Multiplication check to focus on 'most difficult' times tables

Pupils will get six seconds to answer a question in the new multiplication tables check, beginning in 2019-20

Martin George

times tables check, six second, sta

The new time tables check for Year 4 pupils will prioritise the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 multiplication tables, the Department for Education has announced.

The new test is voluntary for schools in the current academic year, and is set to become statutory from 2019-20.

Children will take it as an online, on-screen digital assessment. 

In the assessment framework, published today, the DfE says the check will focus on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables "because these have been determined to be the most difficult multiplication tables".

The framework also reveals that pupils will be given six seconds to answer each question.

The document says "this allows pupils the time required to demonstrate their recall of multiplication tables, while limiting pupils’ ability to work out answers to the questions".

This time limit was set following research by the Standards and Testing Agency, which involved 1,124 pupils and involved three options being trialled.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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