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Professional Skills Tests

All teacher trainees are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).  All applicants to ITT training are required to pass the skills tests before starting their course.

The numeracy and literacy skills tests: 

  • cover the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their professional role in schools, rather than the subject knowledge required for teaching. This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism; 
  • do not replace the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement; 
  • are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher; all questions use real data and information which teachers are likely to encounter; and
  • are computerised and can be taken at any of approximately 150 test centres throughout the UK.

Before booking a professional skills test you will need to register online with learndirect.  Please review the NCTLs 'Tips for Applicants' which provides guidance on how to book your tests with learndirect.  It does not give advice to help you prepare for, or take the test.

Please note that you can only book your skills tests once you have submitted your application through UCAS Teacher Training.  You can book in advance of this as long as an application is submitted before you attend the test centre. 

What you need to bring to the test centre:

Two forms of identification – a primary ID such as a passport, and a secondary ID this can be for example a debit card.  You will also need to bring proof of your teacher training application. The evidence that will be accepted are:

  • a welcome email from UCAS Teacher Training 
  • correspondence from your school or university 
  • a copy of a completed UCAS Teacher Training application form
  • confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from your school or university

For more information please visit: http://sta.education.gov.uk

Help and Guidance

If you are worried about passing the professional skills tests, there are some professional guides available that have been written by the authors of the current tests and they have been used by thousands of prospective teacher trainees.  We would recommend you look at:

In addition, you may like to review the new (free) support website for the Numeracy Skills test: http://www.numeracyskillstest.co.uk/

The numeracy test can be a barrier for high quality candidates, and so this site pulls together guidance and information to help you pass the test. It includes articles such as:

  • 5 Top Tips to Help you Pass the Numeracy Skills test
  • Is this the Hardest Question on the Numeracy Skills test?
  • Cumulative Frequency Graphs Explained

The articles are based on experience of helping over 12,000 teachers pass the test, and data from over 9,000,000 practice questions attempted at www.numeracyready.co.uk.

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