The Multiplication Check
The New Multiplication Tables Check Explained
All Y4 children will have their multiplication skills formally tested in the summer term of Year 4 from 2020. The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) was officially announced by the Department for Education (DfE) in September 2017. It will be administered for children in Year 4, starting in the 2019-20 academic year.
Multiplication tables check
Primary-school children are expected to know all their times tables up to 12×12. Under the current National Curriculum, children are supposed to know their times tables by the end of Year 4, but they are not formally tested on them other than through multiplication questions in the Year 6 maths SATs.
The DfE 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.
The times tables test will be introduced in English schools only. It will be taken by children in Year 4, in the summer term (during a three-week period in June; schools will decide which day to administer the check).
In June 2019 the multiplication check will be voluntary (schools will be able to decide whether to administer it or not). In June 2020 it will become compulsory. Children with special educational needs will be provided for when taking the MTC.
How will the children be tested?
- Children will be tested using an on-screen check (on a computer or a tablet), where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock.
- The test will last no longer than 5 minutes and is similar to other tests already used by primary schools. Their answers will be marked instantly.
- Children will have 6 seconds to answer each question in a series of 25.
- Questions will be selected from the 121 number facts that make up the multiplication tables from 2 to 12, with a particular focus on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tablesas they are considered to be the most challenging. Each question will only appear once in any 25-question series, and children won’t be asked to answer reversals of a question as part of the check (so if they’ve already answered 3 x 4 they won’t be asked about 4 x 3).
- Once the child has inputted their answer on the computer / device they are using, there will be a three-second pause before the next question appears.
How can you help your children at home?
- Encouraging your children to practice using TT Rockstars at home!
- Practising times tables in order or in a song.
- Asking your child multiplication questions out of order – such as ‘What’s 11×12? What’s 5×6?’
- Using arrays to help your child memorise times tables – you can use fun objects like Smarties or Lego bricks to make it more entertaining.
- Use the practice books given to your child.