What are the Professional Skills Tests?
The Professional Skills Tests are part of the entry requirements for initial teacher training. You’ve got to pass them before you start training. We can tell you more during our free local briefing events.
The Professional Skills Tests are the biggest hurdle applicants for initial teacher training have to overcome. More people who are offered and initial teacher training place fail to take up their training place because they haven’t passed one of their Professional Skills Tests. You have to take them seriously, and if you’re going to train to be a teacher with Exceed SCITT, Exceed Partnership, South Bradford Partnership or Westerton Primary Academy School Direct Alliance then we’ll help you along the way.
You have to sit two Professional Skills Tests: one in English and one in mathematics. You need to prepare for these as soon as you start considering applying for initial teacher training (now if you’re reading this!). Revise spelling, punctuation and grammar for the English test and mental maths in particular for the mathematics test.
We’ll provide support sessions for applicants who secure a training place with us and there are practice materials available. Take a look at the government’s guidance.
Booking the tests
You can book to sit your Professional Skills Tests immediately once you’ve submitted an application to an ITT provider, like us, via ucas.com from late October. You’ll have until you start the course to have secured passes in both of them. But, leaving them late doesn’t help you. Booking the tests can be problematics, especially via the Bradford test centre which may have recently closed down. There is huge demand for the tests across the country. The later in the year you leave it the worse the problems become. You’re likely to have to sit your tests in Leeds, Manchester or Sheffield: be prepared to travel. We’re likely to ask you to pass these by May. This gives you, and us, piece of mind that you will be starting the training programme. You’ll have to pay for the tests.
There is more information and details of how to book your tests here.
You only get three attempts to pass each of the tests (see below).
One you’ve passed the tests
We’ll need a copy of the letter the test centre issues to you as soon as you’ve passed the test. Having passed the tests, even before you’ve attended a interview, can be looked upon favourablly.
If you fail a test three times
If you don’t pass one of the tests then you can’t take up your training place. If there are mitigating circumstances, such as ill health, you can contact learndirect to see if they’ll give you another opportunity. We have no influence. If you fail a test three times that you are prevented from applying for initial teacher training for at least two years (two years from the last date your fail a test).