We are now at the time of year when many are starting their initial teacher training (ITT) whilst others are researching the QTS Skills Tests and beginning their journey into teaching. In order to get accepted on a ITT course you must do a number of things but one hurdle many people underestimate are the professional QTS Skills Tests. The skills tests are of around GCSE grade B or level 6 equivalent and can be quite tricky when taking into the formats of the exam, especially the mental arithmetic section of the numeracy skills test where you only have 18 seconds following the second repeat of the question to finalise your answer. Although the content of both the numeracy and literacy skills test are similar to GCSE, because the exam format is so different, there are certain techniques that must be employed, again, especially in the numeracy skills test where the time constraints play an important role. If you are just setting out in your quest to become a teacher and you are researching what you have to do then there is a wealth of information out there that outlines the path but there is not a great deal of emphasis on how tricky the QTS Skills Tests can be and just how many people actually fail it. There are more than 10,000 fails of each test across England each year and thousands fail them repeatedly and end up getting locked out for two years. So the question is, what should you do to ensure you give yourself the best chances of success in both the literacy and numeracy skills tests? Well the following is what we suggest:
  1. Treat your first attempts like your last in that make sure you prepare fully for them. Some people take the first attempt as a practice or turn up having not done a great deal of revision, well that is one attempt down and you will have to pay for the next one.
  2. Practise, practise and more practise. The trick to both the QTS Skills Tests is to practice as much as you can, and using authentic practice tests. At QTS Maths Tutor we have the most comprehensive numeracy skills tests available anywhere online which is reflected by our 5 star Trust Pilot rating.
  3. If you are struggling to reach the pass mark of around 65% on both tests, then look to seek help. Be cautious when getting a tutor, a GCSE English and Maths tutor may be able to help with the content but if they are not QTS Skills Test experts then they will not know what the test requires, the time constraints and the most appropriate methods to use, especially for the numeracy skills test where the format is completely different to any other type of Maths test.
  4. Stay calm and get your head into it. Most people can pass both QTS Skills Tests and do it first time with the right preparation and help.
Good luck in preparing for both of your QTS Skills Tests, if you need any further information about them or about how QTS Maths Tutor can help you prepare then contact us.