All teacher trainees are required to pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy before they can start their course. The professional skills tests for prospective teachers assess the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their professional role in schools, rather than subject knowledge needed for learning. This is to ensure that all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism.
The numeracy and literacy skills tests:
are in addition to the GCSE grade C or grade 4 equivalence entry requirement
are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher
assess the use of real data and information which teachers are likely to encounter
are computerised and can be taken at any of the approved test centres throughout the UK
Passing the Skills Tests
You have to pass the professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you begin your teacher training with us. You can resit the tests an unlimited number of times; the first three attempts are free of charge. If you are worried about passing, and have been offered a place on our programme, please let us know. We may be able to offer some support making sure you are well prepared.
Booking the Skills Tests
When you’re ready, you’ll need to book your tests with learndirect. The website will give you the five nearest centres to your chosen location, though if you are able to take the tests elsewhere you can include alternative locations. Do keep checking the website for the latest availability though, as additional test slots are made available on a regular basis.
If we have made you a conditional offer and have not yet booked your tests, don’t worry – but do let us know, and inform us when you do take the tests.
If English isn’t your first language or you have different needs to other candidates – such as a hearing or visual impairment, a physical disability, or dyslexia – you can ask for special arrangements to be made or additional time in your tests. You’ll need to make your request in advance and ensure you supply any stipulated evidence to prove you require special arrangements.
Taking the Skills Tests
Don’t worry – there’s lots of support available to help you get ready. This includes online practice tests which will help you to familiarise yourself with the look and feel of the tests as well as revise the different content areas covered by the tests. The first time that you access the tests you will need to complete a straight-forward initial registration.
As well as providing 2 forms of identification, you will need to take proof of your application for a teacher training course with you to your skills tests. The evidence that will be accepted is as follows:
- a welcome letter from us as a teacher training organisation, or from UCAS
- correspondence from a school or training provider such as us
- a copy of a completed application form
- confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from a teacher training organisation, training provider or school
Tip: Don't be late – get to the test centre at least 20 minutes before your appointment
For a full overview and additional information about the tests, please visit the Department for Education’s dedicated skills tests pages.
If you experience any difficulties, call learndirect’s helpline on 0300 303 9613 (available 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.