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

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

  1. Expressing an opinion that you do not agree with does not give you the right to insult me.
    The topic of the thread was 'QTS skills tests...why so hard', and I was offering another view- namely, that they are not 'hard', plenty of people pass them without a problem, just others can't isn't a reflection on the tests' difficulty at all. I'm sure you've passed something in your life that you found easy, and others struggled with- perhaps a driving test. Just because some people fail repeatedly does not make the test 'hard', it is just that they need more practice before they reach the desired level.
    You defend yourself rather strongly for someone who has not been attacked. I never said, implied or hinted at the fact that passing first time made me a better person or teacher. I never said you are a bad teacher. I don't understand how you can read all that into my post then conclude your own with a rather ironic statement.
    These forums are about sharing opinions, and you'd do well to remember that not everyone will agree with you all the time.
  2. totally agree with you. How many times did it take you?
  3. <font size="2">I agree with JonNicola. This is not about ridicule or boasting, this is about professional teachers having basic literacy and numeracy skills! Ok the time limit on the mental arithmetic is testing so if it takes you a couple of times to pass so what? What does concern me though is when I hear of people taking these tests 10+ times! </font><font size="2">Regardless of what subject you teach, basic skills like this are so important. At the company I worked at before I went into teaching we had graduates that could not work out a simple % or % change, even with a calculator, disgusting!!! We need to improve standards in our schools and we are the role models!</font>
  4. jonnicola my post wasn't aimed directly at you. and nor is this one! sorry if you thought i was attacking you, i wasn't. and i wasn't defending myself. i was defending the poor people who come on here for advice and get shot down! the very reason i didn't come on here throughout my whole PGCE year is because of the negative postings that started to put me off! i just think we should all try to help each other (peace and love maaan).
    my point was: if a child struggles with something at school, we try and help them and move them forward, we don't make them feel even worse. some people will find the maths easy, some won't. but people going on about how easy it is and how you'd be a thicko not to pass it just makes people have even less confidence and get worse! i think in real life situations, people would be able to answer the maths questions, but it can be daunting for those who are not maths confident.
    yes i agree with you, and i appreciate your opinion. i thought the english and ict tests were easy peasy and passed them without even trying. some people will have found them hard. some will find maths easy and maybe struggle with something else. i have personally struggled with the time limit on maths, i have failed it by 1 mark a couple of times, and the more times i try, the more i panic, i think that may be a reason people fail it so many times, it is very frustrating! i have all the basic skills needed to be a good teacher, and i actually love teaching maths because i love the way it is taught now in primary school, it is much more fun and accessible and i wish i had been taught it in this way. i just think maybe the time limit of 15 seconds or whatever it is on the test could be stretched slightly, because when in real life would you have to work something out that quickly?! i always get the answer, just not in enough time! which makes me panic, which makes me fail, which makes me lose any confidence i have built up, and we are back to square one!
    but my message to all those who have struggled with any skills test: YOU CAN DO IT! just take a deep breath, don't panic, and try try again![​IMG]
    (anyone who wants to mock my spelling or grammar: shove off! i am typing in a rush!)[​IMG]
  5. PS.
    katarina: "disgusting" is a bit harsh?! ok so percentages is pretty basic. but what were they graduates in? (if maths then that is scary!) but if their degree was in something unrelated then they won't have had any need for maths for quite a few years and were probably a bit rusty. it just takes a bit of practise you get the old maths brain back into gear. "disgusting" is pretty harsh i think. i would never say my kids were disgusting if they couldn't count to 10!
    i left Maths behind after GCSE. my A Levels were all English related and so was my degree. Before my PGCE i hadn't done any Maths for almost 10 years! i had to relearn the basics, it just takes a bit of encouragement!
  6. Passing Numeracy test first time is not a big deal. If you are really clever then you should not be teaching, you should be earning better money than a teacher do. I don't know why people saying I passed it for the first time. Passing Numeracy test first time doesn't make you better teacher or good at Maths. Now with the technology age, you don't need that basic maths to be a teacher. Most students use mobile phones(as calculator all the time). Most teachers have laptop. So creating a graph or finding a percentage is not a big deal. Within 5 years I think all students will be bringing a laptop in to the classroom. You will have some more technology invented by then. You don't need to work it in your brain percentage or division.

    UK always had shortage of Maths teachers? Why? Teachers starting salary very low. They find better jobs for their degree. So it is good to have basic numeracy, as you may need to teach Maths at some point.
    Those who are struggling
    Prepare well, go for private tution, buy all the books. Work really hard. Learn your times table and only take test when you can pass it.

    People who are taking 10 times, not preparing well. They just do some work and then try for luck. Work hard and hard you will pass.
  7. I don't think any of the Skills Tests are particularly difficult, certainly not GCSE standard anyway! The things that do cause problems are the timings. Ok, so at some point in your teaching career you are going to use mental arithmatic, but you are NEVER going to have an 18 second time limit (or whatever it is) to work out the answer. Why not just have an overall time limit for the entire test. Anyway, I found the trick with Numeracy was to write the key info down as it was said during the test - much easier to work out.

