Becoming a teacher may not look like such a big challenge, but the QTS literacy test is where most people struggle. You have to cover a plethora of literacy skills and prove your capabilities in terms of comprehension, grammar, punctuation and spelling. Every teacher must pass this test, regardless of the specialty. Here are some tips to ensure you get a maximum score.
Make sure punctuation becomes part of your instinct. In other words, you do not have to think when you write something. Instead, it has to become part of the game – the more you practice, the more natural it becomes. Do you know every single rule in terms of punctuation? Cover all kinds of punctuation to ensure you have no unexpected surprises during the test.
Practice is essential
The punctuation is where many aspirant teachers get stuck because it looks so simple, yet it can be extremely complicated. It can surprise you with something that looks simple, only to realize it is a common mistake. A full stop might seem easy – a comma has a few rules to follow, but colons, semi colons and apostrophes are more complicated.
Read as much as possible
Training does help, but it is not everything. In fact, the more you read, the better you become in the long run. While it may look like it makes no difference what you read, this is only a misconception. Indeed, the genre can be anything, but avoid books written in slang. While they may seem more appealing, they will not help with your QTS literacy test.
Instead, you want books written in British English. The more academical they are, the better. You do not have to stress yourself with technical books – unless you are interested in them. But other than that, opt for clean British English books and certain things will naturally become normal in terms of both grammar and punctuation.
Find out what you know
Before moving on to more specific details, you need to know what you already know. There are certain things you might be good at, as well as things that you fail at – even if these mistakes actually look right to you. You need to identify the gaps you already have, but also assess your current strengths and knowledge.
How do you do all these? Simple. Find some online tests and try your best. The more tests you do, the better you become. As you find a mistake, try to understand the logic behind it. Make this mistake a few times and chances are you will fix it. Certain topics will be more challenging than others. Make a list of things you need to focus on and improve.
Scrutinize your readings
The spelling is the first part of the test. Therefore, you need to start big. This is where a lot of people get stuck. There are particular things that you have always spelled the wrong way without even knowing it. Some mistakes involve using Z instead of S, double letters or the apostrophe in the wrong place – they can all be fixed.
How? Simple. Stick to clean British English and read various documents and books. Once you are done with a paragraph, scrutinize every single word. Most people just skim – read super-fast and count on their brains to make sense. This is wrong. Double check each word and try to understand how it is spelled before moving on to the next one.
Train on comprehension
Comprehension is a must. You will be given a piece of text and you will have to analyze it. For instance, you will be asked about the most significant parts in the text. You will also be asked to tell the difference between opinions and facts. There are no general rules there.
At this point, training is the way to go forward. You must read and train. You might be able to find some free texts online or perhaps train with a friend. The more you practice, the easier it comes – you will be able to do it at a first glance later.
Bottom line, the QTS literacy skills test may seem overwhelming at first, but it is totally passable if you follow the above-mentioned tips. You need to train on each aspect of the test, but not before assessing your current situation.