You may have heard a new test for times tables will be compulsory in all state primary schools. But what is it all about? We have the low down for you.
The Key Stage 2 National Curriculum specifies that children should be able to recall the multiplication tables up to and including the 12 times tables by the end of year 4.
What will the test look like and involve?
- It will only take 5 minutes for each student to complete
- It will have 25 questions worth one mark each
- Questions will not be ordered according to difficulty
- Questions will all follow the same format
- Pupils will have 6 seconds to answer the question which will start as soon as the question appears
- Pupils will be able to add their response multiple ways: the computer keyboard, a mouse (or equivalent) and the on-screen number pad, or a touchscreen device and the on-screen number pad.
- Once the pupil has entered their answer, they can press enter to proceed or wait until the time expires
- There will be a 3-second pause before the next question appears.
- It will consist of multiple, equivalent forms and the questions will be selected from the 121 items that make up the 2 to 12 multiplication tables
- Each pupil will be randomly assigned one of the available forms
- If a pupil needs to restart the check, they will be randomly assigned a different form
How is the MTC marked?
- The online programme will automatically score the MTC.
- Only numeric inputs will be recognised as a response
- At the end of the assessment window, a total score out of 25 will be reported to each school for all of their pupils who took the check.
- There will be no expected standard threshold for the MTC
In order to make sure children can recall their multiplication tables from memory, a new online program has been developed to see if pupils can recall their times tables fluently. Times tables are the basis of all mathematics and the test helps schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that they can help these children master multiplication. Although it has the feel of a test and the children will have to complete it without help, it is important to remember this is not a test. It is simply a standardized check to make sure children know their multiplication needed for their mathematical education. It is designed to support teachers in the classroom and the result of the check will be reported to the pupil’s parents/careers.
Schools will have a lot of flexibility on the administration of the MTC test. Teachers will be able to administer the online test to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time over a three week period every June.
It will be compulsory for all year 4 students in June 2020