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Changes to Skills Tests

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by PegMatite, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. PegMatite

    PegMatite New commenter

    Hi Sage,
    do you (or anyone else) know where the QTS practice materials have gone? The online practice tests no longer work from the archived TDA site, but there isn't a link to them on the new DoE site. It's frustrating as I want to practise for my tests next week!
  2. PegMatite

    PegMatite New commenter

    Ignore my last post, the online practice tests are now working from the DfE site
  3. kazzmaniandevil

    kazzmaniandevil New commenter

    What happens if you fail the tests twice? It doesn't really seem to say anything regarding this?
  4. If you fail twice you cannot get QTS. If you are entering ITT after 1st July 2013 you must pass the tests before you start your course. If you fail twice your course ofer will be withdrawn and you will not be allowed to qaulify to teach.
    The Sage
  5. So am I correct in thinking, if you are due to start a course this year I.e. 2012, you pay your £9k course fees and have two attempts at a resit? Yet if I start a course next September 2013, I apply to a course (without yet paying the £9k fees) and then have to pass the tests prior to starting (or being offered) the course?

    In essence, I run the risk of losing out on £9k by doing the course this year and then the 'possibilty' of failing the tests. But if I were to apply next year, I have the possibility of failing the tests BEFORE I hand over £9k of course fees?

    Is my logic correct?
  6. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding New commenter

    With transitional arrangements, it seems so yes, but these tests are very passable for anyone studying to be a teacher, they were at gcse level. The PGCE year is a lot harder than these tests, some study between now and then should be perfectly adequate.
  7. DM

    DM New commenter

    Pretending the tests have somehow been strengthened by increasing the pass mark from 60% to 63% is laughable.
  8. There are books on the market (achieving QTS: passing the numeracy skills test) which are a great help in your preparations for the test (at least the maths one, don't know about the literacy book). I failed the maths practice tests and then got the book. It contains general explanations and a lot of questions that come up in the test and -the best thing about it- all the answers, too so you can check your performance. The actual test was then fairly easy.
  9. mrshopehistory

    mrshopehistory New commenter

    Surprisingly though it will have a huge impact. More so the 2 attempt limit as opposed to the 3 percent. I know people who are on their PGCE this year and have failed the literacy 5 times already and the numeracy the same for other people. Apparently someone last year at our university failed the literacy test 10 times which is shocking. Unsurprisingly people rarely revise for these tests (like myself) and turn up with the hope of passing first time but the safe knowledge that you have unlimited tries until the date your course finishes.
  10. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding New commenter

    5-10 times seems very excessive. I'd say for the new entrants, yes, absolutely go into the first one with minimal prep if you have passed the practice ones with relative ease, but if you fail the first attempt, its surely best to buckle down on the study and practice until consistently passing the practice tests before going in again (talking about current and past ITTs). It must be the complacency of this and previous cohorts which mean people use the test themselves as practices as they have been unlimited.

    While this is fine for a first test, its not fair on other that you take up a test slot (also for people doing their driving theory) when you aren't bothering practising outside. Also, how on earth anyone managed to even fit 10 tests (which tend to be daytime only) while on a PGCE is beyond me. These tests are not difficult, and especially for those teaching secondary, you likely wouldn't be so sympathetic with a pupil not doing any of your revision/practice classes but is having resit upon resit.
  11. kazzmaniandevil

    kazzmaniandevil New commenter

    I was under the understanding from my university that the limit on the literacy and numeracy tests was being brought in till next year? Or am I think of a different test?
  12. casperino

    casperino New commenter

    I must admit I am also confused - I was under the impression that there would be no limitation for resits for students starting in 2012. On the education.gov site it says 'the changes to resits will come into force from September 2012 for trainees who are taking the tests as an entry requirement and starting from September 2013'. I don't have to take the tests as an entry requirement, and my course starts in September. Does this mean I still have unlimited resits? Confused.com!
  13. This is the most confusing part. Those starting 2012 run the risk of paying £9k fees only then to fail the tests! At least the students next year HAVE to pass before they are accepted on the course and therefore don't risk paying £9k. This is really off putting!
  14. kazzmaniandevil

    kazzmaniandevil New commenter

    I think this really needs clarifying. Will we then have to retake the whole PGCE course then in order to reattempt the skills test? Otherwise we could potentially waste 9k fees and not achieve anything. That's a hell of an amount of pressure. Surely there must be a way of reattempting them?????
  15. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding New commenter

    It says it right there, which is harsh I agree, but don't underestimate the unfortune you could face when you are part of the 'transitional bunch'. Just look at the bursary stopping for almost every subject in 11/12, to only reintroduce it for those starting in sept. Rather than just leave it as it was UNTIL the new bursary system was ready and agreed, they came in, shouted a lot about it costing the gov loads, only to the u-turn while we were mid course and find out they'r bringing it back.
  16. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding New commenter

    what they should have done, and hopefully will do (but it never seems like the sensible way ever makes it to the decision makers) is that now the new 'Teaching Agency' is operational, would be to allow those who have been accepted onto courses starting sep 2012, or are already on longer courses which carry QTS, to be able to take the tests now, with unlimited attempts until sept, as .

    It would mean them processing TRN numbers for current trainees, but that is a little ask compared to the unreasonableness of people starting courses and facing not getting QTS for failing tests mid course. I do believe it needs to be more strict than unlimited goes, but at least give those 'already signed up' for 12/13 the chance to take the tests before starting.
  17. I agree, I know this may sound silly bit what if someone has three bad days! I think the idea of doing the test pre-entry is good, and would rather do that, but the transition arrangements are very unfortunate. I wouldn't be surprised if someone failed their second resit just because of the massive pressure of being kicked off and losing nine grand! Also is the ban on resits permanent? So if you fail three times can you never try again, even after several years when you could vastly improve?

    I suppose as said above though, transitions always cause these problems! I mean, we're going to be trained to teach a curriculum that will likely change in our NQT year and if Gove has his way will be unneeded in a lot of schools by then anyway!

  18. kazzmaniandevil

    kazzmaniandevil New commenter

    Just phoned tda regarding redoing PGCE if failed qts tests.

    They don't know

  19. But at least save several classes of pupils the misfortune of being taught by someone who can't show that they have suffecient knowledge/understanding/skills in literacy and numeracy to pass tests which are, if being favourable, equivalent to a C in GCSE but, in reality, are closer to KS3 level 4-6 or 5-7 tests.
  20. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    What about the kids you'll be teaching when you qualify?

    If you really can't do the basics required in what are little more than 11+ tests, on your "bad days", what will you be teaching the kids when you have some more "bad days"?

    (Can you even begin to imagine how hard it is to persuade a stroppy teenager that 1/3 + 1/4 isn't 2/7, when their last teacher told them it was, praised them for it and gave them full marks in the end of term test for writing it?)

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