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Did anyone else struggle with the QTS Numeracy test for teachers?

(138 Posts)
FlorenceofArabia Sun 08-Mar-09 12:12:17

I had no trouble with the Literacy and ICT tests but I have failed the bloody Numeracy several times blush. I'm a mature student and have always struggled with maths but got my GCSE a few years ago with lots of studying. However, I've done the practice materials and get by but things go to pot when I take the actual tests.

The invigilator told me she has had some students take and fail the Numeracy test over 40 - yes FORTY - times shock.


londonone Sun 08-Mar-09 13:41:14

It is firmly my view that if you cannot pass that test 1st or at a push second time, then you have no business teaching. It is VERY basic maths and I am horrified by how many student teachers fail it.

Sorry if that seems harsh but most of the maths in that test is about KS2 level.

The only thing you can do is keep trying.

piscesmoon Sun 08-Mar-09 13:52:50

I haven't seen the test but I would have thought that you need to be able to do the maths on it to manage in the classroom. I supply teach and often have to teach yr 6 top maths groups with no preparation time at all. Some of the children are brilliant at maths and you need to be able a, teach it and b, help them when they are stuck.

FlorenceofArabia Sun 08-Mar-09 15:06:09

I knew I'd get at least one reply saying I've no business to teach if I'm struggling to pass the numeracy test - lucky me that two of you bothered to tell me so!

Fortunately, the teaching authorities don't agree with either of you. I have GCSE Maths and have taught KS1& KS2 numeracy classes so I'm not completely hopeless blush

piscesmoon Sun 08-Mar-09 15:19:35

I didn't say that you had no business to be teaching-I just said that I thought you would need it, to cope. I haven't seen the test so I can't really say.

MelonCauli Sun 08-Mar-09 15:22:22

I took it with no preparation and thought it was fairly easy. I'm not telling you that you have no business teaching if you can't pass it, but I am not sure I would want to be faced with teaching some higher level numeracy in your shoes.

slightlyonedgemum Sun 08-Mar-09 15:26:16

My husband is training to become a secondary school English teacher and is struggling with it. My job is in accounts (although my GCSE's were over 10 years ago) and when I tried to do it I failed as I kept running out of time.

He re-took his maths GCSE last year to get on the PGCE course and then got told about this. He's passed the English one and I think only just failed the ICT so it's only maths he's worried about. Annoyingly of course, once he passes, he needs never think of maths again. Similarly, the maths trainees are struggling with English.

Don't worry what people think or how many times you take the test, if you are only teaching primary, surely you can do that off the back of your maths GCSE? My husband has been getting great reviews from everyone who has seen him teach (they all say they'd employ him immediately) and I'm sure he'll get this maths test with lots of revision, but it's frustrating he doesn't need it after!

frannikin Sun 08-Mar-09 15:28:46

I'm really worried about it as I have dyscalculia (and anyone who tells me I have no business going into teaching is being discriminatory on that basis). I'm sure you'll get there eventually!

FlorenceofArabia Sun 08-Mar-09 15:34:15

"I am not sure I would want to be faced with teaching some higher level numeracy in your shoes"


Thanks - really helpful smile

MelonCauli Sun 08-Mar-09 18:40:54

Well, you asked if anyone had had any trouble. Don't ask the question if you don't want to hear the truth.

Some of the Year 6, and even Year 5 stuff is complex. You need to be able to explain it in many different ways to kids who are stuggling. If you can't think on your feet and manipulate the numbers in different ways then you will struggle. Harsh but true.

FlorenceofArabia Sun 08-Mar-09 19:34:02

Yes - I asked if anyone had trouble, I didn't request a lecture on my suitability to teach! I can do the maths, just not in the test situation. Hope you never teach my DD - you sound like a nightmare!

MIAonline Sun 08-Mar-09 19:37:19

You will get there in the end smile Depending on how long you have left on your course, you could try an evening class. There are some really good ones out there (not gcse) sometimes it helps to go back to basics.
If you teaching a different subject (secondary) or planning to teach ks1 (primary) then just do whatever you need to do to pass it and then you won't have to worry about it.
Good luck and don't give up.

PortAndLemon Sun 08-Mar-09 19:44:55

What goes to pot when you take the actual tests? Is it the timing element, or just that the pressure gets to you, or something else?

MelonCauli Sun 08-Mar-09 20:00:05

I did not question your suitablility to teach. That was londonone. Please get you facts straight. I merely commented that I could not have confidently taught if my maths was not up to speed.

