.....but she is still far better at maths than me!! I scraped a C at GCSE and my very worst aspect is mental arithmatic I'm dreading it!
    Try not to worry too much. I'm doing my training this year and passed all my skills tests in October.
    I too struggle with mental maths, and was really worried about that test. I failed all the practice tests! The actual test was far easier.
    The key is to practice as much as you can whilst not panicking. With the mental maths you are given a pen and mini whiteboard to do working out. On the first reading listen out for, and write down the key information you need, you can then start to work out the answer as soon as you have all the info rather then waiting for the second reading to finish. Your uni should also provide support if you are struggling with it.
    I hope that's reassured you a little. Good Luck
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    Thank you! Yes I know I'm just going to practice as much as I can, I have a few months yet!
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    Right there seems to be some confusion about the QTS tests so I'll try and clear them up based on what I've read.

    The new 'tests' are being introduced from September 2012 and they are indeed 'Enrolling tests' which future students (those starting in September 2013) will need to do before they even start their training.

    So what does this mean for 2012 entry students? It means that the QTS remains the same as they are now, the changes are being brought in for students enrolling September 2013. I believe there is no 'cap' (though I'm not 100% certain of that, I'll do more digging to confirm either way) on the amount of attempts for 2012-2013 students, but there is the widely discussed cap of three attempts for the new enrollment tests.

    The only thing that 2012-2013 students will have to face is a higher pass percentage, though quite how high I don't think anyone knows yet.

    I was also confused about how things worked till I read this on the TDA site:

    "trainees starting an initial teacher training (ITT) course from September 2013 will be required to pass the skills tests before starting their course. The pass mark for these tests will be raised and the number of resits allowed will be limited to two. The requirements for candidates starting courses in the 2012 academic year remain unchanged; candidates are required to pass the skills tests in their final year of study (with the current exceptions for those on flexible routes into teaching). However, subject to parliamentary approval of changes to the relevant regulations, the ICT test will no longer be a requirement for achieving qualified teacher status (QTS) from April 2012."
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    so def no tests till we start?
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    Nope, its all the same for 2012, (IE do the tests during our course) it all changes from September 2012 wehen the next enterence cycle begins.
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    It will be so much better doing the tests before you enrol on a teaching course, can you imagine getting to the third year and then failing the skills tests and not being able to be a teacher after all of that debt and effort! no thanks!

    Im in my third year of my degree and as someone who also struggled with maths at GCSE, I managed to pass all of my skills tests first time. The maths test on the TDA website was so much harder than the one I took for real. Its all about learning the types of questions that they ask, the logics are all the same so once you get to grips with them you should be fine
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    yeah, i was prepared to do them before, something less to worry about
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    Hey there,

    with the changes regarding resits coming in on 1st September this year, I have a question regarding the amount of resits you can sit in total.

    It says you only get 1 resit (so two attempts in total), but does this mean forever? For example, if someone failed the test this acedemic year, then would they never be allowed to resit it again?

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    Failure to pass the Skills Tests after two resits of each means you cannot follow any route to QTS. This, of course, will not prevent you from teaching in a Free School or Independent School.

    Edit: I believe it is 2 resits - 3 attempts in total.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    That's correct - failure to pass the Skills Tests after two attempts at each means you cannot follow any route to QTS. This, of course, will not prevent you from teaching in a Free School or Independent School.

    I'd think the inability to pass even the most basic of tests might though!
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    (Original post by sam.hunton)
    I'd think the inability to pass even the most basic of tests might though!
    You shouldn't deride the Skills Test. Don't you know that they are now extremely challenging since Michael Gove increased the pass mark from 60% to 63%?


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