Professional skills tests for trainee teachers

teaching skills

Get paid to pass your tests

Not only do we offer Bootcamps to get you ready for success, we also offer a bursary of up to £1000.

Get paid to pass

As part of the application process for all initial teacher training (ITT) courses, you will need to take and successfully pass the government’s professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you start your course.

What are these tests all about?

The numeracy and literacy skills tests:

  • Cover the core skills that you will need to fulfil during their professional role as a teacher 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.
  • Do not replace the GCSE grade C (or equivalent) entry requirement.
  • Are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher; all questions use real data and information which you are likely to encounter as a teacher.

Tell me more. How do I book my tests?

The first attempt at taking your skills tests in each subject is free of charge. You can book up to two resits if required, but you will be expected to pay for these yourself. You may be able to request special arrangements, such as 25 per cent extra time when registering online for skills tests, if this is required.

View our test booking tips

Everything you need to know

You can book your tests in advance for a date by which you are expecting to have submitted an application. When you take the tests you will need to provide proof that you have applied for a teacher training course.

Student testimonial - Bernadette

Bernadette Courtney

Birmingham City University

These tests sound a bit scary. Where can I get help?

The Department for Education (DfE) has developed guidance and support materials in numeracy and literacy to help you pass the tests. You are advised to review the support material before attempting the skills tests.

There is a whole section on their website with information and advice.

DfE Guidance and support

Learn more about the tests

A lot of people say that it's the format of the tests – as they are computerised – rather than the actual content that makes them difficult. You also have to book your tests in advance. For these reasons we encourage you to get booked in as soon as you can and practice, practice, practice so you feel confident when you get to your slot. You can also access all-important information on registering, booking and valuable practice papers on the Department for Education (DfE) website 

Leah Hindley

Birmingham City University

Leah Hindley

Can the University help me?

We know that the idea of more tests on top of your studies and interviews can be daunting.

Book a fully-funded workshop

Skills tests for teacher training

That’s why to help you pass the tests we offer fully-funded skills tests support workshops especially for our applicants who have accepted a place on one of our initial teacher training courses. These workshops are also open to pupils at our partner schools and colleges who are interested in applying for a teacher training course starting this September.

These workshops, which run through to July, are now available to book online. The government has made passing the skills tests compulsory prior to starting teacher training so you will only be able to enrol if you’ve got them done and dusted! 

Get paid to pass!

Not only do we offer Bootcamps to get you ready for success, we also offer a bursary of up to £1000 if you’ve accepted an offer from us for a teacher training course. Here's how it works:

  • Pass both skills tests by 4 May 2017 and receive £1000
  • Pass one of the skills tests by 4 May 2017 and receive £600

You have to pass the tests to enrol on a teacher training course, so at least if you do it early it’s one less thing to worry about and you’ll get paid for doing it! Bursaries are usually paid in the second semester (second half of a one-year PGCE or second half of the first year of a three-year undergraduate teacher training course).

Please note: The Skills Test Bursary is not applicable to School Direct applicants.