Why are times tables so important?
Secure and confident knowledge of times tables is vital to children’s success in Maths. They are the building blocks of Maths and with multiplications mastered the doors to many other areas of Maths become unlocked!
Here are some ways which memorising times tables can benefit your child:
What is the Year 4 Times Tables Test?
The Year 4 Times Tables Test, known by the government and schools as the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check (MTC), is an annual check to see if Year 4 pupils in England and Wales have a good level of times tables knowledge. Primary-school children are expected to know all their times tables up to 12x12. Under the current National Curriculum, children are supposed to know their times tables by the end of Year 4.
Why has the test been put in place?
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 (being able to answer times tables questions accurately and quickly, without having to work out the answers).
What is the Year 4 times tables test’s format?
The Multiplication Tables Check is an online, on-screen digital assessment meaning the children will take the test on a desktop computer, laptop or tablet (such as an iPad) at school. The times tables test will be timed, with the entire assessment lasting approximately 5 minutes in total. The children will be set a handful of practice questions to begin with. Following the practice questions, the test itself will comprise of 25 questions; children must answer each question within 6 seconds so the whole test will take less than 5 minutes.
How will the results be reported?
Pupils' individual results will be made available to schools, and the Department for Education will report national results to track how they change over time. Schools will be required to report the results to parents or carers.
What happens if my child does not score very highly on the test?
There will be no "pass mark" (expected standard threshold) and no child will "fail" the test. Multiplication facts will be the only things tested (there will be no testing of children's knowledge of division facts or problem-solving in the check).
The DfE says the purpose of the check is to help teachers identify which children are falling behind and target areas where they’re not being given a chance to succeed.