The new Multiplication Tables Check

November 21, 2019

From June 2020, all year 4 children in England will be sitting a new Multiplication Tables Check (MTC). Here, we’ll let you know what the check involves and how to best support your child towards it.

Why are schools doing this?

It’s going to allow schools to see how accurately their children can recall times tables, but the results won’t be published in any national tables. Schools might use the results to help identify children who just need a bit of extra support.

What can you expect from the MTC?

  • Children answer 25 different times table questions on a computer screen.
  • They will have 6 seconds to answer each question, and a 3 second break between questions.
  • All times tables from 2 to 12 will be included.
  • There are likely to be more questions from the 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 times tables.
  • All questions will have the format ‘A x B = ?’. Children won’t need to divide or work backwards.
  • It will take no longer than 5 minutes.

What can I do to help my child feel more confident with multiplication?

Here are some top tips to help!

  • Practise against the clock. Six seconds can fly by when you feel under pressure to do a calculation! The more you practise doing your times tables within a time limit, the more comfortable you’ll feel on the day.
  • Do the trickier times tables more. It’s always tempting to go back and recite the times tables which you know really well. Although this can help boost confidence, it’s better for you to spend your time improving at the times tables you find more challenging. The more you make your brain work when practising, the more you’ll remember!
  • Practise making connections. If you suddenly forget your 8 times table when 4×8 comes up, then using your 4 times table to find 8×4 will give you the same answer! Similarly, if you can’t remember 6×7 but know that 5×7 is 35, then you just need to add one more 7 to that answer.
  • Tricks and rhymes. If you just have that one calculation that never seems to stick, there might be a nifty little way for you to remember it. For example, lots of people remember 7×8=56 by counting, “5, 6, 7, 8”.

Learning isn’t all about passing tests. We encourage children to discover the wonder in numbers and develop a real love for maths! Speak to your local Explore Learning team to find out how we do this.

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