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The new Year 4 multiplication tables check is a requirement for all schools and will take place from June every year. To support you and your child, we’ve gathered together everything you might want to know about the times tables check, including what it involves, when it will take place, and how you can help your child prepare.


What is the check?

First and foremost, the check is about finding out which children are struggling with their times tables so that they can get extra support. It is not a judgement on what your child can do. The multiplication tables check is an online test for pupils in Year 4. Pupils are asked to answer 25 questions on times tables from two to 12. They are given six seconds per question, with three seconds rest between each question, so the test should last less than five minutes.



How can I help my child prepare?

The best way to keep the test stress-free is to work some times tables practice into your daily routine well in advance. With regular practice, your child will get used to tackling these kinds of questions with confidence.

1. Use times table wall charts

Wall charts show all the answers for a particular times table. You could download our free times table wall charts [PDF] and stick them up somewhere they’ll be seen often. For instance, you could put them over the sink so that your child will see them when they’re brushing their teeth. You’ll be amazed how quickly they learn when they see these number facts every day!



2. Learn the tricks for difficult times tables

There are clever tricks for remembering several of the times tables. For instance, watch Andrew Jeffrey’s method for tackling the seven times table below:


Video: Seven times table trick

Use this fun times table game from mathemagician Andrew Jeffrey to help your child learn the seven times table.

For more ideas, download our free times tables booklet [PDF], which is bursting with tips and hints for overcoming some of the harder times tables.



3. Play times tables games

Games and challenges are a great way to support learning, and a few minutes a day will make all the difference. Why not play snap with some times tables flashcards, matching the sums to the answers as fast as you can?  Using games keeps practice short and sweet, and makes the process much less of a chore for you and your child.

You can find a collection of times tables games and activity sheets on our Help with times tables page.



4. Make it real

If your child can’t see any point in learning their times tables, try showing them how this knowledge is useful in everyday life. Instead of just rote learning their times tables, try to create opportunities for your child to use multiplication in problem solving.

For example, ask them to scale up a recipe or calculate whether they have enough money to buy more of their favourite things (such as sweets or football cards). This will help your child see the value of their learning.


5. Practise on the computer

Help your child become comfortable reading and answering questions on a screen. You’ll find lots of Times tables activities in our Kids’ activities section to help your child practise.


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