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Failing QTS tests

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

  1. I just wanted to chime in on this, if I may.

    I took the first of my three attempts at the dreaded test today in Sidcup and failed by one mark. Initial reaction, disappointment, but honestly? I agree that if I can't pass the bloody thing, I shouldn't be in a classroom teaching other peoples kids because I've failed to prove I have the required level of mathematical ability to be proficient at it, for now anyway. It's a kick up the backside to get better.

    I left school at fifteen and I don't have a Maths GCSE. I was a nightmare at school and was bottom set at maths, in a fairly rough school, on the odd days I could be bothered to go in during my last year. Obviously, starting from a position of strength with this malarkey I am not.

    If I, the archetypical bone head at maths, can get one mark off without a formal maths qualification simply through studying repeatedly and learning the format of the tests, people with Maths GCSEs really should be passing it.

    Failing at anything isn't a particularly nice feeling, but there are two more attempts, and through added work, you'll get better, not worse. Feeling sorry for yourself or hard done by is only going to make matters worse. As I was sat there doing the test I realised that whilst I was able to answer a lot of the practice questions online, I wasn't often completely able to tell you how I was doing it.

    Method is everything.

    Keep your chins up and don't let things get you down. Just keep on practising and it will come right. I've read a lot of people who have failed it by one and their reaction of abject disaster kind of surprises me. It's one mark. I'd have passed today if I hadn't have made a total ricket of the last mental arithmetic question through not knowing my times table as well as I thought I did. Ultimately, the failure is no ones fault but my own. Next time, I'll be even better prepared.

    Patior Ut Vincam. :)
    alexandrawest55 likes this.
  2. ... and following on from this, I passed the numeracy test this afternoon. :)

    Good luck to everyone else doing it. Honestly, if I can pass it, anyone can. You've just got to be prepared to apply yourself. Revise, keep on revising, then revise some more.
    alexandrawest55 likes this.
  3. I agree 2 years is just out of context for anybody to retake the tests. I have found this link of petition about this ridiculous system. T

  4. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    I can certainly understand why someone posting on a public forum with the grammar skills represented in the quote would have issues with the tests.
  5. Hi, excellent comments for both sides. I am unhappy though as I am not good at maths but know I'll make an excellent teacher. Please can anyone tell me if there are any other routes into teaching where I don't have to take the skills tests
  6. Hi, what is the link for the petition please
  7. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    You could just apply for a job you see advertised, if the school is sufficiently desperate they might take you on - there aren't any legal barriers to employing unqualified staff in most schools these days.

    Or you could open your own Free School (with state money) or set up your own Independent School.

    As long as you don't actually tell the parents of the kids that might come to your school that you're worse at maths than most 10 year olds (which is roughly the standard of the test) then I'm sure you'll do fine.

    Actually, it might even be a selling point. You could make a point of deliberately employing "teachers" who can't do maths to primary school standard and, as "being rubbish at maths" has always been Cool, lots of Cool parents will flock to you.
    alexandrawest55 likes this.
  8. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Actually there is a legal problem for anyone employed under the school teachers pay & conditions. The legislation was modified to specifically exclude unqualified teachers who have failed the tests and have to wait 2 years, so they cannot be employed as" instructors" which was the technical loophole used to employ teachers who have not passed tests in the past.

    Anyone faced with this situation should consider not using the final resit at least they can then be employed as teachers. Academies , Free schools and independents are not subject to the same restrictions.
  9. mickymilan

    mickymilan New commenter

    Ah, the good old Skills Test debate. Lets be honest, a 10 Year Old could pass these. That's not being arrogant or dismissive; if anything, they should be harder to weed out the dead wood. Literacy and Numeracy should be a focus in every lesson across every subject. If a prospective teacher can't grasp the basics then I certainly wouldn't want them teaching my son.I find the outcry over such basic tests incredible.
    alexandrawest55 likes this.
  10. littledragon25

    littledragon25 New commenter

    I have to agree with previous posts - these tests are SIMPLE. They are the same level as basic KS2/KS3 maths and English, so anybody who complains about them frankly should not be in teaching. Even if you aren't teaching English or Maths, you have a duty to encourage literacy and numeracy in your classroom. You need to be able to write in a literate manner on the whiteboard, you need to be able to work out basic percentages and collate basic data etc.

