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Can't pass Maths QTS, whether to give it all up.

Discussion in 'Professional development' started by peppermint patti, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. I was given my primary pgce certificate in June 2006 and received excellent end of school placement reports.
    Although I was shortlisted for a couple of teaching jobs I didn't get them at the final hurdle. I lost confidence and decided to go to music college for a year and then re-apply for an induction year.

    I am now really keen to get back into teaching and will be applying for supply and NQT positions but I am yet to pass the numeracy QTS test. I have taken it a couple of times and have been 1-3 marks off passing.
    I know that I can't begin induction until I have this. I am meant to be able to supply teach legally without all the tests but the agencies I have contacted are asking for my GTC number.
    I feel so frustrated, the tests seem to vary widely in difficulty and this is the only thing standing in the way of my career.
    Can anyone advise me whether I can teach in the independent sector without passing my maths QTS test or whether my inability to pass will always be a black spot on my career .
    What worries me is that if I have to supply teach until September 2008 (two years after my pgce) whilst struggling to pass the test, I will then be competing for induction jobs with people who are fresh from their pgces. I am so stressed out about this, your advice would be so invaluable.
     
  2. I was given my primary pgce certificate in June 2006 and received excellent end of school placement reports.
    Although I was shortlisted for a couple of teaching jobs I didn't get them at the final hurdle. I lost confidence and decided to go to music college for a year and then re-apply for an induction year.

    I am now really keen to get back into teaching and will be applying for supply and NQT positions but I am yet to pass the numeracy QTS test. I have taken it a couple of times and have been 1-3 marks off passing.
    I know that I can't begin induction until I have this. I am meant to be able to supply teach legally without all the tests but the agencies I have contacted are asking for my GTC number.
    I feel so frustrated, the tests seem to vary widely in difficulty and this is the only thing standing in the way of my career.
    Can anyone advise me whether I can teach in the independent sector without passing my maths QTS test or whether my inability to pass will always be a black spot on my career .
    What worries me is that if I have to supply teach until September 2008 (two years after my pgce) whilst struggling to pass the test, I will then be competing for induction jobs with people who are fresh from their pgces. I am so stressed out about this, your advice would be so invaluable.
     
  3. I'd have another couple of goes at the numeracy test if I were you. Some people have to do it more times than you before they pass. It is a pain but perhaps a bit more practice and you will get it. I am presuming you have tried the practice materials online? Perhaps get a gcse maths revision workbook and revise the bits you find tricky (is it the percentage stuff or the mental arithmetic or what?)
    You don't need QTS to teach in the independent sector but if you don't get it you'll be much more limited in terms of jobs.
    Remember how many tries it takes some people to get their driving licence? Most of them pass in the end!
    Good luck
     
  4. If you are only one or two marks off- you are almost there, so don't give up.If you were more than this than that would have been more diffiuclt.

    Have you worked out what are your problem areas- is it speed and time factor or is it working on a screen or is it the maths itself?

     
  5. I'm sorry to sound harsh but if you can't pass the maths test you shouldn't be teaching, no matter what subject. I would not be happy for you to be teaching my children with such a low level understanding of a core subject. If you are close then keep trying. What grade did you get for GCSE Maths?
     
  6. That last post was a little harsh. The QTS Skills test in Numeracy is difficult as the mental maths bit only gives you about 18 seconds to type in your answer before the screen moves on, which is so frustrating. You know you can do it .. just keep trying and never give up. I passed the Numeracy on my 5th attempt as I was just soooo anxious I set myself uo for failure each time.

    PS. I have it on good authority that there is an excellent teacher out there somewhere who took it 32 times and passed it EVENTUALLY - my PGCE tutor told me!!
     
  7. Just keep trying - it took me a while to pass and I thought I was never going to do it - but don't give up. Use the patmore book - as soon as I read that I passed!
     
  8. what is the patomore book?
     
  9. Don't give up! It took me 6 times! I just kept plugging away! There are actual books they provide, which were quite useful. You'll do it eventually!
    Good luck!
     
  10. mancminx

    mancminx New commenter

    Im fairly certain I had at least 10 goes. Like you I kept failing by 1 point-i cried so many times.
    The books are available in good bookshops-they just sort of guide you through it and cost around £8.
    You can practice online though.
    Good luck
    x
     
  11. Keep practising. Have you bought all of these QTS Numeracy preparation books:

    http://www.tda.gov.uk/skillstests/numeracy/furtherresourc...

    Can you borrow any that you haven't yet looked at from your university's library (or buy them)? If possible, try and get your hands on some fresh practice questions or make up some more questions and record them on a tape in the same style as the test.

    Try not to loose heart. I think you can turn the fact that you went to music college for a year into a huge self-marketing asset. Schools like teachers who have musical abilities so play up your musical abilities in your CV and application cover letter (if you are not already doing so). You musical skills will be valuable in the classroom and also for extra curriclum activities.

    Even if you have to do supply work until September 2008 you are going to have advantages over those fresh from their pgces.

    These advantages include:

    1. Supply teaching experience and references - try and get references from any schools that you work at for three or more weeks. Supply teaching does open doors so try and show your musical skills when you work in schools e.g. mention them in the staffroom (without sounding too boastful), use them in the classroom when possible, and get involved in helping with extra curriculum activities where possible so that you can showcase your musical abilities to schools.

