You are here

Passing the Literacy Skills Test

Passing the Literacy Skills Test

Fourth Edition

February 2015 | 144 pages | Learning Matters

"This book is fantastic and has been purchased by many of our students who have subsequently passed the skill test."

- Sarah Martin-Denham, Faculty of Education and Society, University of Sunderland

All applicants to Initial Teacher Training in England need to PASS the QTS Literacy Skills Test before starting their course. This professional skills test is designed to ensure trainee teachers have a sound grasp of literacy skills such as comprehension and spelling and how to apply these in practice. This popular and widely recommended book outlines all of the requirements of the QTS Literacy Skills Test,  explains the essential subject knowledge candidates need and includes practice questions for test preparation.

This fourth edition, co-written by an author of the test itself, is updated throughout and now includes a full practice test, more practice questions and more question and answer commentary.  This is more than a collection of practice questions.  It includes advice, tips, test commentary and guidance to help students pass first time.

It helps students to:

  • familiarise yourself with the skills and knowledge to be tested
  • fully understand the format and structure of the literacy skills test
  • know what to expect on the day of the test


For the purposes of the test, literacy is seen as comprising the four sections: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar and Comprehension. Each section has its own chapter. There you will find an explanation of the knowledge required, examples of the features of literacy being tested and explicitly direction about what to do in the test. There are practice questions for each section. 

Chapter 5 is a complete literacy practice skills test for you to work through, and Chapter 6 contains answers and explanatory key points for all the questions in the main chapters, and for the practice test. 

Revision checklist
You can use the checklist in your revision to make sure that you have covered all the key content areas. 

1. Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Grammar
4. Comprehension
5. Literacy skills practice test
6. Answers and key points
7. Further reading
8. Glossary

Recommendation made to all prospective PGCE applicants who are now required to have passed the skills tests prior to enrolment. This text is succinct with well explained worked examples enabling users to gain confidence as well as competence prior to booking a test.

Mr John Backwell
Department of Design, University of London
September 22, 2016

This is a very clear and helpful guide to those about to sit the Literacy Skills test. Now that our students have to have passed this before they join us it is a text we recommend at interview. It offers sound advice and reassurance.

Anne Bradley
Faculty of Education, University of Saint Mark and Saint John
September 12, 2016

This is a perfectly good book, but we have already adopted Medwell et al's 'Passing QTS' books, and so an additional adoption cannot be warranted.

Mr Mark Betteney
Education Department, University of Greenwich
June 1, 2015

I will recommend this title as it is up to date and covers the literacy skills tests in comprehensive detail.
However - you must be aware that there are some texts which cover both in one book and a trainee may but that set up since it would be more cost effective.

Mrs Sarah Barton
School of Education, Portsmouth University
May 19, 2015

useful for pre course applications

Dr Liane Purnell
Education, Newman University College
May 8, 2015

An extremely useful text to recommend to applicants, who need more than ever a good guide to the test and clear explanations of aspects of subject knowledge which are tested.

Ms Kate Allott
Faculty of Education & Theology, York Saint John University
May 6, 2015

This text is very useful to those interested in teaching and preparing for the Literacy Skills Test.
The text provides good guidance and helpful 'hints'.

Miss Liz McGuire
Pgce Secondary, Leeds Trinity University
May 5, 2015

This book is fantastic and has been purchased by many of our students who have subsequently passed the skill test.

Mrs Sarah Martin-Denham
Faculty of Education and Society, University of Sunderland
April 21, 2015

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson is an Honorary Fellow of Nottingham Trent University where, until his retirement, he led the English team in the Department of Primary Education. More About Author

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond has been involved in writing, editing, observing, reviewing and trialling the QTS Literacy Skills Tests for over 10 years. He has also been closely associated with the national development and evaluation of the Initial Teacher Training pilots in individual learning plans, mentoring, and teaching observation and practice. /par1/After attending Goldsmiths and Rolle College in the late 1960s, he built up over 30 years of experience teaching English and literacy in the SEN, primary, secondary and further education sectors before becoming an educational consultant and author of literacy assessments. /par1//par1/Since 2000 other... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781473913431
£ 9.99