Skills Tests

Skills Tests

Introduction of pre-entry skills tests

Any one applying for an initial teacher training (ITT) course is required to have passed the skills tests before starting the course. Once an applicant has submitted an application form for an ITT course, he or she will be eligible to book skills tests via the DfE website (see below).

The contractor responsible for delivering the Professional skills tests is Learndirect.

Tests can be booked via the skills test registration page or by phoning 0300 303 9613. Further details are also available on the skills test pages.  Updated practice tests can be accessed via the skills test pages.


The first attempt at each numeracy and literacy test is provided free of charge. Resits are charged at £19.25 each; payment will be required by credit or debit card when booking.  The number of resits allowed is limited to two per subject. Candidates who fail after two resits in either numeracy or literacy are not able to book any more skills tests, in either subject, for 24 months from the date of the second resit.

The pass mark for skills tests

The pass mark for the skills tests will be 63%.

Practice tests

All candidates are encouraged to use the practice material available on the DfE website (see above). The practice material includes interactive tests which will help candidates to decide if they are ready to take the test or need to improve their skills further before booking a test.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the skills tests.

I am considering making an application to a teacher training course; can I take my skills tests before I apply?

No, you must have submitted an application form for an ITT course before you can register for the tests.

Will I have to have prior knowledge of the teaching profession in order to pass the skills tests?

No. Although the skills tests are set in the context of a school environment, candidates will not be expected to have any knowledge of specific terminology in order to pass the test. We do recommend that candidates use the practice material available on the DfE website,, which will help them to become familiar with the question types.

Will the requirement to have passed the skills tests replace the requirement for GCSEs in English, maths?

No. This entry requirement for ITT will remain the same.

Will there be any exemptions from payment, for example, for people in receipt of benefits?

There will be no exemptions.