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QTS Skills Tests: What are they and who has to take them?

By QTS Maths Tutor|2018-12-21T14:02:14+00:00December 21st, 2018|Categories: Exam Day, Format and Prep|

The QTS Skills tests are what prospective teachers have to take and pass in order to become a qualified teacher in mainstream schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The QTS skills tests are composed of a literacy and numeracy skills test. You have unlimited attempts but you must pass both before being accepted on to a university course or ITT (initial teacher training). Also after your third attempt you are then charged a fee for each test you sit. It is advisable to prepare for each test well in advance of any deadline your ITT imposes as this is the biggest thing which catches people out, the deadlines creep up on you and before you know it the pressure is on to pass within a short space of time.

The numeracy skills test is composed of 28 questions. The first 12 are mental arithmetic followed by 16 written data and graph questions. You have 18 seconds to answer each mental arithmetic question after the second repeat of the question. The questions are delivered via a headset which you are provided on the day of the exam. The second section is less pressured as you have more time to answer each question and you also have a calculator. The QTS calculator is onscreen and it is good to get use to using something like this before your exam day. You have 36 minutes to complete the written data section which is all about knowledge and method and less about having quick arithmetic skills.

The Literacy skills test is made up of 4 sections:

  • Spelling section – 10 questions
  • Punctuation section – 15 marks
  • Grammar section – 8 to 12 marks
  • comprehension section 8-12 marks

As you can see, because the grammar and comprehension sections vary in marks the overall mark varies. The most quoted pass mark for both qts skills tests is 63%. We advise students to aim for 70% as a minimum to be confident of passing on the day.

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