    If you can't pass them in 3 attempts, then you need to question whether or not you have the very basic skills needed to succeed in this role.
    alexandrawest55 likes this.
  11. Hellsbelle21

    Hellsbelle21 New commenter

    Wow, some of you guys are incredibly judgemental! While it is fair to say that there should indeed be a decent standard of numeracy and literacy for all those in the teaching profession, it is simply not a case of saying that if an individual fails these tests that they are incompetant and should not be able to teach.

    These tests are not as simple as many of the people on this forum are claiming. The concepts may be fundamental, but the conditions in which they are set are difficult.

    Some people take longer than others to work through a problem either mentally or on paper. These tests set arbitrary time constraints on the individual and added to that the fear of 'if I fail this test three times I cannot resit them for 2 years!' only serves to increase the pressure.

    We all have our own style and pace when it comes to learning and working out problems. One person should not be penalised over another just because their style doesn't fit into these restrictive test models set by the government.
  12. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    If you can't take people judging you, you're really not suited to teaching. It's the most "judged" job there is with everyone and their dog thinking they know more about your job than you do and being more than happy to say so.

    Well actually, yes it is. At least as far as normal state schools, anyway. Obviously Academies and Free Schools are free to lower their standards as far as they like.

    In a quiet room with no distractions.. Normally you'll have to solve problems like these in front of 30 kids or your management. Neither will take prisoners.

    That's partly why the tests are so simple. Sure, if they'd actually been A level standard instead of KS2/3 then there might be a point that an even an adult graduate with several years life experience can get phased by tests. But KS2/3? From a bricklayer, OK. From a Teacher???

    It's actually incredible that the tests are as easy as they are - perhaps England's universities are collectively so embarrassed that some of their graduates fail them that they do what they can to keep just how easy they are out of the general public view?
  13. Hellsbelle21

    Hellsbelle21 New commenter

    PaulDG, you have every right to your own opinion as I have the right to mine. Not everyone will agree with your view on the matter (I certainly don't) and not everyone will agree with mine but that is the nature of opinion.

    So thank you for picking apart every piece of my opinion with your less than helpful remarks. I shall take your comments with a pinch of salt while I go back to being judged by everybody, and the family dog of course :)
  14. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    If you are all getting into such a state over these tests how are you going to cope with the stresses of training? Writing essays? Planning lessons? Marking work? designing resources? Analysing spreadsheets? Monitoring progress? Monitoring attendance? Time controlled assessments? Assessment for learning? Drowning in a sea of paperwork?

    How did you all manage to pass your GCSEs. If it was by re-taking them over and over again I think Michael Gove may have a point about redesigning GCSEs.
    alexandrawest55 likes this.
  15. TeachByNumbers

    TeachByNumbers New commenter

    Does anyone know how early you can take the tests, I've got a friend who wants to enter teaching but is only starting their degree in september, could they take them now, that way even they fail they will have the opportunity to try again before they would start their PGCE course?
  16. You mean 'oral questions' and Bachelors, not aural and batchelors????
  17. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    You have to be registered on an Initial Teacher Training scheme of some kind to be able to take them.

    Which is an improvement from the previous system where you couldn't take them until you started on such a scheme - where, if you couldn't pass them, you'd still be liable for the fees for your course.
  18. Marc - you need to have registered with UCAS in order to take the tests, but you don't need to have submitted an application to a teacher training provider in order to take the tests. As long as you can print your ITT application (whether you've submitted it or not) to show them on the day, that's sufficient. You don't even need to print it, actually - you could simply show them your form on your phone.
  19. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    @kellsbell - you really need to realise that doing these tests under a bit of pressure is easy compared to actual teaching in the real world. You might have a cosy idea of what teaching is like. If you think that anyone will wait whilst you procrastinate over getting the job done you are deluded. I think allowing students chance after chance to pass something and inumerable chances at retakes deludes them to think the real world will be the same - its not.

    For anyone who isn't that confident I wouldn't blow one of your chances until you are confident.
  20. I think the problem is not that the questions are hard, but the time factor, the questions are too fast.

    I had three go's and am waiting now for a year and a half. I had a distraction from a attendant which made me fail by one point.

    It was the worst time of my life....

    Now I am suffering with a job paid unqualified and working more than a qualified teacher. People take advantage and you get kicked in the teeth......stupid rule!!!!!

    Yes we know our maths and have GCSE and Alevels and degrees why bother doing them we might aswell scrap those and do tests for every job we go into.....

    What happened to building up your education and experience and references.......

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