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QTS Skills Tests – information for Initial Teacher Training applicants

What are the QTS Skills Tests?

To ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, the Teaching Agency has introduced two new pre-entry QTS skills tests. Those applying to start teacher training after 1 July 2013 will have to pass the tests before starting the course.

If you are thinking of applying for an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme leading to qualified teacher status (QTS) at Sheffield Hallam University to start after 1 July 2013, you will be required to prove that you have passed the QTS skills tests in numeracy and literacy before taking up an offer of a place on the course.

How do I register for the tests?

Before booking a skills test you will need to register online.

When you take the tests you will need to provide proof that you have applied for a teacher training course.

What will Sheffield Hallam University expect of me if I apply for a teaching programme?

We will let you know what we expect as soon as we receive your application. If you have been invited for an interview, we will encourage you to pass the tests before the interview date, and will ask you to bring the results with you. If you have not passed the tests by the time of your interview, we can only give you a conditional offer. You'll be given a deadline by which the tests must be passed so we can confirm your offer. We will send you more information once you are invited to an interview.

What format are the tests and where can I take them?

The tests are computerised and can be taken at any of around 150 Pearson VUE test centres throughout the UK. To find your nearest test centre, go to or phone 0161 855 7492.

The nearest test centres to Sheffield Hallam University are

Sheffield Pearson Professional Centre
Orchard House, 3rd Floor
Leopold Street
S1 2GY
Chesterfield Pearson Professional Centre
Suite 1B, 1st Floor
6 - 8 Corporation Street
S41 7TP
Doncaster Pearson Professional Centre
Office 6 Silver House
Silver Street
Mansfield Pearson Professional Centre
Ground Floor Offices
32-34 Rosemary Street
NG18 1QL
Huddersfield Pearson Professional Centre
5th Floor
Ramsden House
New Street
Leeds Pearson Professional Centre
Gallery House 1st Floor
The Headrow

Once you have registered and started the process of booking your test, you can check availability at your local test centre for up to three months ahead. Test appointments are likely to be booked up to three weeks in advance, so you should expect to wait a few weeks before you can take your test, depending on availability at your chosen centre.

Most test centres are open late at least one evening each week, with last appointments being taken until 7pm. Some test centres will also be open until 12noon every other Saturday, but please contact your local test centre for exact details as times and availability will vary.

Remember, if your local test centre is booked up and you need to take your test soon, it is worth looking at other test centres in your region.

At what level are the tests set?

The length of the tests and questions are appropriate for key skills level 2/3.

The numeracy and literacy skills tests

  • do not replace the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement
  • are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher
  • use real data and information that teachers are likely to encounter

What is the pass mark for the tests?

The pass mark for each test is 63%.

How can I prepare for the tests?

There are • online practice tests • details of test content and format • a glossary of terms • a list of recommended books available on the Department for Education website

Numeracy skills tests

Literacy skills tests

If I fail a test can I resit it?

Yes. You are allowed to re-sit each test up to two times. If you fail three times, you must wait at least two years from the date of your third failed attempt before you can try again. In these circumstances, you will have to reapply for a place on the course from scratch.

How much do the tests cost?

The first attempt at each subject is free of charge, but re-sits will cost 19.25.

Further information

If you would like to speak to someone about the skills tests, contact the QTS skills tests candidate helpdesk.

The helpdesk is open from Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm. Alternatively, email

Contact details

Skills tests helpline
Phone 0845 450 8867

QTS Skills Test Frequently Asked Questions: General

QTS Skills Test Frequently Asked Questions: Registering, booking and taking the tests

Please note that the requirements for candidates starting courses in the 2012 academic year remain unchanged. Candidates will need to pass the skills tests in their final year of study (with the current exceptions for those on flexible routes into teaching).

Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK

Phone +44 (0)114 225 5555 | Fax +44 (0)114 225 4449

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