Monthly Archives: January 2016

Third Practice Literacy Test.

Just passed my third practice literacy test.

  • I got 50% on spelling (Fair) – I wrote complementary instead of complimentary, disaproving instead of disapproving, prefered instead of preferred, maticulous instead of meticulous (which I nearly got right grrr) and adminastrative instead of administrative.
  • 66% on punctuation (10/15 – Fair)
  • 100% on grammar! (Thrilled)
  • and 90% on comprehension! (I only got one wrong!)

Overall I’m happy. I got 76% which is a pass and I’ve passed all three of my literacy tests so far. That just leaves one practice literacy test for next week and then I sit my real one on the Saturday after (wish me luck!) I just wish that my results weren’t getting worse, especially my spelling. I don’t expect to get 100% on the real thing but this time my spelling and punctuation really brought me down, especially as I should have got two of the spellings … Going to swat up on it all next week and hope for the best. I know I can do it just got to bring it all together on the day.


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Re-sit First Practice Numeracy Test.

So I re-did my test like I promised I would yesterday. It definitely gave me an advantage and I think I did remember some answers or at least I remembered HOW to do them which for me is the key point. I did try to give the same answers when it came to the general arithmetic but I did do better, in fact I passed. Just. I got 60%.

Of cause the massive improvement was in my mental arithmetic. After yesterday I remembered some key advice I had been given which was to write down the key numbers right away and when I did that I managed 50% on the mental maths (6/12).

I got the same % on the written data – 70% and improved my written arithmetic by 16% getting 66% and it’s a good job I did because if I hadn’t I would have only got 57% overall which wouldn’t have passed me.

I’m not sure how I feel about having passed this test. It does feel like a bit of a cheat in that I remembered how to do some of the questions but, on the other hand, it’s all good practice … I am disappointed to be only just scraping through even with my advantage of extra time and having ‘seen’ the paper yesterday … praps it’s just a hard test?

Definitely need to look up ‘proportion’.

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First Practice Numeracy Test.

So I just failed my first practice numeracy test. I got 42% and needed 60% to pass. That’s pretty bad. I took all of my extra time with two minutes to spare.

  • I got 16% on the mental arithmetic (bad 😦 )
  • 70% on the written date (good! )
  • 50% on the written arithmetic (fair)

Having said that just worked out though that if we were just taking into account the written tasks I still would only just have passed (70+50=120/2=60). I think I could have coped with the written results but on the mental arithmetic the time just went by too fast and I just wasn’t expecting it. I think I might try re-doing the whole test tomorrow now that I know what to expect so that I can compare results and see how I did now that I know what the formats like. I don’t think I’ll remember any of the answers and it saves the other three tests for nearer the time.

On the mental arithmetic I got two correct, five close and six I didn’t get chance to answer. I feel like I managed to sabotage myself a bit in that nearly half I didn’t even get chance to answer… very frustrating.

On the written data I only got two wrong and left one unanswered (I genuinely had no idea for that one) so that result is more than fair and I’m not sure I could improve on it.

And finally on the written arithmetic, three wrong and three right. Again not sure there’s an awful lot I could have improved on …

It’s tough. Just tough.

If the worst comes to the worst I haven’t re-arranged any of my tests yet and I’m still feeling quietly confident about the literacy so if it gets to nearer the time and I’m still not passing comfortably I’ll re-arrange to give myself more time. I’m just not sure how to get better.

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Books, News and Maths.

So, since I last wrote things have been throng on at work but steady so I have managed to get some extra learning concerning QTS tests. I’m still not doing so well in Maths, particularly proportions, cumulative frequency, weighted averages etc but I have had a conversation with a colleague who has given me some revision guides to practice with. I am half way through the first book and the next is a work book where I can practice.

