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Professional skills tests

Upcoming changes to the skills tests

The Department for Education has announced that applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses from April 2020 will no longer need to take Skills Tests in numeracy and English. The responsibility for assuring trainee teachers have met an appropriate level of skill in these important areas has been passed to the ITT provider. 

At St  Mary's University we therefore require, that by the end of your teacher training programme, you can demonstrate you are competent in English and mathematics.  For St Mary's to be assured of this, and as part of the recommendation for QTS, you will be able to seek guidance in developing these fundamental skills as required.

For applications received prior to 1st April 2020 applicants to the Assessment Only route to QTS must pass the skills tests in numeracy and literacy prior to commencing their programme.

The professional skills tests for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) assesses the core skills you'll need to fulfil a professional role in schools, rather than the subject knowledge needed for teaching. This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism.

All pre-entry trainee teachers must pass the skills tests in numeracy and literacy prior to commencing their programme. Before you begin your course, initial teacher training providers are responsible for checking that the trainees meet the current ITE entry requirements for the skills tests.

Download skills test booklet

About the skills tests

  • The skills tests are in addition to the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement.
  • They are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher.
  • They access data and information that teachers are likely to encounter.
  • Skills tests are computerised and are taken at approved test centres.
  • We recommend that you book your skills test early.


We recommend that you download and attempt examples of professional skills tests. Revision information for both subjects is available online:

Booking the tests

When you're ready, you will need to book your tests with approved test centres. The website will give you the five nearest centres to your chosen location, though if you are able to take the tests elsewhere you can include alternative locations.

Keep checking the website as additional test slots are made available regularly. If you have a conditional offer and have not yet booked your tests let your university know when you will be taking the tests and keep them updated at all times.

Disability and learning difficulties

For candidates with a disability such as hearing or visual impairment, a physical disability or dyslexia are able to ask for special arrangements to be made or additional time in tests. Please let the centre know well in advance and ensure that you have all of the necessary paperwork to be shown at the centre.