All year 4 children have their multiplication skills formally tested in the summer term of year 4. It will be administrated for children in year 4, in June 2021. Primary aged children are expected to know all their timetables up to 12x12 by the end of year 4.
When will the test happen?
Schools will administer the multiplication tables check within the three-week period starting on Monday 7 June 2021.
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.
This will be the first time that the DfE has used computerised tests in primary schools. Calculators and wall displays that could provide children with answers will be removed from the room the MTC is taking place in.
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. Each question will be worth one mark and be presented to the child in this format:
n1 x n2 = ____
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 tables as 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. Children will be given the opportunity to practise answering questions in this format before the official check begins.
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.
How can you help your children practise their times tables?
Because the National Curriculum for maths is so extensive, there is an expectation that parents will help their children learn their times tables at home and not rely on schools to bring them up to speed.
Some of the techniques you can use include: