What is the Year 4 Times Tables Test?
The Year 4 Times Tables Test, known by the government and schools as the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check (MTC), is an annual check to see if Year 4 pupils in England and Wales have a good level of times tables knowledge. Primary-school children are expected to know all their times tables up to 12x12.
Why has the test been put in place?
The Department for Education says that the check is part of a new focus on mastering numeracy, giving children the skills and knowledge they need for secondary school and beyond. The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether Y4 pupils can recall their multiplication tables fluently (being able to answer times tables questions accurately and quickly, without having to work out the answers).
How will children be tested?
Children will be tested using an on-screen device (computer or tablet) where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock, with the entire assessment lasting approximately 5 minutes in total. The children will be set a handful of practice questions to begin with. Following the practice questions, the test itself will comprise of 25 questions; children must answer each question within 6 seconds so the whole test will take less than 5 minutes.
The six second time limit per question has been decided on by the DfE because it should allow children enough time to demonstrate their recall of times tables without giving them the time to work out the answers to each question.
When will the test be?
Schools will have a 3-week window in June to administer the check. Teachers will have the flexibility to administer the check to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time.
How will the results be reported?
Pupils' individual results will be made available to schools, and the Department for Education will report national results to track how they change over time. School will share your child’s score with you, as we would with all national curriculum assessments.
What happens if my child does not score very highly on the test?
There will be no "pass mark" (expected standard threshold) and no child will "fail" the test. Multiplication facts will be the only things tested (there will be no testing of children's knowledge of division facts or problem-solving in the check).
The DfE says the purpose of the check is to help teachers identify which children are falling behind and target areas where they’re not being given a chance to succeed.
How can I help my child?
Times tables are learnt best when learnt regularly and in short bursts. At Orchard Primary School, we use 'TT Rock Stars' as one of the ways to learn multiplication and division tables. This interactive tool is a fun way of learning times tables facts as well as being highly addictive!
There is also a repeated ‘To Do’ on Purple Mash where the children can do a very similar test. We recommend that they do this at least once a week!