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Help with ICT skills test

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by wildone, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Is there anyone out there who can give me some tips on how to pass this awful test in record time. I just can't seem to do it. I have to write down the instructions and then go and carry out taks which takes me ages and obviously I then run out of time.
    I'm also a mature student so I'm not as familiar with ICT as others are, so takes me ages to figure out what to do! But, I keep on practising and keep on running out of time. Please please someone help.
    It seems such a shame that a person who might be a fabulous teacher won't ever get to teach because they're not quick enough for the ICT skills test - I specialise in the early years which is very basic ict and I'm fine with that, so it seems ridiculous to be slaving away trying to pass this skills test when my time would be better spent planning for my class.
    Anyway if anyone can help I'd be so grateful.
  2. You do need to get a lot done in 30 mins certainly! Maybe start practicing without writing down the instructions - look at one at a time, memorise it and do that one before moving on to the next. The more you practice doing it that way the quicker hopefully you'll become.. sorry, that's all I can think of just now.
  3. Have you done the online practice tests?
    Theres not an awful lot of variation in what they can ask you to do as its based around a virtual email system/word processing system/spreadhseet etc, so with plenty of practice on the one on the TDA site you should get there.
    You ask what the point of this test is as an EY specialist - the point is that in this day and age, in schools you are expected to use ICT to support your teaching as a professional.
    This might include setting up a spreadsheet for your assessment data, word processing/formatting planning, emailing people with attachments, etc and you do really need a good ability to use ICT. You may say that you would prefer to do everything by hand, but some schools will have a high expectation of ICT use.
  4. Hi,
    I don't have a cure all answer but practice really is the best thing. I found the format of the ICT test quite off putting so I used the online practice tests quite a bit. There is also a book(How to pass ICT test-I think) that can help with shortcuts etc.
    I would suggest though that you also try not to build it up into something huge, stay calm and relax- easier said than done I know.
    Best of luck

  5. Hi
    I also struggled with the practice test, but passed the real one first time.
    My advice is when you practice use the whole of the test time to get familiar with one part of the test, find all the functions and become an expert on each part of the test at a time, Don't worry about finishing it, just spend the whole time on one part. I was awful at spreadsheets for example, and spent a whole 35 mins (or whatever it is) on the spreadsheet part of the test.
    Also you can keep the instructions open in another window I think, so you can flick between the two. I also thought the real test seemed easier too, so don't give up!

  6. matryoshkadoll

    matryoshkadoll Occasional commenter

    The main thing you need to keep in mind for the ICT practice test is that you cannot take shorcuts. Don't try to use control C for copy or any other short codes. They won't work. I spoke to one of the test recorders after taking my literacy test for clues. Then I did the practice ict test again and passed first time. finally with this, I went to pass ict skills test first time.
  7. The point? In the ICT skills test? There isn't one, it is a hoop you have to jump through and it bears little resemblance to anything in the real world. That said, you do need to be able to use ICT in your teaching even in Early Years - it is the world we live in and passing the test is perhaps the test in itself.
    The best advice I can give is you only need 60% to pass. Leave out bits you can't do. I left a small part (putting in formula) as I couldn't find what I was looking for or remember it in the pressure of the test, so moved swiftly on and I passed first time. Do not use keyboard shortcuts and cut and paste when practising because these aren't available in the real test. The key to the ICT test is not to panic and to move on, rather than spending ages trying to do or find something. You have around 35 minutes to complete 5 tasks that's around 7 minutes per task so you need to work logically and methodically and quickly - and the only way to do this is to to practise.
    People who are ICT savvy find this one tricky and unrealistic so in all honesty you have to grit your teeth and do it. My advice to anyone doing the student thing next year would be take these as early as you can before your overall workload gets heavier. One piece of advice I am glad I listened to. Too many people avoid them - which seems a bit daft to me because you have to do them, so may as well face them early on.
    Good luck. Practise, practise and if you are really stuck ask your uni or training provider for help. It is there but you will have to ask for it. We were told if we had tried two or three times and still failed, it was important to ask for help. That's what the providers are there for :)
  8. If you are struggling with the ICT test, the only answer I reckon is to just allocate yourself a full day (if you can, or as much time as possible) and do the online practice test over and over again. It's boring, but you will definitely pass it this way. The questions are almost identical in the real test, so if you practice enough, you will pass. Also, as someone else has already said, don't spend too long on something if you are struggling - you don't need 100% to pass, so you can leave bits out.
  9. i too am a mature student, and I couldn`t agree more with you. I find that it`s not the actual tasks that are now a problem, but the too short a time in order to finish the actual test itself. Exams are bad enough but against the clock is no fun but very stressful. I have written to the TDA asking them for 45 minutes, the same as for the numeracy and literacy, especially as you still have to get 60% to pass. If everyone did this they might just get the message and make this test a FAIR one.
    I use ICT everyday and actually doing these activities without a second thought.
    Keep practising. I printed out the answers to each test and highlighted the answers to each task and learnt these as I went along. Eventually the processes clicked and I found I could pass these in the time allowed. Test 3 has no printout but a good test of what you have learnt in the others.
    Spreadsheets are my downfall and it didn`t help getting help a task that is not in the practice tests - putting info into alpabetical order and multiplying. Leran this please.
    Hopefully it will be third time lucky for me.
    I do hope this is of some help.
  10. life2teach

    life2teach New commenter

    Hiya, check out my post I wrote about this and hope it helps.
    Anyway with regards to the ICT test:
    • Try not to worry about the time and relax.
    • There are 4 parts to the test (Excel, PowerPoint, Email and Internet). You don't have to complete the whole test to pass. I have passed and only got onto the fourth section.
    • You definitely should NOT be writing down the instructions. This takes too long and is running out your time. You need to keep the instruction screen open and just switch between the instructions and your activity. This also takes time but not as much.
    • Practice on the TDA website as the ICT is different to a home computer.
    • You need to familarise yourself with the tasks asall the tests ask you to do the same thing e.g. changing font, attaching a file etc.
  11. Wildone, I failed the test first time and I am a older student like yourself. A couple of things I did to pass.
    If the question asks you to change some text to read 'xyz', you can copy 'xyz' from the the qustion page and paste it into the correct place. Note, as others have commented, ctrl C and V do not work, you will have to go to the menu at the top. It saves you time if you are not quick with a keyboard (like me).
    I got into a panic with the spreadsheet when I had to use a formula to average some data. I expected it to work just like excel - it doesn't. I realised that there is a tool to do it for you. You just need to highlight the relevent data and click on the correct tool button at the top. If you get the wrong one, try another until you find the right one!
    Good luck

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