School and university led teacher training providers are responsible to make sure you have an adequate level of English & mathematical skills and other educational abilities to teach children in UK classrooms.
Testing at interview is also a requirement along with examination certification at certain grade level pass marks.
Invited for interview for an undergraduate BA, school direct training or PGCE a candidates general standard of education as well as you’re cognitive reasoning are tested in written form.
Potential teacher trainees assessed on:
- Grammar & punctuation
- Mental reasoning & critical thinking
- Standard of English language (Native speaker or good level)
- Mathematical skills (Numeracy test)
Teacher training interview written task
Interview day PGCE written task in English for a teacher training course takes different formats depending on the university as each provider decides what and how you’ll be tested on.
Equally, early years, primary or secondary teacher training the written task will be on maths & English for you to show how literate and numerate you are meeting a certain standard.
Tests will be fairly straight forward, no more than GCSE level, although they’ll be different according to the age level of the course you’ll be training on.
PGCE interview written task testing English
The university you interview at for teacher training could show you a video, provide an article or text or send you a written task prior to interview day.
Shown a video: With other candidates you’re shown a short video where you take notes. Afterwards you’ll have around 30 minutes requiring you to write 3-4 paragraphs reflecting or a review, talking about or answering questions from the video.
Article or text: A passage from a book, newspaper or content from the national curriculum or educational issue where you critique or reflect on the content. Again, it’s on interview day and you receive a certain amount of time to write a response.
Written task prior to interview: The university could send prior to interview day a written task question for you to complete for primary PGCE or secondary level.
All forms of written tasks give you the opportunity to show how well you communicate through writing where you’re assessed on a number of criteria.
First you watch or read through text or video possibly describing the content and showing you understand the content by writing a reflection of what is written in an article or what you seen in the video.
Assessment will generally be focused on how you reflect/answer the question & analyse the resource providing a coherent argument/response to a limited degree.
More importantly, you’re handwriting, grammar, and spelling has greater focus during the assessment of the English writing task where you show good clear command of English with no major grammar or spelling mistakes.
Secondary PGCE subject knowledge task
More than one university secondary PGCE course provider requires you to complete a subject knowledge task that can take up to 30 minutes. Clearly this is to assess the knowledge you have of the subject are you propose to teach.
English, business, history, geography, RE, food technology: Possibly you’ll be tasked to answer previous GCSE examination questions from prior years.
Music, PE, D/T, sciences: Practical assessment you showing the interviewer or other candidate how to play an instrument or set up & use equipment.
Maths: Could be mathematical problems to answer showing workings out.
Initial teacher training courses from BSC/BA, PGCE and school direct you complete a numeracy/maths test with a list of questions at GCSE level, possibly giving the answer on a computer with a list multiple choice answers to choose from.
For a PGCE mathematical test at a university interview you receive paper for workings out, although no calculator.
The test itself will be fairly easy with up to 12 questions for you to answer from long multiplication, mean, median, mode, year 7 level formulas, percentages and fractions.
All these maths topics are on the national curriculum in UK schools and teachers use mathematical skills in everyday school work from classroom teaching, admin, school duties or communicating with work colleagues.
You could have 20 minutes to answer 12 maths questions or 30 minutes answering 15 questions, all depends on the course and university.