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Failing QTS tests

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by lucyharg92, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    Of course, from next year (or is it the year after?) the tests do become a pre-requisite for ITT. Everyone's circumstances are different, but I'd hope that many people could start preparing for this sort of test before the course starts (as long as they're made aware of it).
    I'd hope that universities give enough information and the prospective students do thorough research regardless of when the test has to be taken.
     
  2. Yes, it's the artificiality and randomness of the tests that concerns me. Over the years I have seen the angst that tests and exams can cause people, while others just sail through. If you haven't done maths for a few years, these tests could be a real obstacle. It's no good people coming on this site and saying the tests are easy. It's definitely out of order for someone to say if you can't do the numeracy test, you shouldn't be a teacher, as at least one person has said. That is plain arrogance. The tests are not easy for everybody. I have tried a couple, by the way, and can do them. But I can still see the problems they could cause people.
    I agree that people who find maths easy often can't explain how they got the answer. I had an A level maths teacher like that when I was at school!
    Best of luck!
     
  3. It seems farcical that they have tightened up on QTS tests, yet they are saying that Academies and Free Schools don't even need qualified teachers. The DfE is crazy.
     
  4. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Be honest, please, "tightened up" suggests the tests are difficult - they're just not! (Though the farce of having to go to a special test centre is, well, farcical.)

    That's really not as inconsistent as it may appear - if they're opening the "market" to allow unqualifieds to teach officially (instead of simply ignoring the number of "cover supervisors" in use), then surely those of us who are prepared to put ourselves through the pain and expense of actually doing the training should have some "clear blue water" that can be seen between us and someone just dragged in off the street?

    Shame it's just these joke quizzes though.
     
  5. Paul, I don't think they are particularly difficult either, but you simply can't speak for everyone. You might find them easy, but there are plenty of teachers and prospective teachers out there who would struggle with these tests, particularly the timed nature and the fact that you can't stop the clock ticking, It is a very unusual format in my opinion, and I am sure causes some people angst, especially if they aren't that confident with maths, or haven't done maths for a few years.
    It would be better to build in to the teacher training course opportunities where students can demonstrate their ability to deal with the kind of maths they might need to use as teachers, and to have that accredited in some way. Surely that would be far more realistic and relevant than these bizarre random tests.
    One more thing, I learnt in my years as a languages teacher never to say to kids: "This is easy". As a teacher, I might have found something easy, but I also found that empathy is a great quality....putting yourself in the position of the child, as it were...acknowledging something might be easy for some people, but not for others. I think it's common sense really.
     
  6. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Why "now"?

    These test have been a requirement since 2001 - and they were only introduced because the then government of the day was fed up getting complaints from parents about the poor written English and numeracy standards of their kids' teachers!

    So I don't really understand why you feel cheated now

    The only things this government has done to these tests which are significant is they have removed one of them (the really dreadful ICT test!) and they've shifted them into an entry requirement from a "sometime during the course" requirement which is actually an advantage because it means you get to do them before shelling out 9 grand or whatever it is these days to do a PGCE.

    Well those people have a choice - the same choice all prospective teachers have had since 2001....
     
  7. I feel cheated now because of the limited the number of retakes creating even more pressure. I think that's unfair. Some people may need more than 3 opportunities due to nerves etc. I have no problem having to work hard to prove I am able to work out test scores, class percentages etc I just feel the circumstances of the test are more unreasonable than they really need to be.

     
  8. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    [​IMG]
    While I can understand the arguments based on how artificial the tests are, this is a bit of a cop out. It's not common for your average test or exam these days to get more than one resit (unless entire years are repeated, like some do in university) - 3 seems pretty fair.
    If you fail the first one, fine, I can understand how that could happen. But after that you've been through the experience and know how you're feeling and what the questions/tests are like. You then set yourself an objective and you do whatever is necessary, from private tutoring to yoga to practicing every night until you dream of fractions or whatever.
     
  9. To be fair, there was always a limit-you had until August to pass them and because you could only book in blocks, would take my friends up to three months to get an available testing date at a time to retake so it was not as if you could retake every day and this was 2004. Before the tests went electronic in 2001, there were paper based ones for a while. In the year I did it, it was generally the ICT one people failed first time as the interface was so crazy. I'd advise you to try not to let this overwhelm you. You are entering the teaching profession and you will face 'unfairness' everyday! Xx
     
  10. bps5

    bps5 New commenter

    The QTS tests have always been complained about, even when there were unlimited attempts...

    The ICT test was the awful one as it used an interface that was unfamiliar and expected you to do pretty mundane tasks in a complicated way. Thankfully, that test is now gone. If anything, it was that one that people really struggled with and would catch them out. Had that still existed, I bet it would replace the numeracy test as the one people complained about.

