Professional Skills Tests

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The professional skills tests for prospective teachers assess the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their 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 what subject/age group they teach.

All prospective trainee teachers must pass the skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they start their teacher training.

The skills tests:

  • Are in addition to the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement
  • Are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher
  • Assess the use of real data and information which teachers are likely to encounter
  • Are computerised and can be taken at learn direct skills test approved test centres

In February 2018, changes to the arrangements for the skills tests were announced:

  • Candidates will have unlimited attempts to achieve a test pass
  • The 2-year lockout period will be removed; candidates previously locked out will be able to book tests for both subjects
  • All candidates will be able to book 3 tests per subject, free of charge. A charge will be applied from the fourth test attempt per subject

More information and practice literacy and numeracy materials can be found on : or

PLS will also offer coaching for the numeracy and/or literacy tests to those who need it, as we don’t want to lose potentially good trainees.