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QTS numeracy!

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' 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!
    thanks x
     
  2. If your only concerns are the tests, why don't you try the practice ones to put your mind at ease/find out what you need tospend more time on:
    http://www.tda.gov.uk/trainee-teacher/qts-skills-tests.aspx
     
  3. The section which poses most difficulties is the first which is mental arithmetic. You will need to be fast with the basics of fractions, ratios, percentages etc. You do not need to revise widely for this section as you spend most of your time working on doing these calculations under pressure. But that's the problem - the pressure. The second section you will need to be quick with too, but it is far less stressful.
     
  4. amarantine

    amarantine New commenter

    You know, the biggest thing is just not to panic! I got my QTS numeracy on the second attempt. What I did was really brush up on how to work out fractions, percentages etc for the mental arithmetic section. And, I cannot stress this enough, LEARN YOUR TIMES TABLES! I am shocking at Maths and always winged it at school so never actually learned them. And that didn't half come back to bite me on the behind when I did my first QTS numeracy! But the panic part is seriously so important - if you're anything like I was the first time round I would listen to the mental arithmetic question and immediately start telling myself I couldn't do it - wasting loads of time when I could have been working out! You probably know more than you think you do, particularly if you've just recently done your Maths GCSE :)


    Once you know that stuff though, and you don't need to understand it, just KNOW it, it's a whole lot easier. The statistics part is fairly easy, a lot of it is just interpreting data. But for that bit, again, make sure you know about working out percentages and things - with a calculator for that part!

    And start doing them early! Literally do all your QTS tests as soon as you start, then they're done and you don't need to panic about running out of time towards the end of your GTP by leaving them till the last minute. It means that you can get away with not passing on more than one occasion, and though I'm sure you'll pass, it just means you have a bit more breathing space.

    I apologise for lack of paragraphs - chrome does not like paragraphs.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Yep - learn your times tables. Not just in sequence (1 x 2 is 2, 2 x 2 is 4 etc) but each individual calculation. Do so many examples (an hour a day) in random order so you get to the point when you know every one. Also, seek out all the tips and shortcuts on the internet - there are loads. I have become amazed at the shortcuts that we were never taught at school. Get the example skills tests and have your friends read out the examples to you at lunch and you do them. Design similar examples yourself (many) and again have your friends and colleagues read them out and do them. Find the robot inside you!
     
  6. I'm right in thinking, aren't I, that you are allowed to write things down for the mental numeracy test ? I have practised the tests on-line and have found them pretty straightforward - as long as I can write down the calculations. I'm really going to struggle if you're not allowed to do this !

     
  7. A whiteboard and marker I believe.
     
  8. mickymilan

    mickymilan New commenter

    The test is easy and a waste of time. Go to the TDA website and go to the "areas of numeracy covered" - this will give you a list of 16 areas which you can look at. I printed them out instead of getting the book.
     
  9. Don't worry too much about the test - it took me 5x to pass, but each time you fail it tells you in which area (Mental Arithmetic for me - but I am dyscalculic) and by how much, so you can brush up for next time. You get a whiteboard and marker and can start writing from the start. My tip, ignore the practice question and write down things you'll struggle to recall while answering the questions (for me this meant conversions and drawing some clock faces as I struggle to visualise 'time'. Apparently drinking hot chocolate before helps too, something to do with flavanoids in high concentrations of cocoa?
     

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