Multiplication Tables Check (MTC)
All Year 4 children have their multiplication skills formally tested in the summer term of Year 4. Please find some information below on how the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) works in our primary schools.
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 June 2021.
Although all tests were cancelled because of COVID-19, in 2020 the MTC became compulsory.
When will the checks happen?
The times tables test is being 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).
Schools will administer the multiplication tables check within the three-week period starting on Monday 7 June 2021.
What does my child need to know?
Primary-school children are expected to know all their times tables up to 12x12.
How will it be carried out?
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 at home?
Some of the techniques you can use include: