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qts test madness!!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Adarsta, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. I am studying for it now as starting my PGCE in September and yes I am finding it hard, and thats just the practice ones.
     
  2. Ahh its crazy! I have just finished my pgce and am still trying to pass it for september, Im dyslexic so I find it harder..but still people seem to fly through it with no problems and Im baffled to think why! good luck studying :)
     
  3. Because they are easy - seriously, not meaning to be nasty, but if you cannot pass these after a couple of attempts you really shouldn't be teaching. The ICT one is a pain in the butt but you can train yourself to pass it spending 9 mins on each section (I missed out a formula because I couldn't find the bit to do it and still passed). You practise and practise, and work out which areas you are finding difficult and work on them.
    The maths is basic stuff and your uni should have done a basic maths test with you before even putting you on the course and anyone with a GSCE English ought to be able to pass the English. I recognise that having dyslexia does make it much more difficult within the time contraints but my partner (who is not a teacher but is very dyslexic tried these online and was able to score a pass mark). My year 6 maths class could pass the maths test (in fact I personally think their SATs questions are harder) - it really isn't any higher than KS2 maths and many of the questions are about interpreting data or data handling, something teachers do all the time.
    I cannot understand why graduates, who have a good degree, are struggling to pass these tests. It worries me that they are taking on teachers on to a trainee programme who can't even pass these basic tests and I personally welcome the governments planned changes to make trainees take them prior to strating their course. Perhaps you should go and read the thread on the Opinion forum on this very subject too if you think I am being harsh, because views there are much harsher than mine.
     
  4. I really dont think that is helpful! Once these tests are passed you wont ever have to do things like that again. She will be a perfectly good teacher because she wont have to solve complicated maths questions at speed.
    I am glad you found them easy, but I am sure you struggle with something else, that others find easy.
     
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You mean that primary teachers don't need how to use apostrophes or generally correct children's English errors and teach spelling, punctuation and grammar? Or teach maths? You won't be required to correct errors like wont in children's work?
    The desire to be a teacher isn't enough - you need at least a decent standard of English and maths, otherwise you really shouldn't be let loose on children.
    By the way 'complicated maths questions'? You really think they're 'complicated'?
     
  6. Okay I understand thatit is important to be numerate etc, but we are all indivudaul and some of us have to work much harder than others to achieve goals, dyslexic or not. I was put on the course because they knew that I can do it, so they have faith in me. And I am a good teacher, yes, im not very good at maths but I love what I have been training to do for 5 years and that's what I want to do. I have the basic skills in my head, its just in that test situation I find it hard to show that. Dyslexia is not black and white, one person still learns differetely from another and some people have other issues that can impact upon their learning. In a classroom, for example, Not all children will be able to pass a maths test, so as teachers we encourage them on to TRY AGAIN. No one is perfect, we have to work at it and thats what we should be showing children. You cant always win the race first time, life is not like that and you are damm lucky if that's the way!. Just want to stick up for myself and other trainnees who are struggling, Im not thick, and im not a lazy bones, I work hard and give everything 100% despite failing the test so many times, and to be honest hard work and determination and health are more important.
     
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Are you training for primary? If so, I'd say not being very good at maths was a major drawback to the children you're proposing to teach.
    As I said - the desire to be a teacher just is not enough. You must have the knowledge and skills to do so. I do not see how anyone with poor English and poor maths can teach children.
     
  8. Agree completely Middlemarch. I teach primary and it is not enough to be 'good at maths' or have 'basic English skills' you need to have good subject knowledge about a range of things. If you are working with children at level 5 you need to know how to use: compound and complex sentences; the active and passive voice; colons, semi-colons, brackets and dashes. At level 3 and 4 you need to know: adverbs and adjectives; noun phrases; adverbial phrases and adverbial clauses. You need to understand sucess criteria for different genres, and this is not just at level 5 but from level 2 onwards and you need to understand how to break these down and teach them to pupils so that they will understand them.
    Maths is even more complicated because you need to understand each 'next step' in every skill/strand. You need to learn different ways to explin these, and it is impossible to do this if you don't understand it or cannot do it yourself.
    At primary you can expect to be teaching anything from P-levels to level 5a (and beyond) and you need to know what each level, indeed each step along that level, looks like.
    I leanred this from experience when I taught a science lesson. I thought I knew the material reasonably well - I did but not well enough. My final assignment as part of my GTP emphasised the need for good, secure subject knowledge for primary teachers and this extends to basic skills.
    My other concern and a question - how the hell can anyone have got a degree without having basic skills?
     
  9. * explain not explin - the forum only gives you 5 mins to edit. Proof that life revolves around doing things 'against the clock' LOL
     
  10. I am typing on a forum, with a migraine and will use what punctuation I damn well please. Who are you to critisize other people.
    I hate it when someone comes on looking for help or encouragement and people are just negative and not at all constructive. What a waste of time!!! As per the OP, goodluck with your tests, hope you pass next time.
     
  11. I plan on getting my QTS tests over and done with as soon as I have had my training ID from my SCITT provider.
    I can fully understand how difficult it is to perform in a test situation, I don't deal very well with the pressure of tests, but thankfully the practice tests online have been very simple, and at the risk of offending people I've found them 'easy' to pass.
    However, I assume from this thread (and the other one related to it) that the practice tests are not a fair comparison to the real thing, is this right? I just don't want to be lulled into a false sense of security and walk in feeling confident and then end up in a panic!
    I hope you can pass them soon LucyLu, the stress must be unbearable. Is there a deadline as to when you have to pass them by?
     
