On the 14th November 2018, the UK government revealed the highly anticipated details of its [compulsory multiplication check](https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/nov/13/english-primary-schoolchildren-face-times-tables-tests/) to be taken by Year 4 pupils from June 2020. Pupils in primary schools up and down the country will be tested on their ability to answer 25 multiplication questions online. They will have six seconds to answer each question and schools will be given a three week window to ‘check’ all children in the year group. With the details now public, two questions are raised: What does the compulsory check mean for primary schools? How can they prepare current Year 3 pupils to take the test in 2020? ## How will the checks be used? From 2020, the data from the times tables tests will be: * used by schools to “provide additional support to pupils who require it.” * available to Ofsted via Analyse School Performance (ASP) data system. * reported on by the Department for Education (DfE) to track standards over time. * used by the DfE to provide schools with the ability to benchmark the performance of their pupils. However, it was stated in the [Multiplication Tables Check Assessment Framework](https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/755745/2018_MTC_assessment_framework_PDFA.pdf/) that “school level results will not be published in performance tables.” ## How can Learning by Questions (LbQ) help students with the multiplication checks? Schools have been offered the chance to take part in a 2019 voluntary multiplication check to help prepare schools and teachers for the compulsory checks in 2020. The results won’t be reported through the ASP data systems, but will be accessible on NCA. This gives schools just over six months to prepare current Year 4 pupils for the checks. Learning by Questions is a classroom app that can directly help you prepare your students for the check. Here are three ways you can use LbQ to help: ### 1. Practise using an online platform The multiplication checks “will be delivered on-screen (using a computer or tablet) and online (using an internet connection).” LbQ already provides many schools with access to online Question Sets via our digital platform. Using LbQ Question Sets can give you and your pupils the experience of testing digitally without waiting for the ‘practice area’ to become available. ### 2. Multiplication Question Sets LbQ has different types of Question Sets including multiplication drill sets that pupils can use to test their knowledge of times tables. You can use the live lesson report to assess each pupil’s learning as it happens. ### 3. Time your pupils The checks will require pupils to answer one question within six seconds. LbQ Question Sets allow you to limit the time students have to complete a particular set, meaning that you can assess the pace at which your pupils are able to answer times tables. Select the set that you want pupils to attempt, set the timer, and the Question Set will be stopped once the timer has run out. Use the live lesson report to see how far through your class progressed through the set in the time given. [Log in to your account](https://www.lbq.org/Login/) to have a look at our multiplication practice Question Sets or [sign up to an LbQ account](https://www.lbq.org/TryLbQ/) to see how our app can help you and your students.