Before you begin a teacher training course, you must successfully complete the professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy. Don’t worry, though – we’re here to help. We want you to pass, so we’ve put together some great advice on how you can give yourself the best chance of passing the skills test.
What are the professional skills tests?
There are two professional skills tests – one dedicated to literacy, the other dedicated to numeracy. They 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.
The skills tests 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. They are electronic and can be taken at any of the 150 test centres throughout the UK. It’s important to remember that the skills tests do not replace the GCSE grade C entry requirement – you still need to achieve this to be able to study Primary Education.
How much do they cost?
The system for professional skills tests has recently changed. You now get THREE attempts to take the tests for free. After this, you can have unlimited attempts at a charge of £19.25 per test. If you have paid for and already taken a second or third attempt at a test between 24 October 2017 and 14 February 2018, you will automatically receive a refund for the cost of your test.
- Understand the rules and don’t panic. Remember, you’re allowed three free attempts for each skills test (and unlimited attempts at a charge of £19.25 per test).
- Do practice papers. It’s a great idea to practise both skills tests. Practice papers are available here.
- Understand your weaknesses and practise, practise, practise. Once you have practised some tests, you may find that you need some help to improve in certain areas. We’re here to help you as much as we can, so take advantage of our free online skills test workshops.
- Be prepared on the day. Arrive at your test centre at least 15 minutes before your allocated test. Make sure you bring along:
• Evidence of your application to Leeds Trinity University
• The test booking confirmation email
• The two forms of ID requested by the test centre
Online skills tests workshops at Leeds Trinity University
To help you prepare for your skills tests, we've produced a series of online workshops. Run by staff from our Learning Hub (our personalised academic and study skills support service on campus), the online workshops will give you plenty of tips on how to pass the skills tests.
View the Literature Skills Test Workshop View the Numeracy Skills Test Workshop
How to book your skills tests
All skills tests are administered by Learn Direct. You can book your place online at learndirect.com or you can call 0300 303 9613.
Advice from our Primary Education students
“I prepared for the tests by practising the online tests on the government website, as well as buying books and using Numeracy Ready, an online resource with 20 other practice tests. The only real problem with the tests was the time limit attached to the maths questions, but lots of practice helped with this. I wouldn’t really change my approach to doing the test as I passed them both first time. Preparation is definitely key.”
“I waited until after I had been offered my place to take the tests. I bought some books and had a couple of practices. I wish I had spent more time on practising the time-keeping and subject knowledge, and I might then have passed first time. Once you get used to the format of the exam, it’s easier, so practice is really important!”
“ I would advise other students to do the tests when they don’t have any other exams/deadlines so they can give their full attention to the tests. Also, don’t book both maths and English together and concentrate on one exam at a time. If you fail first time, book again straight away and get it done before moving to the other.”