Professional Skills Tests

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If you are thinking of applying for a PGCE or an initial teacher training degree, you will be required to have passed national Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy as part of the admissions process.

When can I take the tests?

You must have submitted an application form for a PGCE or initial teacher training degree programme before you can register for the tests. Registration and booking for the Professional Skills Tests is available via the Department for Education website.

What format are the tests and where can I take them?

The tests are computerised and can be taken at a selection of learndirect test centres. You can find test centres across the UK in locations including Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Carlisle, Newcastle and Middlesbrough, as well as many more towns and cities.

Professional Skills TestsAt what level are the tests set?

The length of the tests and questions are appropriate for key skills level 2/3.

Do I still need GCSE grade C or equivalent in Mathematics and English Language?

Yes. The tests do not replace the GCSE grade C equivalence entry requirement.

I completed Literacy and Numeracy tests when I attended an interview. Do I still have to complete the Skills Tests?

Yes. The tests you completed on the interview day are independent from the Professional Skills Tests.

How can I prepare for the tests?

Professional Skills TestsIf you have applied to any of our initial teacher training programmes, Edge Hill University is offering the opportunity to attend free support sessions in literacy and numeracy.

Designed by qualified teaching staff to help you prepare for the Professional Skills Tests, each one-off session will give you a sound grasp of the skills required and familiarise you with what to expect when sitting a test.

If you are a little nervous about the tests or simply want to brush up on your literacy or numeracy, these free support sessions on campus could be for you.

Literacy Support Session Dates

  • Thursday 12th October 2017, 5pm-8pm
  • Saturday 28th October 2017, 9am-12pm
  • Saturday 28th October 2017, 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Thursday 9th November 2017, 5pm-8pm
  • Saturday 25th November 2017, 9am-12pm
  • Saturday 25th November 2017, 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Thursday 30th November 2017, 5pm-8pm
  • Saturday 9th December 2017, 9am-12pm
  • Saturday 9th December 2017, 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Thursday 14th December 2017, 5pm-8pm

To register your interest in attending a session, please complete our online support sessions enquiry form.

For further information about the literacy support sessions or to book your place, please contact the Access Programmes Team on 01695 657148 or email

Numeracy Support Session Dates

  • Tuesday 10th October 2017, 5pm-8pm
  • Saturday 28th October 2017, 9am-12pm
  • Saturday 28th October 2017, 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Tuesday 7th November 2017, 5pm-8pm
  • Saturday 25th November 2017, 9am-12pm
  • Saturday 25th November 2017 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Tuesday 28th November 2017 5pm-8pm
  • Saturday 9th December 2017 9am-12pm
  • Saturday 9th December 2017, 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Tuesday 12th December 2017, 5pm-8pm

To register your interest in attending a session, please complete our online support sessions enquiry form.

For further information about the numeracy support sessions or to book your place, please contact the Access Programmes Team on 01695 657148 or email

Further support in completing the tests is available via the Department for Education website. This includes online practice tests, details of test content and test format, and recommended books. There are dedicated areas on the Department for Education website for literacy skills tests and numeracy skills tests.

What is the pass mark for the tests?

The pass mark for each test is 63 per cent.

If I fail a test can I resit it?

Yes. You are allowed to resit each test up to two times.

Professional Skills TestsWhat happens if I fail three times?

Unfortunately we cannot progress your application. You will have the option to resit the tests but you must wait a minimum of two years from the date of your third failed attempt before you can try again. In these circumstances we will try our best to find a suitable alternative course for you to transfer to that will offer you an alternative route into teaching.

Will I have to pay to take the tests?

The first attempt at each subject is free of charge. However, resits currently cost £19.25 per subject, per attempt.

Once I’ve passed, how long are the results valid?

Results are valid for 36 months from the pass date.

What will Edge Hill University expect of me if I apply for an initial teacher training programme?

Professional Skills TestsAll candidates who are offered a place will need to have passed both tests before the course starts. It is important that you assess when you are ready to sit the tests and don’t rush into too many attempts too soon. Our free support sessions are ideal if you feel you need extra tuition.

We recommend, however, that you make at least one attempt to pass the tests by 30th June. This will help you to assess whether you need to attend the support sessions and give you time for extra revision if you don’t pass first time around.

Applicants who have passed their tests prior to attending an interview should bring confirmation of the pass to the interview. Further information will be sent to applicants who reach the interview stage.

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