Skills Test

What are the skills tests?
The qualified teacher status (QTS) standards require trainees recommended for the award of QTS to pass Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy (ICT is no longer required). This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism. The tests do not replace the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement; this is designed to ensure all trainees have reached a particular standard in English and mathematics. The content of the tests uses real data which qualified teachers are likely to encounter. The tests are computerised and can be sat in any of the approximately 150 tests centres throughout the UK.

Who is required to pass the skills tests?
All trainee teachers in England will need to have passed the Skills Tests as part of the requirement for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS). The CT4T partnership will assess trainees against the relevant standards, but in order to obtain QTS, trainees must also have passed the Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy.

How many times can I take the skills tests?
The number of resits allowed will be limited to two per subject from 1 September 2012 (3 attempts in total). Candidates who fail after two resits in either numeracy or literacy will not be able to take any more Skills Tests, in either subject, for 24 months from the date of the second resit. This gives candidates a reasonable time during which they can become proficient at the skills assessed in the tests before further retakes.

What if I don’t pass the skills tests after taking them 3 times?
If you do not pass the tests after taking them 3 times (1‘take’plus 2 ‘retakes’) you will not be permitted to try again for 2 years.

Why are there two separate registration systems for the skills tests?
There are two separate registration systems to accommodate students already on ITT courses and another for those who are applying for ITT courses. Although the tests are the same, the registration requirements are different.

Those already on initial teacher training courses need to register on the ‘ITT student system’ and a teacher reference number (TRN) is required in order to register. For applicants to ITT courses, they need to register on the ‘ITT application system’.

Please go to: education.gov.uk/teachskillstests for more information.