Professional Skills Test

Before your teacher training you need to pass the professional skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy.  If you feel you struggle with either of these topics, do not fear, as you are given unlimited resits of the tests, with the first three attempts free of charge.

Numeracy Skills Test:

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.

The numeracy skills test is divided into 2 areas:

Mental arithmetic section

It tests your ability to carry out mental calculations using:

  • addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • time
  • fractions, decimals and percentages
  • proportions involving fractions, decimals and percentages
  • measurement, including money, distance, area and volume
  • conversions

Written section (written arithmetic and written data)

You may use an on-screen calculator.  You are tested on your ability to interpret and use written data to:

  • identify trends correctly
  • make comparisons in order to draw conclusions
  • interpret information accurately
  • You’ll be tested on your ability to solve written arithmetic problems which include:
  • time
  • money
  • fractions, decimals and percentages
  • proportion and ratio
  • measurements (eg distance, area)
  • conversions
  • averages (including mean, median and mode)
  • range
  • using simple formulae

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.

Literacy Skills Test:

The literacy professional skills test is divided into 4 sections:

  • spelling
  • punctuation
  • grammar
  • comprehension

You will not be tested on your knowledge of the English national curriculum or on how to teach it.

The test must be completed within 45 minutes, unless you have been granted specific arrangements.

The total number of marks available ranges from 41 to 49, depending on the test. These are broken down as follows:

  • spelling section – 10 marks
  • punctuation section – 15 marks
  • grammar – 10-12 marks
  • comprehension section – between 10 and 12 marks

This information has been taken from