Multiplication Tables Check Information

Who will have to sit the Multiplication Tables Check?

The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) is to be completed by all Year 4 students who attend state schools; including maintained schools, special schools, academies and free schools.

The MTC will only be for schools in England.

Why is the Multiplication Tables Check being introduced?

Under the current National Curriculum, children are expected to be fluent in recalling multiplication tables by the end of Year 4. This means being able to answer multiplication table questions accurately and quickly, without needing to work out the answers.

The MTC will be used only as a guideline for teachers to identify which children are falling behind.

When will students sit the Multiplication Tables Check?

The MTC was trialled in June 2019 and is to be implemented nationally from Summer 2020.

Schools will choose a date to administer the MTC from a three-week period in June.

What does the Multiplication Tables Check consist of?

The MTC will test children on their knowledge of multiplication tables only and will not test children’s knowledge of division facts or problem-solving. 25 questions will be taken from the 121 possible multiplication table combinations between 2×2 and 12×12. Focus will be placed on the ‘harder’ 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables. The minimum and the maximum number of times each multiplication table is to be tested on is given in the table below:

The MTC will be ‘an online, on-screen digital assessment’ where multiplication tables are tested against the clock.

1x table practice questions will be available before the MTC starts.

Once the MTC starts, six seconds will be given for each question with a three-second break between them. The test will last no longer than five minutes. Whatever is in the answer box at the end of the six seconds will be counted as the answer. There may be extra time available if students require it.

Each question will appear only once during the MTC and there will be no reversals of questions (if you have answered 3×4 you won’t have to answer 4×3). Each question will be worth one mark. There will be no ‘pass-mark’ and children cannot fail the test.

It should be noted that calculators and wall displays that could provide children with answers will be removed from the room where the MTC is taking place.

Where will the results be published?

The MTC is marked instantly but results will not be available until the end of the three-week window in June.

Children will not receive their results individually but schools will report the results to parents or carers.

The Department for Education will report national results to track how they change over time.

No performance tables will be produced and results will not be published publically.

Results will be made available to OfSTED to question schools on during inspection.

How can your child prepare for the Multiplication Tables Check?

  • The following 11 multiplication questions (and their opposites) are more likely to be asked: –
    • 6 x 6, 6 x 7, 6 x 8, 6 x 9, 6 x 12
    • 7 x 8, 7 x 9, 7 x 12
    • 8 x 9, 8 x 12
    • 12 x 12, 11×12, 9×12,
  • You could produce a series of cards with the above and their reverse on them ( eg one card with 6×7=42 and one card with 7×6= 42 and perhaps 12 from other the tables questions ( which are easier).
  • Turn them upside down and then a test at random.
  • Any mistakes (or any hesitation), take the problem calculation and learn it. Repeat it ten times, write it out ten times, do this with the calculation and its mirror if relevant (e.g. 7×6 and then 6×7)
  • Remember multiplication tables are a key skill. Where children don’t know them well enough their maths becomes slower and more error-strewn. Most ‘silly’ mistakes children make in maths come from errors or hesitancy in their multiplication tables.

Is sitting the Multiplication Tables Check mandatory? Or can I withdraw my child?

The test is mandatory but the withdrawal of your child from the assessment is possible (as educationalists we would, however, stress that multiplication tables are one the most important skills children will acquire and it is useful to have their level checked. If children do not have strong enough skills it is very difficult to bring these up to scratch later)

Details on withdrawing your child will be made available in the 2019/20 Assessment and Reporting Arrangements (ARA) which are to be published in October 2019.

It should be noted that children with special educational needs will be provided for when taking the MTC.

Useful Multiplication Tables Check Information for Teachers and Schools

Links below will take you through to relevant information published by the education authorities.

Multiplication tables check assessment framework

Multiplication tables check: administration guidance

Multiplication tables check: system guidance

Multiplication tables check log in