WHAT ARE QTS SKILLS TESTS?

The QTS Skills Tests are short tests in numeracy and literacy that you need to pass before you can start training to be a teacher in England. You take the tests on a computer at a test centre (a bit like a driving theory test) and they each take just under an hour. They are not trying to test your subject knowledge (this will happen at another point in your application process) but just making sure that you can handle the numeracy and literacy demands of the job. Because of this, a lot of the questions are set in the context of the teaching profession.

WHEN TO DO YOUR QTS SKILLS TESTS

You need to have passed them before you start your training, and each university will have their own deadline for doing them.

In order to register to do the tests, you need to have submitted an application for your course. The best time to do your tests is after you have submitted your application but before you attend your interview.

FORMAT OF THE QTS NUMERACY TEST

The QTS Numeracy Test is made up of two sections – a mental arithmetic section and an on-screen section.

There are twelve questions in the mental arithmetic section, which you will hear audibly. After hearing each question being read out twice, you will have eighteen seconds to answer the question. You will not be allowed a calculator for this section, but you will have access to a whiteboard for any written workings that you need to do.​

The on-screen section is made up of sixteen questions, and these are usually more in-depth than the mental arithmetic questions. The questions in this section are a mix of written arithmetic questions (nine questions) and interpreting data questions (seven questions). You will be allowed to use a calculator and your whiteboard. Altogether you will have thirty-six minutes to complete this section.

TOPICS ON THE NUMERACY SKILLS TEST

The mental arithmetic section has questions on calculations, time, money, fractions, decimals, percentages and measurements. These topics may also come up in the on-screen section, plus questions on ratio, averages, formulae, weighting, and interpreting various tables, graphs and charts. For full details, take a look at our free QTS Numeracy Topic Guide.

TOPICS ON THE NUMERACY SKILLS TEST

The mental arithmetic section has questions on calculations, time, money, fractions, decimals, percentages and measurements. These topics may also come up in the on-screen section, plus questions on ratio, averages, formulae, weighting, and interpreting various tables, graphs and charts. For full details, take a look at our free QTS Numeracy Topic Guide.

PASS MARK FOR QTS NUMERACY

The pass mark varies based on the exact paper that you are given, but it is usually around 63%, which would mean that you need to get a total of eighteen questions out of twenty-eight correct.

It doesn’t matter how many of these come from each section, so you could pass by getting all twelve right on the mental arithmetic and only six from the on-screen section or by getting just two mental arithmetic ones right and everything from the on-screen section, or any other mix of the two as long as you have eighteen correct answers altogether.

HOW TO BOOK THE QTS TESTS

The tests are administered through a company called learndirect, so the first step is to register for an account with them, which you can do using the button below. Once you have registered, you can log in to your account and book your tests (you can also use this system if you need to reschedule your tests after you have booked them).

SPECIAL ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS

If you have medical conditions, disabilities or language barriers that may affect how you do in the tests, then there are alterations that could be made. These alterations could include being allowed additional time, mental arithmetic questions being given in a written form rather than audio, taking a paper version of the test with large-print, or other changes as appropriate. You can indicate any requirements that you have for special arrangements as part of the process of booking your tests.​

FAILING QTS SKILLS TESTS

If you fail, you can resit the tests (though you will need to pay for the resits – only the first attempt at each test is free). You can have three attempts at each test. If you fail one of your tests for the third time, then you can’t take it again for a period of two years, so you would not be allowed to start your training in this time. After the two years have passed you would be able to apply again and have another go at the tests if you want.

FAILING QTS SKILLS TESTS

If you fail, you can resit the tests (though you will need to pay for the resits – only the first attempt at each test is free). You can have three attempts at each test. If you fail one of your tests for the third time, then you can’t take it again for a period of two years, so you would not be allowed to start your training in this time. After the two years have passed you would be able to apply again and have another go at the tests if you want.

QTS LITERACY SKILLS TEST

The QTS Literacy Skills Test is comprised of four sections – spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension, and it takes 45 minutes to complete. The resources on this website are specifically geared to the numeracy test, but practice papers can be found at the Department for Education website, and for further help we would recommend Jim Johnson and Bruce Bond’s excellent book, ‘Passing the Literacy Skills Test‘.​

ABOUT ME

My name is Tom. Back in 2011 I was standing where you are now, doing my secondary maths teacher training with all that it involves. I know what is involved in the QTS numeracy test and so I want to help.

As well as my front-line work with my students, I am privileged to have the opportunity of teaching prospective teachers. After helping many teachers of tomorrow prepare for and pass their QTS Numeracy Test, I wanted to make the help that I could offer available to others, and so I created this website, wrote my ‘Guide to the QTS Numeracy Skills Test‘ book and designed all of the accompanying resources that are on offer here.

If you have any questions of would like to know more, please feel free to drop me an email to tom@qtsskillstests.com​.

QTS NUMERACY HELP

Yep. That’s what this website is all about.

If you would like me to suggest the ideal resources for you, head over to the front page of the site, take a practice test and let me know your score – that way I can match my recommendations to what you need right now.

Alternatively, you could take a look around and see what grabs your interest. I have a QTS numeracy book, a bunch of QTS practice tests, some QTS mental arithmetic audio practice and revision cheat sheets, and in addition I sometimes have a couple of slots available for personal QTS coaching services.