Areas of numeracy PDF, 966 KB
Navigational features of the practice tests PDF, 127 KB
Numeracy glossary PDF, 210 KB
Numeracy test specification PDF, 152 KB
Numeracy practice paper 2 PDF, 1.8 MB
Numeracy practice paper 3 PDF 1.47 MB
Numeracy practice paper 4 PDF 1.2 MB
This page gives an overview of the numeracy skills test so that you can prepare for taking the test. Further details about access arrangements are on the Process for taking the professional skills test page.
The numeracy skills test is divided into 2 areas:
You will not be tested on your knowledge of the mathematics national curriculum or on how to teach it.
The standard test will last approximately 48 minutes, unless specific arrangements have been granted.
Each test contains 28 questions made up of 12 mental arithmetic questions and 16 written questions (written arithmetic and written data), plus a practice question that is not scored. All questions carry 1 mark regardless of the number of required responses.
All the numeracy skills tests have been calibrated statistically against a benchmark test. As with any multiple set of tests, the tests are not identical to each other. This is because each test has different questions, but they are all of an equivalent standard. A test with slightly harder questions will have a slightly lower pass mark and a test with slightly easier questions will have a slightly higher pass mark.
Further information on numeracy test content and format is included in the numeracy test specification.
The mental arithmetic section is an audio test which you will listen to via headphones provided for you. It tests your ability to carry out mental calculations using:
Each question is individually timed. You are not allowed to use a calculator for the mental arithmetic questions.
Written questions are presented in a series of on-screen questions. You may use an on-screen calculator.
You are tested on your ability to interpret and use written data to:
You’ll be tested on your ability to solve written arithmetic problems which include:
We have produced a short information sheet to help you to prepare for your numeracy test. We advise you read this and the information below to help you prepare for the tests.
Other support is available. Your ITT provider may be able to advise on appropriate materials.
You can use the areas of numeracy support materials to help refresh your skills. You don't need to work through the whole booklet; it may be more helpful to look at sections as and when you need them.
Each section contains information on 1 of the areas of numeracy covered by the test. It includes a number of worked examples and guidance on avoiding common errors.
The glossary lists terms used in numeracy. You won’t be tested on definitions of these terms however they may help you prepare for the numeracy skills test.
Practising the tests will help you to familiarise yourself with the look and feel of the tests. It will also provide an opportunity to revise the different content areas covered by the tests.
You can access a series of practice tests which include similar types of questions to those in the actual tests. These will help you practise answering questions and become familiar with navigational features used in the online tests. Passing the practice tests provides no guarantee that you will pass your actual test.
The first time that you access the practice tests you will need to complete an initial registration. Click on the initial registration link at the bottom of the log in screen to do this. No personal details are requested, other than a username. Your details are not stored so please keep your username and password safe. You will also need this activation key for your initial registration: jhULiqgX. Once you are registered and have logged in you will also be able to:
The practice tests are presented in 2 formats.
The fully interactive online tests will score your answers. The online tests include versions with special arrangement entitlements. You need to log in to your practice test account to access the online versions of the tests.
You can also download paper-based versions of numeracy practice paper 2, numeracy practice paper 3 and numeracy practice paper 4. These are designed for candidates who have been granted a specific arrangement to complete a paper-based test, but may also be used by other candidates. You do not need to register or log in to access these tests.
Please note the following acceptable answer formats when typing numbers into answer boxes:
You will need access to a computer with the following specification to access the online practice tests:
Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Mac OS X 10.5.x - 10.8.x
Display resolution of at least 1024x768 pixels with 16k colours
Internet Explorer: Version 10 to 11
Google Chrome: Latest version
Download speeds required are minimal however for the best experience we recommend the test is taken with at least 500Kbit/s connections (0.5MB).
learndirect's helpdesk is available from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Telephone: 0300 303 9613
You can contact the Teaching Information Line on 0800 389 2500 for advice on teacher training more widely, including what’s involved in teacher training; qualification queries; funding options; and arranging school experience. The Teaching Information Line can also help you to check if you’re eligible to receive one-to-one support from a qualified teacher to prepare for the skills tests and get ready for interviews. Alternatively you could visit the Get into Teaching website for more information.