    The other beef I had with these tests was the IT Test. Now, I'm not boasting, but I am pretty good with computers, I used to be a secretary and am very quick at navigating around programs and have a typing speed of around 70WPM. I'm the person friends and family come to with computer problems but I didn't have time to complete all of the tasks during the test. Luckily I got enough right to pass without finishing it, but it really is ridiculous for people who have the knowledge but aren't that quick. I heard they reduced the time last year because people were finding it too easy..., errrr, PERHAPS THATS BECAUSE WE ARE ALL ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD AT COMPUTERS IN THE YEAR 2009!
  8. I am finding this thread very interesting. I have just passed literacy and numeracy first time but came on the forum to see if there was an advice re ICT as I have heard it is difficult. At 43 with a career behind me and a new one starting these tests tested just some of the skills I have used in my career during the past 20 years although mental maths against the clock did need some practice. The ICT I see as pointless as I use it all the time and feel learning to use the "TDA format" as a waste of my time. However the point of this post is that it has taught me one lesson and that is what it feels like to take an exam, something I have not done for 20 years so for that experience alone it is worth it and will enable me to empathise with my students now!
  9. I think it is worrying that you have such a flipant attitude towards other's difficulties - and you are a teacher? THAT IS WORRYING
  10. Touche Mon Brave!!!!!!

    My sentiments EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. bluesgreens

    bluesgreens New commenter

    I passed the numeracy skills test first time (just finished a primary PGCE), but then I have the advantage of a Maths A-Level completed under 5 years ago.
    I think what concerns me more than people taking several attempts to pass the test is the attitude that some people on my course had towards maths. That it's 'really difficult and horrible and I'm rubbish at it so I hate it'. I can understand why people might feel like that based on past experience, but it's not exactly inspiring in those responsible for teaching children basic maths skills. And I know of at least one person that chose the Early Years route purely because she did not want to teach maths to KS2 children.
    Now, I'm sure all primary teachers dislike one subject or two, but with maths there seems to be a whole section of teachers that have negative attitudes carried over from their own schooling, and it worries me because we don't want more children growing up with that attitude.
  12. The most ridiculous statement I've read on here for ages. So basically, we should be looking out for not very bright people to teach future generations?! What about doing a job because you ENJOY it rather than because you want to earn loads of money?
    I have a 1st class degree and an MA with distinction, spent a few years in research and working abroad before I became a teacher. I could be earning loads more than I am now (in fact, most of my Uni friends are) but I chose a career which I love and which keeps me motivated rather than one which pays me a fortune. As it happens, I think my educational background (my MA has nothing to do with teaching) gives my children a good example of the value of education for education's sake. I did my MA because I was interested in the subject and pursued it, simple as that. That's what learning should be about - knowing something or how to do something because it's great to, rather than because of where it'll get you.
    As for whoever made the comment about Primary Teachers - glad you got there before me ;)
  13. Well said.
    As for earlier comments.....BINGO

  14. If you are really clever then you should not be teaching, you should be earning better money than a teacher do.

    Terrible statement... and quite insulting to be honest.
    I too have a 1st class honours BSc degree and a MSc from an Ivy League College. There are also plenty of other people on this site (with or without good degrees) who could earn more money in other professions. I, for one, choose to teach because I absolutely love my job and have no desire to do anything else in order to earn more. No amount of extra cash could equal the job satisfaction and rewards I reap from teaching.
    What happened to teaching being a vocation and teachers being born not made.
    Personally, I think this is what is wrong with SOME teachers these days. People who are choosing to go into the job because they find it an easy option to be paid thousands to train and then have good job prospects in this climate. Unfortunately, when the harsh reality of teaching kicks in they're out of here within a few years. Bring back the 'born' teachers who can stick it out and are in it for the long haul.

  15. Hi there. Im new to this forum but just saw your post on here about the skills tests. Have you passed them now? I managed to pass the numeracy one just before i had my final assessment to qualify me as a teacher. It took me 7 attempts and I was sooo frustrated with it as each time I was 1 mark off in the mental maths part. The only advice i can offer is not to give in. Keep going. Remember you can take them as many times as you want. You do need to have them to gain qualified teachers pay but you can teach without them but your pay will be unqualified pay and you cannot start your NQT year without them.

  16. <font size="2">After reading the posts I&rsquo;m still concerned that we have teachers that can't pass these tests which are pretty basic. Yep the time limit on the maths one may take a bit of preparation but it's not rocket science! Determination is all well and good but taking a test 10 or 15 times is a bit worrying (don't the same questions eventually come up again?!) Should we let our students have umpteen attempts on their GCSEs until they get an A? Something to think about?</font>
  17. Surely they can?!
  18. Can they? I've never come across this at the schools i've worked at! Alevels I'll agree they can retake, never come across a student who has retaken an exam 10 times though!!!
  19. Eh? Students can take GCSE maths as many times as they like. In my day (admittedly in the back of beyond now) students routinely resat GCSE maths year on year until they achieved the coveted 'C' grade (I know one girl who was still doing this at 20). At my old 6th form, you couldn't study A' Levels unless you had a C grade in maths and English Lang. My point was, that just as ITT trainees can resit the skills tests as many times as they like, GCSE students can continue to retake the exam year on year if they so choose. I was not debating the rights or wrongs of this - merely stating a fact.
  20. I have to absolutely agree, well done Gemmylou55.....yes I did not pass first time and had to teach myself the mental strokes to pass. But like you I had fantastic reports from school.....
    I passed my maths but as far as i'm concerned "you only fail if you give up"....the message that I would give my children when teaching....


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