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Introduction – What is QTS?
QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) is an award given to those who meet a series of requirements, which includes passing two tests: the QTS Literacy Skills Test and the QTS Numeracy skills Test. These tests assess a candidate’s grasp of essential literacy and numeracy skills, making sure that they are up to the task of becoming a teacher. In this post, we will provide you with an explanation of the spelling section of the QTS Literacy Skills Test, as well as some sample spelling questions to practice with. Do note that these tests do not assess your teaching skills in any way – they simply make sure that your literacy and numeracy skills are of a certain standard that is required in order to teach effectively.
The QTS Literacy Skills Test – Spelling Section
The QTS literacy skills test is one of the two tests that all aspiring teachers must pass before they can achieve the career of their dreams. The pass mark is 60% and the test is comprised of four sections: spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. Each of these sections are worth a similar amount of marks, and so it is best to devote equal attention to them. However, we’re going to focus on the spelling section of the test, and the type of questions that you might face. In the first section of the QTS Literacy Skills Test, you will need to answer ten spelling questions. There are ten marks available for this section, so each question is worth one mark. This means that the spelling section is worth between 20% and 25% of the overall test, depending on the test you sit (sometimes the total mark is higher than 45). Therefore, it is certainly worth taking some time to brush up on your spelling and make sure that you can answer any question that you’re faced with. The words which you will be required to spell in the test are words typically found within the world of teaching. You won’t be expected to spell words like ‘diverticulitis’ or ‘brachiosaurus’ – just words which you may find as a teacher when reading someone else’s work (either a colleague or a student), as well as school and government documents which may be important to your role as a teacher.
Question Format for Spelling Questions
Questions in the spelling section can be taken in two forms: audio and non-audio. The audio version of the test contains questions which appear as follows: There were lots of small changes which would prove to be a ________.
In the audio version of the test, candidates will read the sentence and then click an audio icon in the space where the word has been deleted. Through their headphones, they will be able to listen to the missing word. After that, it’s the candidate’s task to type in the word how they believe it to be spelled. The icon can be clicked as many times as necessary in order to repeat the audio. The non-audio version of the spelling section is reserved for candidates with a hearing impairment. Questions in this form of the test appear as follows: There were lots of small changes which would prove to be a ________.
In this version of the test, candidates must choose the correct answer from the multiple choice list. We will be using the non-audio version of the test for the practice questions. Finally, bear in mind that the first section you complete in the test has to be spelling. After you have completed the spelling section and move onto punctuation, grammar and comprehension, you are unable to return to it. This is presumably to prevent candidates from finding the missing words from the spelling section correctly spelled in other parts of the test!
Sample Spelling Questions
Use the following spelling questions to practice some of the more difficult spellings you may come across in the test. Once you have attempted these questions, take a look at the answers to see how well you have done, and where you need to improve.
- There were concerns that students’ spelling skills were _________.
- The changes to the curriculum proved to be extremely _________.
- The previous teachers had ________ students who were struggling.
- It was decided that passing the test wasn’t _________ a sign of intelligence.
- The improvements that Andrew had made were ___________.
- The results were ___________.
- No one had prepared for the lesson on _________.
- The urge to sit at the back of the classroom and do nothing was __________.
- Many of the students _______ not doing their homework when they found themselves in detention.
- It was everybody’s shared responsibility to keep the staffroom _________ over the course of the school day.
Here are the answers to the above sample spelling questions:
- There were concerns that students’ spelling skills were inadequate.
- The changes to the curriculum proved to be extremely disruptive.
- The previous teachers had neglected students who were struggling.
- It was decided that passing the test wasn’t necessarily a sign of intelligence.
- The improvements that Andrew had made were astonishing.
- The results were unacceptable.
- No one had prepared for the lesson on nutrition.
- The urge to sit at the back of the classroom and do nothing was irresistible.
- Many of the students regretted not doing their homework when they found themselves in detention.
- It was everybody’s shared responsibility to keep the staffroom immaculate over the course of the school day.
The spelling section of the QTS Literacy Skills test can be incredibly tricky for the unprepared, and even those who study for it can occasionally be caught out by a word that they did not expect to see. However, it still pays to practice your spelling. In particular, you should use the sample spelling questions to find out what your weaknesses are. Do you struggle to correctly apply prefixes and suffixes? Do you, like many others, find words with double consonants difficult to spell? This will become evident as you do more practice questions. Once you find which words you struggle with, keep a list of difficult words and take some time each day to practice them. Once you feel confident that you have mastered a word, cross it off your list and move onto another. You will become exposed to a broader range of words by reading fiction and non-fiction, so try to make room for general reading in your study or leisure time. Most importantly, remember that the spelling section only makes up a part of the QTS Literacy Skills test. If you want to firmly pass the test, you will also need to practice your grammar, punctuation and comprehension skills. Remain focused, persevere and you will eventually achieve your goals.