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Multiplication Check

Multiplication Check

The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) is a compulsory maths test for all year 4 pupils in England. The test measures how well pupils can recall their times tables from 1 to 12.

What is the Multiplication Tables Check?

The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) is a statutory key stage two assessment, which tests year 4 pupils' knowledge of the multiplication tables within 12 × 12. It was introduced in the 2019/2020 academic year. The MTC is in the format of an online test with 25 questions and children are given six seconds to answer each of the questions within the time limit.

When do children sit the MTC?

It is compulsory for pupils to sit the MTC at the end of year 4. That’s because the test measures learning from year 2 to year 4. All eligible year 4 pupils must take the test in June within a two-week window, 3 June and Friday 14 June 2024. It is recommended that the test is sat in the first two weeks in case there is any reason it must be retaken.

So, by the end of year 4, children should know all the multiplication facts within the 1 to 12 times tables.

What’s the purpose of the MTC?

The MTC aims to check how well children know their times tables. That’s important as knowing the multiplication tables gives children the foundational knowledge they need to progress in maths through the years.

Instant recall of times tables facts is needed when completing trickier calculations. Without that knowledge, pupils might struggle to master more complex maths concepts.

Plus, once children know their times tables, they won’t need to spend time doing simple calculations. Instead, they’ll recall these immediately and then spend time working out the trickier calculations with multi-digit numbers.

The MTC is also a great way to check for pupils that are struggling with their times tables, so that additional support can be provided. Without this knowledge, children will struggle to calculate maths problems in later school years.

How is the MTC administered?

The MTC is a digital test. It needs to be delivered on-screen, via either a computer or tablet, with a stable internet connection. The tests are taken at school and any materials that could be used to work out the answers, such as a calculator or times table poster, should be removed from the test room.

Before the test, there is some administration to be completed. Logins and a register of pupils will be created any children unable to take the MTC need to have a reason why recorded on the system.

There is a sample test that pupils can try before the date of their actual test. This is a good way to familiarise them with the system and help ease any nerves that they may have.

When completing the actual test, there are three practice questions. Once completed they move on to the real test.

The MTC is 25 questions long and children have six seconds to answer each question. There is a three-second pause between questions so that they don't get overwhelmed. The short time given to answer the question is because the test is measuring what pupils can easily recall. They should be able to remember their multiplication factors quickly and shouldn't be trying to work them out.

At the end of the test, pupils will have a score out of 25 reported to the school. There is no pass-or-fail threshold for this test, but pupils with lower marks should be given additional support to help improve their multiplication skills.

You can read in more detail about how the MTC is administered on the DfE website. This site has some handy documents, including information for teachers and parents.

How to prepare children for the Multiplication Tables Check?

The best way to ensure children are well-prepared and ready for the test is to give them lots of opportunities to practise. As they’ll start learning the times tables in year 2, it’s important to start the preparation as early as possible.

Here are some tips for helping your little ones ace the Multiplication Tables Check.

Use activities in the same format as the test

Knowing what the test will be like is bound to reduce anxiety and help children feel more confident about how they’ll perform.



Take learning one step at a time

As the MTC tests children’s knowledge of 11 tables, it can be overwhelming if your little ones are struggling with a few of these tables.

That’s why it’s a good idea to check how much pupils know about each individual times table. You can start with the 2× table. Include a range of activities to ensure your little one is confident with all the facts.

Then, move on to the trickier ones such as the 5×, the 10×, the 3×, 4× tables and all the way through the remaining ones. There are 11 of them to go over, but it’s definitely worth spending the time to identify if there are any existing knowledge gaps.

Make it fun!

More often than not, preparing for a test can be a stressful experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Try to make the preparation for the MTC as fun as possible. 


This information was provided by Twinkl

Domain: Twinkl [online at] https://www.twinkl.co.uk/teaching-wiki/multiplication-tables-check-mtc [accessed on 16th May 2024]