# Mumsnet Talk

## Maths QTS odd question..

(49 Posts)
rockpink Mon 21-Jul-14 22:08:49

I have my test soon, and recently have only been getting 22%. However tonight after 2 glasses of wine I got 58%.
How is this possible (and should I have a wee dram before the exam??)

todayiamfat Mon 21-Jul-14 22:12:17

Have you done the practice tests and read their sugestions as to how to do it? I got an A at GCSE for Maths (bloody 20 years ago before anyone starts with the 'that means nothing!') and I don't think I would have passed without doing it like this!

17leftfeet Mon 21-Jul-14 22:14:47

Have you got the study guide?

I think it's possible to over think it

Which section are you finding hardest?

rockpink Mon 21-Jul-14 22:21:32

I have study guides English Ind I'm using online (paid) practise resources as well as the govt website practise tests.
I had hypno last week to overcome the urge to cry at the tests. Hasn't really worked!!!
I had a tutor (one session only) and cried all the way thru, she cut the session short poor woman.
I must pass or I dont get onto degree in Sept.
However I passed the English QTS calmly and controlled!

rockpink Mon 21-Jul-14 22:23:18

Sorry 17 I should have said, it's the fractions into percentages and decimals that I need to crack.
And the speed.
It's just wierd that 2 glasses of wine more than doubled my average score !

mrsmilesmatheson Tue 22-Jul-14 06:16:33

The bbc bite size and skills wise websites are very good for revision.

Once it's clicked you'll be ok and to be honest, you need to be able to do this maths to be a teacher (assuming you're not doing a totally unrelated subject).

17leftfeet Tue 22-Jul-14 07:01:39

They can be pretty much memorised as they tend to use the same ones

1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/8

If you memorise those then you can pretty much manipulate the answers to these

I'd also use bbc bite size to look at simplifying fractions

The actual test does seem to be easier than the online version

rockpink Tue 22-Jul-14 08:00:34

I know I need these skills to be a teacher, but won't need fractions & percentages in Reception & Yr1 though, surely?

I've been for 6 sessions of group tuition at the would-be University to pass this, despite revising & reviewing the subjects (and "getting it" in class) the formulae and methods just fall out of my head when needed.

I'm just blank and theres nothing in my head apart from a screaming voice shouting "get on with it".

CatKisser Tue 22-Jul-14 08:05:28

You might not always be in year one though - Head might move you to year six the following year!
The tests are there to ensure a basic level of competency in Maths and English, which is kind of fair for a professional job. These days do you have limited attempts to pass or can you keep retaking them?
As for the booze, you probably relaxed and didn't panic, but I wouldn't advise it for the real test. There will be plenty of other stressful times as a teacher where you won't be able to neck a couple of glasses of wine!

rockpink Tue 22-Jul-14 08:47:07

Just three attempts CatKisser , if you fail you are locked out of re-taking the test for 24 months. I'd have to do a different degree then, and a further PGCE which I couldn't get SF for.

And I wholly agree that these basic skills need to be in place.
I'm just awful under exam type pressure, sadly.

I'd not rely on being in FS/KS1 forever. I have an Early Childhood Education degree and, after starting my career in KS1, I've been in Y6 for the last three years. I've had to teach level 6 maths this year, including algebra, Pythagoras etc.

The tests do make you panic but they are vital. A friend of mine had lots of tuition so I can only suggest you persevere with that. Maybe an actual naths tutor? How about getting the Rising Stars revision books for L5/6? They set out things very clearly.

toomuchicecream Tue 22-Jul-14 18:30:18

Have you made yourself a fraction/decimal/percentage number line and stuck it on the wall somewhere you will see it every day? So 1/2 = 0.5 = 50%. 1/4 = 0.25 = 25% etc. If that's not a good enough explanation, google for FDP equivalence number line.

Have you tried playing any of the games on this site (aimed at KS2 children): mathsframe.co.uk/en/resources/category/18/fractions_decimals_and_percentages

mathszone.co.uk/fractions-decimals-percentages/ gives you a lot more games & activities. Try the ICT games one, second down on the left.

