Multiplication Tables Check
Which children will sit the multiplication check?
The times tables test will be 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). From June 2020 it will become compulsory for all English schools.
How will children be assessed?
Children will be assessed using an on-screen check (on a computer or a tablet), where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock.
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 your child practise their times tables?
Some of the techniques you can use include:
Practising times tables by rote.
Asking your child multiplication questions out of order – such as ‘What’s 11x12? What’s 5x6?’
Asking your child the related division facts: ‘What’s 8/4? What’s 9/6?’
Using arrays to help your child memorise times tables – you can use fun objects like Smarties or Lego bricks to make it more entertaining.
Giving your child word problems to test their skills, like ‘If Peter has 800ml of orange juice and needs to share it between four friends, how much can they each have?’