Year 4 primary school pupils in England will soon be required to sit a timed online multiplication tables check.
Example test here
Here is all you need to know:
Why is the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) being introduced?
The MTC assessment framework tells us that the aim of the check ‘is to determine whether year 4 pupils can fluently recall their multiplication tables.’
The check should help teachers to identify the pupils that are struggling with certain areas, so that they can provide extra support accordingly to the individual. A firm knowledge of the multiplication tables is invaluable for everyday life, and helps children to develop problem solving abilities and tackle more complex mathematics later on in school.
Who will take the Multiplication Tables Check?
Initially, when the check was announced in 2015, the focus was on year 6 pupils in order for the government to check how many pupils reached the goal of knowing their times tables up to 12 before leaving primary school. However, this shifted, after teachers and schools highlighted to officials that all multiplication tables are taught by the end of year 4, and that Year 6 pupils have enough on their plate already. Therefore all eligible year 4 pupils who are registered at maintained schools, special schools or academies will have to take the MTC.
When does the Multiplication Tables Check start?
The Multiplication Tables Check will be available to take voluntarily in the 2018/2019 academic year. Schools can decide whether or not they wish to participate. The MTC will then be statutory from the 2019/20 academic year, subject to approval from Parliament. The check will take place during a 3 week window in June each year.
What does the Multiplication Tables Check involve?
The check will be in the form of an online assessment, available to use on desktops, laptops and tablets. Pupils will only face multiplication statements in the check. Related division facts will not be tested. Lasting no longer than five minutes, the on-screen check will consist of 25 multiplication questions, with 6 seconds to answer each one. There will be a 3 second pause between each question. Pupils will enter their answers using a keyboard, or by pressing digits using a mouse or touchscreen.
The focus will specifically lean towards the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables, in light of the Standards and Testing Agency’s framework which has determined these to be the most difficult multiplication sets. There will be no questions from the 1 times table. There will be questions from the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 multiplication tables in each test. There will be a maximum of seven questions from the 2, 5 and 10 times tables.
The Standards and Testing Agency are classifying the multiplication tables by the first number in the table. This means that, for example, 8 x 3 is part of the 8 times table, and should be thought of as 8, three times.
The MTC has not been designed as a diagnostic tool, but will allow teachers to identify KS2 pupils who require additional support. The results of the check will not be published at school level. From 2020 the Department for Education will report on pupils’ performance in the check, both nationally and in each local authority. School level results will not be published in school performance tables, but will be made available to selected users, including OFSTED, via the Analyse School Performance system.
Source and further information: Multiplication Tables Check Assessment Framework (November 2018)
How can I help to prepare my pupils?
Using our educational online resources, you can create a class full of multiplication masters in no time. The fun and engaging hub will get children excited about times tables. Students can create their own avatar, play live games across the globe and challenge classmates. All challenges and games include a timer so that children are prepared for the timed element of the test, and an exact replica of the multiplication check with 25 questions and six seconds to answer will be available to practice with.
The software is diagnostic and remedial and needs minimal teacher intervention. Teachers can easily monitor pupils’ progress and target areas which need improvement. The games and challenges can be altered by the teacher (or student if they wish) to focus on certain question types, or on multiplication tables which require more work, meaning that your class will be on top form and feeling confident before the check.
As well as practicing online, your pupils can consolidate their learning further by completing a free paper test version of the MTC. For monitoring progress and diagnostic feedback, please sign up to purchase a 10ticks Mental Maths subscription.
Click the link below to view a free example of the paper test. The numbers in the questions will change each time you refresh the page, giving your pupils a different test every time.