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Numeracy test

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by singinintherain, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. singinintherain

    singinintherain New commenter

    Free lesson so I thought I would continue revising foor my numeracy test. I just needed to vent about it. I've taken it numerous times but keep failiing it. Starting to really get me down. I've even had the maths team helping me out practically every day.
  2. singinintherain

    singinintherain New commenter

    Free lesson so I thought I would continue revising foor my numeracy test. I just needed to vent about it. I've taken it numerous times but keep failiing it. Starting to really get me down. I've even had the maths team helping me out practically every day.
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    What's your specialism? Do you have a job lined up for September?
  4. What part of it are you struggling on? If it's the mental just make sure all day every day you practise it.

  5. How on earth can you keep failing it? It really is basic skill that most of my year 5s could answer. It worries me that so many NQTs really struggle with this. Surely providers should not be letting people on to courses who do not have basic numeracy skills. It worries me even more when primary trainees can't pass as they are supposed to be teaching children basic numeracy - how can you teach it if you cannot do it yourself?
    It shouldn't be difficult for someone with a degree to work out what they need to do and what theynee to practise to pass.
    Sorry if this sounds harsh, but these skills shouldn't be necessary as teachers should pass them first time, but obviously they are necessary as some people seem to need many attempts to pass.
  6. Bobby, are you having a bad day?! I found the maths hard, but actually think finding it hard means that I am a good maths teacher as I really understand what children find tricky. There are some other things that I find easy and I know I have less understanding of how children find those things so difficult, as it comes easily to me. I think some of the best maths teachers are those who have found it hard at first.
    I did pass the test the first time, but did spend the whole Summer practising first. The main reason for such a large amount of prep was the mental maths part. I just panic when asked a maths question that I have a specific number of seconds to answer. It prevented me from thinking, so it wasn't that I couldn't do the calculation, but that the panic stopped me. Children are taught maths so differently now they are used to doing lots of mental maths. Sadly, I was not taught the same way, so have to try and make up for it now.
    My advice would be to stick at it and spend a good amount of time working on your maths skills over your NQT year, so you feel really confident. Book yourself on a teaching maths course as soon as you can and keep at it. I am sure you will be ok.
  7. I'm with Bobby Carrot on this. I passed all three tests first time round, but I did spend a little bit of time getting used to their format and using the daft software for the ICT test before I took them. I'd do the same for any test I had to take.
    They are BASIC SKILLS tests - as Bobby said, I would expect most of my Y5s and 6s to be able to whizz through them.
    There was a thread on here a while back discussin whether or not the tests should be in place since primary trainees must have GCSE maths, English and science at C or above. It was also questioned whether there should be an upper limit on the number of times they can be taken. It really does seem silly to allow unlimited attempts at what should be quite a basic level of skill for a primary school teacher.

