Year 4 (Multiplication Tables Check)
The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) was officially announced by the DfE in September 2017. It was to be administered for children in Year 4, from academic year 2019-2020 (now postponed until Summer Term 2021).
Children will be tested online using a computer or a tablet and will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock. This is currently the only Government test to be completed online.
The test will last no longer than 5 minutes and is similar to other tests already used by primary schools. The answers will be marked instantly.
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 child will be presented with a series of 25 questions and be given 6 seconds to answer each question. Once the child has input their answer, 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.
Each question will only appear once in any 25-question series, and children will not 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).
The DfE has decided on the 6 second time limit per question because it should allow children enough time to demonstrate their recall of times tables without giving them the time to work out the answers.
Pupils’ individual results will be made available to schools, and the DfE will report national results to track how they change over time.
We will report the results to parents and carers in their child’s annual report.
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 purpose of the check is to help teachers identify any children who may be falling behind and target areas to give them a greater chance of success.