  12. Getting them done ASAP really is the best policy. They are identical - the only difference is that in the centre the right click button on the computers are disabled so you can't use shortcuts. Also instead of being able to use pen and paper they give you a laminate and whiteboard pen - you can ask for another if you need to.
    I think some people do get het up about tests but in all honesty anyone with a degree should have really been in that situation before and developed ways to cope.
     
  13. Sometimes people come on forums asking for advice and sometimes they will get told home truths that are harsh and that they do not wish to hear - sometimes that is life. There is a lot of support in place from Unis and ITT providers to help people pass these tests and personally as a well qualified teacher, I feel insulted that people need multiple attempts to pass these tests.
    This isn't about not being supportive, this is about being realistic. If you do not have basic literacy and numeracy and can't pass the skills in 3 attempts (and that is all the government plans to give new trainees alongside passing them before they embark on their ITT course), then quite frankly you are not fit to teach. I do not want to see a dumbing down of a profession that I hold dear and have worked hard to get into because some people can't identify nouns and verbs in a text (something you are expected to teach in primary) or can't do simple mental maths, again something you are expected to break down and teach.
    It is a tough market out there - perhaps the job application should start asking how many attempts candidates took to pass the skills tests and allow schools to make their own minds up [​IMG]
     
  14. Okay I understand that you need basic skills to teach, but if a child didnt pass a test within three times, would we say that they are thick? Also I think we should be encouraging one another :) well as I said before, we all learn in different ways and some things are easier than others and you cant knock people for trying :)
     
  15. I wondered how long before that chestnut would be wheeled out here.
    We aren't talking about pupils here, we are talking about intelligent adults who have GCSEs, A-levels and a degree so already have experience of taking tests and a working in an acadenic environment <couldn't find an eye rolling smilie to insert here>
    If children can't pass a test or are not getting the required skills from APP then we teach them - hence the fact their teachers need to have them in the first place <another eye roll>
    If the child still isn't reaching the required standard - be it across the whole curriculum, in a particular subject or for a skill within a subject area we would put some sort of action plan in place - place on SA, SA+, extra TA support, boosting lessons, Springboard.... and we would expect them to persevere. Besides, we aren;t talking about GCSE level here - we are talking about a basic level that any average (level 4) pupil ought to be able to do too.
    Unis put extra tuition in place for those who can't pass the skills tests (quite a lot in some cases). Also it isn't difficult to work out why you aren't passing and what you need work on or shouldn't be for someone wanting to teach.
    Clearly we are going to have to agree to disagree. Perhaps your time would be better spent practising for the tests instead of arguing with me :)
     
  16. If you want to hear the harsh bottom line, here it is:
    Having GCSEs, A-levels and even, in many cases, a degree, does not prove that you are smart. Unfortunately, recent school leavers have been brought up in a system that does not allow them to fail; that praises everyminiscule advance and that allows kids to develop the idea that, if it can't be done in 10 seconds, it's too hard and therefore not worth doing.
    The QTS tests are a case in point. the ICT one is a crock of shit and not fit for purpose, but it <u>isn't difficult</u>. The English one enables you to prove that you can read, spell and punctuate. If you cannot do these things, then you should not be allowed to be in front of children. The Maths one tests basic skills, against a clock. Just like the old KS3 Mental Arithmetic tests.
    If you cannot pass these tests, you are a bit thick. Sorry to tell you this, but you've probably been through a discredited system and been told that you are smart. Now, in the real world, you find out the truth. It's hard to take. But, <u>it is the truth</u>.
    Find another career, but don't create another generation of illiterate, innumerate kids who think failure is ok.

    cyolba, cutting to the nub of the issue :)
     
  17. Calling people thick? well thats a great example to set and something that I find offensive. but hey ho..and no I went through a system where I thought I was thick because im dyslexic, but I guess with most things you dont know what it feels like untill you go through it. lucky for you all that dont have to face any obstacles. Lets agree to disagree I think :) lifes to short to be negative about this.
     
  18. Life's too long for kids taught by people who do not have a grasp of basic skills. It sounds harsh, and it is harsh, but why should kids have to put up with teachers that cannot spell, use grammar or syntax or do basic Maths?
    When I was at achool, all my teachers were graduates, and that meant that they had a good all round education plus a specialism that was worth something. Nowadays, it seems mediocrity is ok for the kids. I think it's a disgrace.

    cyolba, expecting better of ITT institutions :)
     
  19. Good luck with your QTS tests Lucy. I found the numeracy test extremely difficult and daunting! It took me months of studying to feel confident enough to take it! I passed first time despite this! (The test situation is so unrealistic and to be given so little time to answer a question read out to you is difficult.)
    It took me two attempts at the literacy test, despite having an 'A' at GCSE, an 'A' at a-level and a degree in English!
    In a recent interview the head asked me which area I felt like I needed the most support in, to which I replied numeracy and gave my reasons for this. I got the job :)
    So don't worry! x

     
  20. Are you going to be a Primary teacher? If so, why do you think it's ok for the kids you are teaching to have a dimwit in front of them who cannot manage basic English and Maths?

    cyolba, tutting at the username :)
     

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