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. We take a look at what the new tests mean for primary teachers and provide guidance on how [LBQ's Multiplication Tables Check Question Sets](http://www.lbq.org/Questions/UserQuestionSetPreview/Practise-Multiplication-Tables-Check-MTC-Form-1/) can help prepare students for the tests. ## 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 the 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that “school level results will not be published in performance tables.”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).” Using LbQ's Multiplication Table Check 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 The sets of 25 questions are presented in the same style as indicated in the framework. With five Question Sets to choose from, these can be run as a daily task throughout the week. The question order is randomised, so the same set will appear differently each time it is run. Children who are not able to find the correct answer can move on to the next question and the missed questions are repeated at the end. ### 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. If teachers reduce the time allowed for completion as rates of accuracy increase, children can work towards achieving the pace required in the actual MTC test, with an ultimate target of less than three minutes per question set. Take a look at our [Practise Multiplication Table Check Question Sets](http://www.lbq.org/Questions/UserQuestionSetPreview/Practise-Multiplication-Tables-Check-MTC-Form-1/) today. If you'd like to use the Question Sets to teach for free for 60 days, [sign up for an account with LbQ](http://www.lbq.org/TryLbQ/).