You have to pass the professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you begin your teacher training. You can only take the tests up to three times and you have to pay for resits, so it’s important to make sure you’re fully prepared.
Passing the skills tests
Booking the tests
When you’re ready, you’ll need to book your tests with learndirect. The website lists the five nearest centres to your chosen location. If you are able to take the tests elsewhere you can include alternative locations – see the full list of learndirect test centres (including 9 in London). Do keep checking the website for the latest availability though, as additional test slots are made available on a regular basis.
If you have a conditional offer and have not yet booked your tests, don’t worry – but do let your university or school know, and inform them 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 – find out more.
Taking the tests
Your first attempt at each test is free of charge. If you don’t pass within three attempts, you will need to wait 24 months before you can book any further tests – this would mean starting the teacher training application process again, so make sure you have plenty of time to revise in advance.
Remember, you’ll 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 a teacher training organisation, for example UCAS Teacher Training or Teach First
- email correspondence from a teacher training organisation
- correspondence from a school or training provider
- a copy of a completed application form
- confirmation of, or an invitation to, an interview from a teacher training organisation, training provider or school
When you’re ready, you’ll need to book your tests with learndirect using the skills tests booking website.
For a full overview and additional information about the tests, please visit the Department for Education’s dedicated skills tests pages. You can also find out how to book, cancel, or reschedule a test, or make special arrangements.
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.
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