So, without telling too many people, yesterday I took my professional skills tests, as required by the Department for Education (DfE) to become a qualified teacher. In a change to the rules, this year (from 1st September 2012), student teachers only had three chances to pass both the Numeracy and the Literacy test, before being banned from retakes for 24 months. Given this drastic change, I decided to "get it over and done with" by attempting my first attempt at the tests sooner rather than later.
I booked both tests about 2 weeks ago, and I've been frantically revising and practicing ever since. Thankfully, this hard work paid off, and I've now passed the skills tests. Luckily, the DfE provide practice material online (Numeracy & Literacy), which has been of great help.
Since passing the tests, I've been asked by different student teachers on my course: "How were they?"; "were they hard?"; "Which did you find the hardest?"
I think its quite hard to answer these questions, yes, I will say (and so has everyone before me), the tests are 'easier' than the practice material. However, given the amount of practice tests I've completed in the past two weeks, I'm not surprised they were easier. I've noticed my ability to calculate mentally has improved, and I've become familiar with the test material. I believe I've been studying to "pass the test", rather than for my own benefit. Therefore, I think anyone who practices for the tests, and accesses the practice material available, should be fine.
Now I've completed the tests, I can concentrate on my final year, completing the assignments, conducting my research project on iPads, and focus on the final teaching placement.Further Reading:
Patmore, M. (2012) Passing the Numeracy Skills Test, Essex: Learning Matters Ltd
Johnson, J. (2012) Passing the Literacy Skills Test, Essex: Learning Matters Ltd
Tyreman, C. (2011) How to Pass the QTS Numeracy and Literacy Skills Tests: Essential Practice for the Qualified Teacher Status Skills Test, London: Kogan Page Publishers