  8. Couldn't agree more.
    The maths is not challenging at all, just the basic skills required.
    Personally I think the tests should be taken as a requirement for applying for training.
  9. Is that not what has been suggested as of next year or was it just a three strike rule? I passed them first time after Xmas, but I was surprised to see so many people failing them on my PGCE. I can think of two PGCE English students that failed the literacy first time. Maybe some people put too much pressure on themselves, but I would go so far as to say that if you fail the test that you are going on to teach, you should have your place withdrawn. After all, you wouldn't get so many chances in industry, especially if it's your subject area.
  10. If you cannot pass the numeracy test, then I think you have problems.
    I think singup has got it wrong, doing it repeatedly without success does not make you better unless you identify specific areas in numeracy which are causing you problems. As a Mathematics specialist I know how some primary teachers struggle with teaching numeracy. In fact I have been doing supply in primary schools and have seen how very basic they are at it themselves. I find it rather upsetting.
    The best day for me so far this year was when I was called in at a primary school and showing them how to calculate using mental methods (mainly multiplication). It was fantastic, the children were a year 4 class and they really wanted to learn and take away as much as they could from having me there. This was because (yes it is my speciality) I challenged them and the children found areas that they can improve on and acted upon this. I get the feeling that most primary teachers do NOT have the necessary numeracy skills themselves and I pity the children as they lose out.
    I would suggest you practice a lot more but firstly take a look at yourself and see what areas need working on. We can all get found out eventually.
  11. I don't disagree at all about the level of the tests being very basic but I would just like to point out that many people 'failed' the literacy test this year because of an issue with the results being uploaded. Many of us were amazed to have failed and then were apologised to by Pearson for being mistakenly failed. Your PGCE friends may have been in the same boat!
  12. Not at all - I find maths tough too (I am hopeless writing down phone numbers) and would probably get a diagnosis of something these days LOL. But I worked hard at practising with the format so that I wouldn't fail first time - I was confident when I went in that I had practised sufficiently so failing wasn't even on my agenda. I have an English degree and as such the English test took me 15 mins (I actually thought I had missed a huge chunk out and had to go back and check!) But I am a better numeracy teacher because I don't find it easy, BUT as others have said, these are BASIC SKILLS! Teachers shouldn't really have to work hard at the basic skills.
    I also came to teaching at 40 years old, so was also taught different methods - I purchased several books and made sure my subject knowledge is second to none!
    I cannot understand why graduates panic - surely they must have been in that exam situation many times? Again you need to learn not to panic. And why would anyone panic about something they know they can do and get a second chance to do?
    Personally I would have been embaressed to fail these tests. Not about having a bad day but about beig realistic. Anyone who cannot pass these tests (and I would give them three attempts only) really should not be teaching imho. Passion and enthusiasm only takes you so far - you have to have knowledge and skills and these include BASIC SKILLS.
  13. I think we need to be helpful, I took a few times to pass my numeracy test due to various reasons at the time. It is common that people are finding mental part difficult. Anyway the best advice is to make sure you have full concentration on the test, practice the online tests on TDA over an over.
    I had a break from it and then took it and passed so I am sure you can do the same, there has been a lot of advice on here such as to ensure you are very quick at your tables, In the mental you need to be starting to answer the question the first time it is read out and making basic notes. Practice over and over percentages, conversions Km to Miles and converting Euros/Pounds etc similar questions will come up in the test.
    If you are better at the second part and not very quick at the mental make sure you are secure analysing graphs and practice box and whisker diagrams, mean. medium, mode of results and percentages. Also if it helps write down some notes at the beginning during the test question and use the whiteboard they give you.. hope this helps.
    ..and by the way this doesn't make you any less a teacher it just gives you an idea for areas that may need further development. Those who find mathematics more difficult tend to have a better understanding of how to use different teaching styles to deliver maths :) it is now one of my favourite subjects to teach and the childrens to learn they love it.
  14. No, they are just thick. They did them before Xmas!
  15. So did I - that was when the issue cropped up - although yes, your diagnosis may still be correct!
  16. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The OP needs to have passed all the tests before they can get QTS. Without QTS, the OP cannot take up an NQT place and cannot start Induction.
  17. I think people need to stop being so rude and actually offer advice like the OP asked for.
    It took me a couple of attempts to pass the numeracy test and like most I struggled with the mental arithmetic (I'm a secondary teacher so the need for numeracy obviously isn't as great as it is for primary). It became quite frustrating because I struggle quite badly with math, and the sums we're expected to do on the arithmetic section won't normally be done with a short time limit. The best thing the OP can do (like many have said) is just to practice. I downloaded an app where I could practice mental arithmetic whenever I could and found a friendly maths teacher at my placement school for some help. I borrowed a numeracy workbook from a friend so I could practice as much as possible.
    It does make me quite angry when people get so pretentious over the skills tests, I don't deny it's a worry when people don't pass straight away, but is there really any need to question someone's capability to be a teacher? If they wanted careers advice they'd ask for it.
  18. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Would you be happy to be operated on by a surgeon who hadn't passed all his exams? I'd certainly be questioning his capability to be a surgeon, though it's purely hypothetical because they do not allow you to practise medicine if you do not pass all the required exams.
  19. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    You don't need any qualifications to be a surgeon. Anyone can operate on people.

    You just mustn't pretend you're a doctor.
  20. Ok then PaulDG, shall I operate on you? Don't talk sh/ite.
    Middlemarch is right. ALL teachers HAVE to be competent enough to pass these QTS tests. In fact they should be much harder. The level is Key Stage 3 equivalent. The kids they teach would have a laugh because I have seen some that are very very good for their age. They would shame quite a few people on here. If you don't have basic numeracy skills, you must of had issues from previous education (possible from a -ve belief about the subject).
    No sympathy from me, that is why mathematics is a CORE subject because it embodies multiple intelligences. The closest subject would be Science.

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