I'm afraid that as a primary Maths specialist currently working in year 1 and 2, I couldn't disagree more about the importance of KS1 teachers having a good understanding of fractions and percentages. Because I'm secure in my own subject knowledge, I'm able to answer my pupils questions. I'm also able to stretch and extend them, and excite them about Maths. But don't be downhearted - when had an office job and had to work out % price increases and decreases, I used to phone DH as I had no idea where to start. Coming back to the subject as an adult, it all slotted into place and I understood it for the first time in my life. And I once had a TA (very intelligent lady with a degree in French) tell me at the end of a bottom set year 6 Maths lesson on % that it was the first time she'd ever understood percentages. So play the games and do the activities above, and focus on building up your visual images/understanding of the concepts. Good luck!

There are a number of video tutorials - if you search 'Malcolm Shay QTS' they should come up. I found them very helpful, and there are others on You Tube you might find useful. There was also a book I used, about passing the maths skills test - I can't remember which one, but I found it on Amazon and it was well worth the money! Best of luck!

rockpink Tue 22-Jul-14 19:36:30

Ah thanks! !! really appreciate it. I can do all this no problem with a calculator and a few minutes, just within 2 mins is daunting! !

rockpink Tue 22-Jul-14 19:52:39

Toomuchicecream those games are fab!

rockpink Tue 22-Jul-14 19:57:53

mrssmiling I have the Pass the maths QTS book - the blue one?
I bought it second hand off Amazion, sadly I has all the answers written inside in pencil, argh

Phineyj Tue 22-Jul-14 20:01:54

I am quite good at Maths and still found the test daunting. I found I needed to work on getting all the question info down accurately on the whiteboard the first time it's stated, then mentally tuning out the second repetition, as otherwise there simply isn't time to do the workings out for the more complicated questions. You do need to be very calm as you have to take it sitting alongside lots of people doing their driving test, which is surreal and distracting (at least, that was my experience). I think doubling your score when you were more relaxed is a sure sign anxiety is stopping you doing as well as you could. Also, don't do what I did - prepare really thoroughly then forget to take ID in the correct name to the test !

noblegiraffe Tue 22-Jul-14 20:04:13

It is possible that maths anxiety is making your brain freeze up during the test as it is under timed conditions. My brain completely seizes when I'm asked an unexpected mental arithmetic question (not from the kids though, I expect those!) and I'm a maths teacher! I know I can answer the question, it's just the pressure means my brain won't let me.

Try some rescue remedy instead of alcohol?

rockpink Tue 22-Jul-14 21:19:23

You know I never thought of rescue remedy.....that might do the job.
I think the maths anxiety is me to a T. That's what I had the hypno for, but I don't think it's worked.

partialderivative Fri 25-Jul-14 17:33:25

Noble probably speaks for many maths teachers, including me.

However, please do not enter the profession if your anxiety extends beyond 'merely' sitting the test. Our children deserve to be taught by teachers who are both confident in mathematics, and also enjoy the subject (and can share this passion).

I know from experience, this is not always the case.

Good luck!

rockpink Fri 25-Jul-14 20:16:05

Thank you.
I can be confident in the classroom teaching maths, after all I have had weeks and weeks of experience helping in the classroom in all aspects, including that subject.
It's the sitting of the exam that is concerning me.
Hey when I pass I'll be able to spot struggling students as I know how it feels!!

Before you press the button on the computer to start the test write down all the formulas: fractions, multiplications, percentages, class sizes and ratios etc
So then you've got it, it's calmed you down and if the computers asks what fraction of children etc you can refer to your notes.

rockpink Sun 27-Jul-14 22:08:10

Thank you! I was thinking of doing this. When can you actually start to write things down though, some websites have suggested you can't write anything down until you press "start"?

mineofuselessinformation Sun 27-Jul-14 22:16:57

How are the websites going to know? If you need a sheet of FDP conversions and you weren't good at remembering, you'd have one somewhere in your classroom wouldn't you?
I wouldn't mind betting that the instant the pressure is off, you'd be able to remember them anyway....