The dreaded QTS tests…



QTS tests, even the word now sends shivers down my spine. It was the one thing that kept me awake a night, the one thing that I could see as a potential threat to me obtaining my QTS. Now, for me, I may be in the minority here, but I disagree with the QTS tests. Yes, I think there should be standards that certain teachers have to meet. But for me I don’t see why an Art teacher, PE teacher and even a primary school teacher have to be able to work out if there are 375 pupils in a school and 2/5s have free school dinners, how many do not have school dinners? Write your answer as a decimal in 9 seconds in their head (?!). They are not realistic and I don’t think they really measure how intelligent you are, they measure how well you cope in timed exams.

To be honest, I am not going to lie, for me the maths tests were horrendous. Not because they were difficult, in fact they were much easier than the online practice ones. What was horrible was the absolute pressure that you are put under. I couldn’t even write, my hands were shaking. I completely froze and on the mental arithmetic, it got to question 5 and I had only answered one question.

I hate maths. Utterly despise the subject. I teach KS1 because of this reason, I scrapped a C at GCSE and that was with the help of a tutor and every single after school maths support group. It isn’t my strongest point and after high school I rejoiced that I wouldn’t have to take another maths test again- ever. That was until I started this course. Everyone know is really lucky, you take the tests before you start- which is a God send. For us, there was always the fear that we had paid 9 grand for a course that we could potentially fail if we didn’t pass the skills test.

Moving onto the Literacy skills test, I booked this one straight away and found it more difficult than the on line ones, but if you are an English speaker, you will pass first time. I had loads of time left over and it’s great that you can go back to the beginning (not the spelling part though) and re check your work. I had enough time to do this comfortably. Spellings were not too bad, you can listen to the word how many times you want. Tip learn how to spell the two different versions of the word stationary.

Going back to the maths, I worked bloody hard. Every night I came home and took a practice test, I bought the QTS numeracy skills test book, which was great and I learnt all my percentages and fractions until I knew them instantly. 1/4=0.25=25%. Also know your time tables off by heart! That is the key to passing the test. 

But to be fair, it can’t be all that bad because I, the absolute hater of maths, passed first time. If I can do it- anyone can! 


3 thoughts on “The dreaded QTS tests…

  1. hi, I am very good at literacy but I failed the test twice for just 1 mark. I practised many times and got 100% correct at home, Now am scared to write for third time.I was confident for my literacy but now i am scared of it. can u please help me or advice to get through it.

    • The first thing to remember is that failing by 1 mark means that you are so close to passing and don’t have much work to do to pass. The thing either the literacy skills test is that I personally felt that they were tougher than the online tests, plus add in the pressure of the test situation and they become an unpleasant experience. My first tip would be try and remember what spellings you had in the first two tests and learn them off by heart. I remembered my spelling words, told my friends- and they all said they had the same. Getting all your spellings correct takes the pressure off the second part. Also when you are choosing the correct words for your sentences, actually say the sentences out loud, don’t just read them. I know it sounds obvious but I found I could easily decide which was the correct word once I tried all the options outloud. Lastly, relax and only take your test when you are ready. Don’t tell people when you are taking it as they pressure is too much and just take your time, and go through your test again, time allowing. Good luck

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