    From my experience, the big issue with the tests is that most people took them before they were ready and, unsurprisingly, failed. This would destroy people's confidence and lead to a spiral of failure every time they took the test. I know my mental arithmetic is not good, so I didn't apply for that test until I felt confident I could have a decent shot at passing it. Friends of mine didn't take the same approach, they just took the test 'to get it out of the way' and kept failing. Practice make perfect! Ask your placement school for help - for example, I did some of the work on MyMaths to improve my knowledge and it really helped me prepare for the numeracy test.

    What I would say is that at my school we are expected to incorporate numeracy/literacy in lessons when we are being observed. There is a box on our lesson observation forms for these elements. As a secondary geography teacher, I still have to make sure the students are able to use numeracy e.g. what percentage of X is developed? How many survived the Earthquake using death tolls and casualty figures... Get used to using these - they don't disappear after the tests!
     
    alexandrawest55 likes this.
  11. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    It's part of the new national framework, IIRC. Ofsted will be looking out for literacy and numeracy in lessons, so all teachers need to be able jump through such hoops on request.
     
  12. Thank you for writing this. I too take great offence at the implied suggestion that if I am - like many others - a bit lacking in confidence when it comes to doing maths under a time constraint then I am somehow ill equipped to work in a classroom.
    Reading through the posts, I don't think anyone is suggesting that we shouldn't - as trainee teachers - have to meet a certain standard and prove it, through the use of such tests. Nor does anyone seem to be suggesting that we shouldn't have to put in some work to revise and practice in order to pass. Such personal preparation is obviously a necessary requirement for being an effective teacher, not only for learning how to pass a skills test.
    But the the comments from Paul are unnecessarily critical and - as kazzmaniandevil has pointed out - not constructive. I could make the suggestion Paul that, if you aren't able to appreciate that different people have different strengths, weaknesses, learning styles and responses to situations of pressure (e.g. being tested or assessed) then you don't have any business in a classroom where you will encounter students who will require understanding, empathy and support. But then, I'm suspect you wouldn't really enjoy someone making such a personal slight against your ability to teach, would you?
     
  13. mehmetdan

    mehmetdan New commenter

    Not true. I know a teacher who did hers on a rolling loop in one afternoon until she passed. She sat six tests in a row failing by one mark each time. She is an outstanding teacher who would obviously not be a teacher under the current rules. The uni I attend have said the government is going to get a lot of flack when lots of people who have spent years studying and training at government expense fail to become teachers on the basis of a couple of marks on an artifical maths test.
     
  14. i found my tests daunting the first time round . i passed the ICT first time but it took three attempts for my maths . i used my sons nintendo ds and i bought brain training this got me up to speed on the mental maths and i passed . give it a try
     
  15. Most of the time it's just rustiness. When you're in the classroom every day teaching numeracy you become a lot sharper as you're doing maths all the time anyway.
     
  16. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    As you will find when looking for work as a qualified teacher, there is a near-infinite supply of qualified teachers and if that wasn't enough, the government has relaxed the rules on employing overseas trained teachers and allowed Academies to employ anyone they want to teach.

    So the loss of one person who isn't prepared to put in the work beforehand (you know, exactly the sort of thing we're supposed to be encouraging the kids we're responsible for to do) isn't the sort of thing that would be noticed.

    I imagine Michael Gove is quaking in his boots at the thought of this.
     
  17. kazzmaniandevil

    kazzmaniandevil New commenter

    I imagine that the thought hadn't even crossed Michael Gove's mind. I mean he hasn't even figured out that he is managing to hack off the entire teaching proffession. You know those people who educate the young impressionable minds. The ones that are emphasising the dreadful work of the current government onto those young impressionable minds. Those young impressionable minds who will be old enough to vote at the next general election. The guy hasn't got a Scooby Doo!!
     
  18. mehmetdan

    mehmetdan New commenter

    Lol! yes you're quite right. Bulldozer in a china shop.
     
  19. Practice, practice, practice. There are four practice tests online for numeracy and literacy. If you are low in confidence like myself in mathematics, practice the online tests until you have more confidence (which you will, the more you practice, the better you will get). The actual tests are exactly the same as the practice QTS tests, so if your scoring 80% + in the practice tests you know you are ready.
    Personally i think the tests are just a farce, they don't prove that your going to be an amazing teacher, however, unfortunately they are a necessity! Anyone can pass the QTS tests - doesn't mean that your going to make a good teacher IMO.
    Don't worry about the QTS tests, you will pass them, the fact that your on the PGCE means that you already have the required standard required to pass the tests.
     
  20. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Although, of course, if you are going to make a good teacher, then kids will be copying your use of arithmetic and grammar.
    Which is why these tests still have significance.
     

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