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QTS numeracy!!

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by lollypink, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I wondered if you could share your insights and advice on this!
    I have FE PGCE but want to retrain in a school, I have just passed my GCSE maths now (at the grand old age of 31) didnt need it for the post 16 route. I am awful at maths and I am worried now that I will give up my permanant teaching job in sixth form to do GTP and wont pass the QTS tests??? I have heard horror stories of people never passing!!

    What are your thoughts? any tips to help pass? I know I cant do the tests til Im on the course but if I could get my skills up now it would give me more confidence to apply for the GTP!
    Muchly appreciated x
  2. Hi lollypink,
    I was in exactly the same place last november, I've just finished my 3 year Ba Primary Education degree and the thought of doing the QTS numeracy tests was sickening but I wanted to get them all done before Christmas. I actually did think that there was no hope of me passing but I did!
    So my advice would be to first and formost, relax. The most enlightened thing I've heard a pupils say when I was on placement was when I was reassuring a year 6 girl during her SATs and one of her friends came over and said, "why are you upset? It's just maths, it's not going to go away if your cry."
    She is exactly right, it's only maths, it's still going to be there if you get stressed so why bother.
    My dad is a maths whizz and he really helped me with practice which is the key, practice. Looking at the practice ones on the TDA we figured out there are only really 5 different questions; long division, graphs, time, converting kilometers to miles and addition and subtraction sums. They just package them differently. So, what I did was I got clued up on recognising which question they are asking, what is the calculation behind all the words? Once you've done that it really isn't as scary. Oh, the miles to kilometers question is always 8km=5m, always. They might ask you the other way round but it will always come back to these two numbers.
    There are easy marks on the graph questions, revise on what box and whisker diagrams are, how to read line graphs etc and you can get those ones right quickly then move on to the questions that you find harder.
    The mental maths isn't easy, I HATE mental maths but I just relaxed. If you start to get stressed out and panicked about a question then leave it and get ready for the next. Better to be ready for the next question then still stressing over the previous.
    I know, I really understand how awful maths can seem, and those tests got me really stressed but remember, practice, practice, ptractice! It's only maths and you can repeat them as many times as you need, so really really, DO NOT WORRY.
    Please feel free to messege me with any questions and I'll try and help, let me know how you get on!
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    You can do some practice tests on the TDA website to give you an idea of the standard they expect.. you only need 60% to pass so you'll be able to see how close to that you are and should hopefully get some ideas of which areas you need to improve in order to pass when you do it for real :)
  4. Hi,
    I know just how you feel as I had passed my maths O'level many, many years ago and the thought of the QTS test kept me up at night. When I tried to do a online practice test for the first time I just froze. However, as the previous replies have said, it is only maths, it's not that difficult and there are straightforward ways to prepare. I did pass first time (if I can do it anyone can!) and there's no shame if you need a few attempts because nerves get the better of you.
    The very best of luck with your plans x
  5. I had the same worries too! It's worth noting that the sample tests on the TDA website appeared to be much harder than the real thing. Although I'm not 100% sure of this I did find that when I tried the practice tests I NEVER passed it but when I tried the real thing I passed first time! Just take a pencil and paper with you as it's allowed and you can note down the numbers for the mental maths element to help. If you've managed to get your GCSE maths recently you'll be fine - you're already in the swing of it all... except maybe the cat's whiskers thing. You might want to look that one up - I'd never heard of it!
  6. QTS Maths skills test are not easy! I practised and failed the online tests. I was determined to get all 3 out of the way and took the English in the first month with a plan to book, take and pass the others before Christmas. Events got in the way during the year which thankfully, in hindsight, gave me time to analyse what the online tests were asking. I bought 3 books from Amazon 'passing QTS maths' was the most useful. I studied the book from cover to cover until I felt I had a good (and quick) recall of percentages and all the different tables used and only when I felt ready did I book the test. I took ICT first and went straight into Maths on same day. Thankfully I passed. I would honestly say I 'learnt' rote style all the table types and spent approximately 20 hours practising the other areas that I came across in each of the online tests. There was nothing in the actual test that was not online. The book was a life-line. I can equally honestly say that I have not looked at Box and Whisker graphs since this day. My class are not at the level of needing to know what they are either!
    Good luck
  7. If you've just passed GCSE Maths you'll be fine, the QTS test is easier. Get one of those 'Passing the QTS tests' books, work through the tasks in the book then do the practice tests online.
  8. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I seem to remember reading that the standard needed to pass the Maths test is that required of an able 12 year old....level 5 or 6, I presume.
  9. I am not a numeracy genius by any standards but (and sorry of this sounds harsh but it isn't meant to be) if you can't pass the QTS tests then you really shouldn't be teaching.... perhaps early years being the exception to this as the level of maths/literacy is much more basic. The ICT does bear little or no resemblance to anything in the real world and that is the one you seriously have to practise for - but even then you don't need a massive score and can pass if you don't panic and leave bits out (I know because that is what I did as I know there is only a limited amount of time you can spend in each section).
    Everyone teaching should have a degree so everyone should know how to improve areas they find weak and how to recognise what they are. There is loads of help in books and at the Unis for people who struggle (and I know some people find the actual prospect of a time constrained test very difficult). But this is no different to the pressure we are expected to put kids under with SATs etc... (in fact I would say it has been tough for my Year 6 class because of their age than it is for any teacher taking a QTS test).
    I teach HA numeracy in Year 5 and 6 and many of my students could do the test I reckon. The mental maths questions are not that disimilar to the SATs mental maths test. Some of the questions are slightly tougher, like the data handling ones, but again they are the type you would be expected to do in teaching, like looking at data for a year group over a few years and perhaps looking at the differences between boys and girls or different ethnic groups, etc...
    I thought I had missed a section out on both the numeracy and literacy tests as I completed both tests in around 20-25 mins and I ended up clicking back to check but I hadn't missed anything out - I wasn't the only one to say this at Uni LOL

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