In better news the three books on my reading list have arrived! I am so excited! They are:

• Johnson, A. QTS English for Secondary Teachers, an audit and self-study guide. London: Letts Educational Davison, J. and Dowson,J. (2009 3rd ed.)£2.85 (bargain!)
• Learning to Teach English in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. London: Routledge. £1.83 (bargain!)
• Evans, C., Midgley, A., Rigby, P., Warham, L. and Woolnough P. (2009) Teaching English: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher. London: Sage Publications. £27.73 (still a bargain when you consider that just one of my four Norton Anthologies for my undergraduate degree was £80!)

The first book arrived a few days ago and I managed to read the introduction but because it’s been so long since I read an academic text like that it didn’t really sink in like it would have done a few years ago. Having read the introduction though I was in a quandary. Do I start my self-audit now as a practice in order to get ahead or do I wait until I’ve even started the course and get some guidance, thereby increasing the probability that I won’t be wasting my time and am more likely to get it right? For this text I have decided to leave it alone until after the QTS tests at least until such time as I can read it and really take it in.

The second text does look like more of the kind that I can get my teeth into before I start, less interactive and more: read, digest and take notes – totally into that kind of thing!

The third, and most expensive, text arrived just a few moments ago and like the second text looks like a more readable book. It’s also written by five academics that all teach on the Secondary English PGCE at Edgehill.

I can’t decide which I’m more excited about and I can’t wait to be able to get my teeth into them (I’ve only allowed myself to read the introductions so far) but my QTS tests must come first!

I will continue along my intrepid path towards success in Maths, at the moment I think I might be only just scraping a pass and keep up with English by doing another test next week. Until then.

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Second Practice Literacy Test.

So just a quick update about my second practice literacy test. I got 82% (39/47 – 8 wrong) which is still a really good pass. I’m counting anything about 80% as really good.

  • I got 70% on my spelling, including one silly mistake as I didn’t read the context sentence – lesson learnt.
  • 86% on punctuation (only 2/15 wrong)
  • 100% on grammar!
  • and 72% on comprehension (3/11 wrong)

This makes me really happy as, like I said yesterday, I now have a better idea of my literacy expectations and now I can concentrate on keeping my hand in and perhaps putting some extra time into the Numeracy.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everybody!

And with the New Year comes new challenges. I was hoping that January would bring with it new resolve and motivation with regards to my NQT tests but at the moment I just haven’t managed to find that yet. It is only my first week back into work though so I guess I’m still trying to find my feet, best not to be too hard on myself.

One thing that this new year has already brought though, is a sense of perspective. In six months I will move schools, houses, jobs, counties … I will leave everything behind and start again. This is a very refreshing and liberating feeling and with it comes impatience. I think that over Christmas I have really come to terms with my decisions and also had the opportunity to talk to my family about what I plan to do. Now that I’ve decided that I’m doing it and realised that it is going to happen I just want to get my preparations underway. I’m already pestering Greg about a moving schedule!

First things first though and that begins with the NQT tests. Yesterday I had a meeting until 5 and so was in no fit state once I got home to start work on them but I did establish where I’d got to prior to the holidays and the gaps that I’d managed to fill in the first week off before Christmas.

Today I attempted to apply for funding but discovered that Student Finance isn’t yet open so I’ll revisit that in the coming weeks. I did however, manage to do a bit of numeracy and established that it isn’t really up to scratch. I’m trying not to worry too much about this as my literacy is up first and I was really pleased with how that went last time I took a test. I intend to take another this week to see if the first was just a fluke and after that I should have a better idea of my literacy expectations and hopefully then it’ll just be a case of keeping my hand in. As for the numeracy, this weekend I want to go over some of the topics that I don’t understand with Greg and perhaps on Thursday I can make notes of the topics I need to work on ready for that – sounds like a plan.

So that’s my first week back into work. No doubt I’ll update you on the literacy practice that I do tomorrow and my reflections and conclusions on that.

I hope that you all had a very restful, recharging and enjoyable Christmas and that the New Year brings you inspiration for the coming year.

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