    2. A musical school qualification/certificate - this will account for what you have been up to for one of the two years so combined with your supply teaching experience they should be able to see your commitment to getting into the industry and that your two years hasn't been completely aimless.

    3. You will have all of this and they will still be getting you at the cheap NQT rate - it will be a bargin from their perspective - you DO have more to offer than a lot of NQTs fresh from their pgces.

    If your confidence is really fragile at the moment you could also try contacting your former university to find out whether they are offering a QTS numeracy test preparation course similar to this one for their pgce students:

    http://studentzone.roehampton.ac.uk/studyskills/mathsands...

    I'm Australian so you will know better than I will whether the standard of this type of course is high enough to be of some benefit to you. Ask whether you can either join this course (you will have to pay as you are no longer a student there) or better still get the email address of the person running the course and ask whether they are willing to tutor you privately for a few sessions. If your former university doesn't offer this course try researching other universities websites and/or calling other universities (including Roehampton University) to find one that does.

    If the person taking the preparation course is unwilling to take you on as a private student, either for contractual reasons and/or lack of time etc (which would be reasonable although annoying) ask them whether they can reccommend someone to you who could tutor you privately i.e. maybe a retired collegue or someone who is familiar with the test requirements and has maths qualifications etc.

    If you decide on the private tutor option then have this person give you a test of their own creation during your first session so that both of you can identify what your weaknesses are and get this person to teach you what you need to know and give you some homework designed to address your weaknesses. Then, a week or two later meet with the tutor again and take another test of the tutor's creation and see what you still need to work on. Then, before you see this person for a third time take the real QTS numeracy test one more time, and if you don't pass the test then at least you have someone who you can keep going back to for support and encouragement until you do.

    Just try and spread out your sessions with the tutor to either weekly or biweekly intervals. This will help keep costs down to a more affordable level and give you time to master the skills and build up your confidence again a little. There is not much point cramming for this kind of test or meeting with the tutor at too close intervals.

    Remember a lot of people seem to have trouble with this QTS test so you are not alone, and you also have us as a resource to cheer you up, and give you some constructive advice. Get onto this quickly whatever option you decide. One year of supply teaching and an additional musical college qualification is NOT the end of the world so hopefully once you have passed the QTS numeracy test the supply agencies will be busier than they are at present and things will start to look up for you.
     
  12. Which bit are you failing on?
    With mine , it was the part that has the box and whisker diagrams - as i never did these in my GCSE, i then got a mate to show me how to use them and hey presto, the very next time i took the test, i past - 3rd time lucky.
    Trick is - dont give up - teaching is a wonderful job, you just gotta jump through hoops to get there.
     
  13. Wow. Harsh..
     
  14. Not really, especially as you can retake the tests a number of times. I've just had a go at one of the practice numeracy tests with no preparation, laptop on my lap and just passed it. You really should have passed the tests during your training period.
     
  15. Just looked at the date of the original post. [​IMG]
     
  16. sorry DON'T agree, "pass the tests during your training period".......errmmmmm....like i dont have anything else to focus on, mmm lets see.....observations, essays, planning....list is endless..........and on your comment on you passed the test on your laptop, where were you sitting? at home watching eastenders?????....when I was practising my skills test at home I had no problem passing them, however sitting in a room with headphones and you know your 18 seconds are passing.....you freeze!!!!!!!!! and i strongly agree this is why many fail........not only this, you are thinking "I have to pass otherwise I wont be able to start my NQT year"....a school wont take me because I dont have my maths test done.......................
    well this is for all those still trying to pass..............keep your head up!!!!!!! and revise!!!!!! I know it gets boring but you have to believe in yourself!!!!!! and about the job thing....I got my NQT position before I passed my maths test!!!! and I passed the test in the summer when I had the time to focus and revise!!!!!!!
     
  17. ALSO i want to add........... these tests are no reflection on you as a teacher!!!!!! I mean box and whisker...................."good morning reception, today I have brought in a box.......lets calculate the interquartile range shall we".....then you can free flow and play!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    need i go on..............................[​IMG]
     
  18. As you are quite aware, once a teacher has obtained QTS they could be asked to teach any year up to and including Year 6 so all teachers have got to have a good level of maths and English.
    As for leaving the test until the end, that's fine if that's what you want to do. I did all mine in my first term during my PGCE course and I know all about the hard work required to pass this course. As anyone who has done a PGCE, this is a very concentrated course.
    At the end of the day, these tests are fairly basic and shouldn't require much revision if you already have a good level of maths and English. What I do think needed revision is the format simply so you know what to expect and how to use the software. If you actually need to do loads of revision for the actual question matter, then I would question whether you actually have the skills to teach up to Year 6 in primary. I must admit that I have been very disappointed with the mathematical skills of some of the BEd students that I have had in my classroom. Having to reteach or, even worse, having to interrupt a lesson to ensure that pupils are not being left with incorrect mathematical concepts is very worrying.
     
  19. I have been teaching for 30 years and I am fairly sure that I and some of my contemporaries would struggle with some of the ICT tasks.
     
  20. Why would that be? They're not that difficult but this particular test does need practice because it uses generic programs which no-one will have come across before.
    If you're talking about age - I qualified as a primary school teacher in my late 40s (career change).
    I was, however, talking about poor levels of mathematics in teacher trainees.
     

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