There is one question that I get asked the most about passing the QTS Numeracy Skills Test.....Is 18 seconds long enough to answer the Mental Arithmetic questions in the QTS Numeracy Skills Test? In truth, this gets put to me as a statement, 'It's impossible to do the questions in 18 seconds!' rather than a question! The short answer is yes, it is long enough.

How do I go about helping my students to believe me? Firstly the questions are read out twice before the 18 seconds countdown begins. Developing good listening and note taking skills, whilst the question is read out, is the first thing. Nothing complicated here, but everyone improves at this with practice, and understanding how important it is.

The next most important thing to do is to learn the best methods for tackling the most common Mental Arithmetic questions. It is pointless practicing poor or slow methods as they become ingrained and difficult to change (like any habit). Basic methods of multiplication and division are essential but the key to unlocking many of the questions in the MA section is mastering fractions.

Any question that asks for a fraction, decimal, percentage or proportion is most likely a fraction question. Until this is understood it is very difficult to make any meaningful progress with the MA section of the test. It is also important for the 2nd section of the test but we can use different techniques as a calculator is allowed.

If you would like to learn the quickest way to to do multiplication check out this free video (with practice questions)$Ar

You can also begin to master fractions (along with decimals and percentage) with this free video (with 140 practice questions)