You will not get very far in teaching if you get that offended with feedback and come back with very rude comments.

80sMum Sun 08-Mar-09 20:01:33

Just had a look at the test and spotted a grammatical error on the first page of the instructions! It says "There are 28 interactive numeracy questions in this test, comprised of 12 mental arithmetic questions and 16 on-screen questions."
I tried the first few questions of the test and was hopeless! Obviously my talents lie in literacy and not numeracy! I'm not a teacher, by the way.

kid Sun 08-Mar-09 20:05:36

My DS's reception teacher struggled with the test. She said they shouted the questions at her and she fell apart!
She did pass it on her 3rd attempt and she was a great teacher.

You will get there, you will learn from the tests you take and you will be able to pass it. Good luck.

RachieW Sun 08-Mar-09 22:15:56

Hi Florence, I had the same phobias about maths, particularly mental maths, when I trained because I had awful maths teachers at school and was never very confident with numeracy. I did pass my QTS and now really enjoy teaching maths. I think it all comes with practise, in my previous jobs I hadn't used maths, now I use it everyday so I'm faster at calculating and confident.

At uni I had a supportive maths tutor who was of the opinion that if you found maths hard yourself you would be good at explaining mathematical concepts more simply to the children that struggle. Yes some of the upper KS2 maths is complex but you'll just need to make sure that you have prepared your lessons well and know what you need to explain and how to do it.

You can pass your QTS, it was like an axe hanging over my head but I got there and you can too. As primary teachers, (I'm assuming you are primary) we have to be jacks of all trades and each teacher has their strong subjects and those they have to work at. I don't believe that because maths isn't your strongest subject you won't be a good teacher. Good luck grin.

ramonaquimby Sun 08-Mar-09 22:19:15

can't everyone agree that 40 opportunities to pass a test is probably 30 too many?

FlorenceofArabia Mon 09-Mar-09 00:58:17

Thanks very much for the supportive comments - much appreciated smile

ramona - does it matter what you think?

swedishmum Mon 09-Mar-09 01:22:15

What year are you aiming at teaching? My dds 1 and 2 would have sailed the test in Y6 so I would expect a teacher to be way ahead. I am a teacher by the way. DD1 is G and T (I know it's a dirty word on mumsnet) and from sec school tests is in the top 2 per cent for maths though it's not a strong subject for her.
As you started the thread I'll give my opinion. I don't really care what your opinion or difficulty is - if you have only just achieved GCSE maths (I've done some recent tutoring to help pupils achieve Grade C with lower paper - hardly difficult) and find those questions hard, you are not good enough to teach my children in years 5 and 6. They'll eat you alive as they can do those questions without thought. Sorry if it's harsh - standards are poor enough as it is.

FAQinglovely Mon 09-Mar-09 02:09:21

lets not forget that that being a great mathematician and beig able to do any mathematical problem put in front of you doesn't mean that you can teach it.

belladonna79 Mon 09-Mar-09 02:22:55

Surely when you posted on here you must have known people would be a little concerned about your suitability to teach if you've failed the numeracy test, in your own words, 'several times'...
How do you think you'll cope if you get asked to teach a year 5 or 6 top set maths?

I'm not questioning you're ability as a teacher but it doesn't really inspire confidence does it? TBH I'd want someone who can teach and is good with children AND has mastered 11 year old maths...

FAQinglovely Mon 09-Mar-09 02:50:32

farking bloody nora - I've just tried one of the "benchmark" ICT tests - now I'm pretty nifty round a computer, and I ran out of time and failed!!

FAQinglovely Mon 09-Mar-09 03:06:39

haha - and I flew through the literacy one - but I was hopeless at that at school.

I stress again a great mathematician doesn't make a great teacher. God my maths teacher at senior school was a bloody genuis in maths - but could she teach it?? Hell no.

piscesmoon Mon 09-Mar-09 08:04:10

You don't have to be a great mathematician to teach it but you do have to be ahead of the pupils.
I regularly get asked in to teach on the morning-if I have year 6 top maths group I have no time to look at it it first; even if you have time to prepare you have to be able to help anyone who is stuck on any question. The top mathematicians in year 6 are very good and very quick, I do one class where the particularly gifted boy goes to the secondary school once a week for a maths lesson. It is rather like a test because you are on the spot, thinking quickly, I just wonder whether you would cope in that particular situation.(Perhaps you are not intending to teach upper juniors).

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