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the QTS skills tests......why so hard ?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by philpatjj, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. As I said on page 7?

    I have nothing further to say on the matter as this is getting rather tedious.
    I passed ALL 3 QTS tests.
    I am numerate and literate so there enough said.
  2. Then why continue posting?
  3. Yeah, kim elder, what are you going to do in the real world when you want to borrow the school minibus to drive 81 miles and you need to know how many litres of petrol you are going to use when the minibus does 5.4 miles to the litre and you don't have a calculator and have only 16 seconds to spare?
    Seriously though, while the questions are not difficult, and are the sort of numerical problems that you would expect any teacher to be able to work out, the time limit on the mental arithmetic question,s plus not seeing them written down, does make it more than a bit tricky. In fact, the time limit is so tight, it would seem more appropriate to a prize competition than a test of competance. I don't think a maths graduate would actually find the first 12 any easier than anyone else. Especially when that awful woman repeats the question while you are trying to work it out - very distracting.
    Having looked at the site, I couldn't see what the pass mark was, but I am surprised that some people were able to pass first time without practice. Most people would have to practise to hone those mental arithmetic skills, but seriously, I am sure you would all have more useful ways of spending your time, especially in this age of the £1.99 calculator.

  4. Why? They were very simple.
    I didn't even know there were practice tests for them online, did all 3 on the day in a very short period of time.
  5. They may have been simple for you, but as teachers, we recognise that some people need to work a little harder than others to achieve the same ends - ordinarily, this would be celebrated. Perhaps you are too young (or old) to have fallen into the 'mental arithmetic blackhole' when these skills were often not formally taught in schools. Many, many teacher struggle (particularly) with mental arithmetic because of this and will find the maths test much more difficult because of it. It does not necessarily mean they are unable to find ways to manage this in their wider duties, although it should probably mean (in my view) they should not be within a mile of teaching maths at either primary or secondary level.
  6. Well done! I only looked at the maths one briefly out of curiosity, to see what was involved, and thought the time limit for the first 12 questions was very tight. Maybe it is easy for you to listen to a question while dividing 81 by 5.4 in your head in 16 seconds. I can easily see other candidates becoming flustered. Again, I couldn't find any mention of a pass mark on the site.
  7. In the real world I would not be so confrontational Creasey.
    For a start I would not be driving the minibus as I only passed my driving test last year! (but hey someone on this site will probably ask me how many times that took!!!!!)
    I have highlighted some of your comments as those are the things I found difficult
    the time limit on the mental arithmetic question,s plus not seeing them written down, does make it more than a bit tricky.
    Especially when that awful woman repeats the question while you are trying to work it out - very distracting.
  8. AT LAST! This is exactly what I have been trying to explain in my defence of doing the numeracy test so many times.

  9. Creasey - from what I remember, the benchmark test has a passmark of 60%. Each individual test is calibrated against the benchmark and the passmark adjusted to reflect the difference in difficulty.
  10. Kim, I wasn't being confrontational, sorry if that is how I came across. My first paragraph was very much tongue in cheek. And, thinking of the driving test, the driving theory test was the only on-line test I had to compare this test with. I feel they represent 2 extremes, with the driving test giving ample time with the candidate very much in control and the numeracy test being quick, quick, quick with the computer being in control.
    I am also old enough not to have fallen 'mental arithmetic blackhole' and it was something we did every day in primary school, admittedly a long time ago, but I still found the time limit for these questions very tight.
  11. I could not agree more Creasey.

  12. GARDEN24

    GARDEN24 New commenter

    Feeling a bit touchy about age today so I must add a dit about the age thing. I went to Grammar school and passed O level Maths and English exams as they were then. I took my QTS tests just 2 years ago and passed them first time after just a few tries at the sample tests to get a feel for what was required. The Maths and English teaching of my day gave me a firm grounding for day to day Maths & English ability (in spite of my age). I don't think it's an age thing; just being underpressure is enough to make your brain fuddled sometimes.
    Just keep practising and you will get there!
  13. GARDEN24

    GARDEN24 New commenter

    Sorry Chica77 didn't mean you keep trying!
  14. I have my GCSE and A-Level in Maths. I have a degree in Computer Science, worked as a database administrator and IT consultant for 10 years, and still managed to run out of time when doing the ICT QTS test. Passed them all first time...just about...
    "Don't argue with stupid people. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

  15. greengirl57

    greengirl57 New commenter

    I think the real reason people fail is the lack of time in which to do the tests. If we are supposed to allow our pupils thinking time, then why not allow us trainees the same privilege? If you can learn to get your finger-clicking good, then you have it in the bag!! Keep the rythm up and you will pass.
  16. Why are people so judgemental? What is the problem with us all being at different stages and some finding things easy and others struggling? I sat through several year 7 maths lessons during my training....yes, I struggled with parts and yes, my '0'level was 27 years ago and yes, I am out of training. However.....My subject knowledge is outstanding and, having hardly seen my own kids for a year while dedicating myself to teach a subject that I am passionate about, I am amazed at the 'one size fits all' attitude of the posters here...it smacks of playground taunting and my advice kim elder, from one who sweated 3 times to pass, is to sign off, enjoy teaching art and don't engage with people who judge....what's the point?
  17. Yes, I stll think the time factor is the main problem and I am not sure that the advice given on the site is really the message you would want to convey to pupils:
    'If you cannot answer a question, enter a likely answer then clear your head for the next question. Remember, you don’t need to get every single question right '.
    I would much rather go with, take your time, check your work and make sure you have got it right. And, that is definitely what you should to do in a real life situation.
    I also hope that some of the judgemental posters are a little more understanding when their pupils find things difficult that they, themselves, find easy.

  18. Here, Here!!
  19. Oh come off it, they are not that hard. Passed them all first time with hardly any problems. Maybe put some effort into brushing up your own skills instead of complaining how 'hard' they are. I wouldn't want my child's education being in the charge of someone who cannot do basic arithmetic, or has lacking language/ICT skills.

  20. I find it very playground and very patronising when people come on here to say "well i passed mine first time" as if that makes them a better person or a better teacher?
    Ridiculous. and if that is your attitude then you shouldnt be a teacher, we don't ridicule our children in this way when they struggle with something.
    I know i am a good teacher, my placement grades and reports reflect that. However, I was never taught mental maths at school, so I have struggled with the time limit on the QTS test which has caused me to fail it a couple of times. The problem is knowing you have a time limit makes you panic, which makes you miss the next question and so on.
    I find it very insulting to be told this makes me a bad teacher, because I know I am not, and I would never ever judge my children in this way. Sometimes it is about confidence, and making people feel stupid is not the way to go.
    This forum is about helping people, not ridiculing them.


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