The purpose of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) is to ensure that education students have the literacy and numeracy skills required to teach in Australian schools. The test consists of two parts – a literacy test and a numeracy test.
The LANTITE has a reputation for instilling fear in pre-service teachers across the country. You need to prove that you are in the top 30% of the Australian population for literacy and numeracy before you can graduate and become a teacher. If you can’t do this within three attempts, you can’t finish your degree.
There are a range of ways that you can prepare, but what are you actually preparing for? What kinds of questions are you likely to be asked in each of these tests?
What are the different contexts?
Before we talk about the individual questions, we need to talk about the contexts. The LANTITE tries very hard to make the questions related to something useful; it doesn’t aim to just ask you any literacy and numeracy questions that aren’t relevant to everyday life or your role as a teacher.
ACER has provided the following table with the breakdown of the different contexts:
The personal and community context is about general literacy and numeracy that most people use in everyday life. This could be calculating the change after a purchase, or reading and interpreting a map.
The schools and teaching context includes more things that are specific to being a teacher. You may need to read a passage of text and correct all of the spelling and punctuation errors, or you may need to calculate a percentage to work out a student’s grade.
Further education and professional learning is certainly an interesting context. You will notice that this takes up a much larger part of the literacy test than the numeracy test. This context can involve readying and interpreting an academic paper about education including statistics and graphs.
What types of questions will be in the Literacy LANTITE?
ACER defines the purpose of the Literacy test as:
“understanding, evaluating, using and shaping written texts to participate in an education community, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential as a teacher.”Source: ACER https://teacheredtest.acer.edu.au/files/Skills_and_Content_Guide.pdf
When I did the literacy portion of the LANITITE, I will admit that I was surprised at how difficult I found it. There were a lot of questions where you needed to infer the tone or target audience of a text, and many of the multiple choice options seemed very similar. A wide vocabulary will definitely be of benefit for a lot of these questions.
There were also questions where you needed to mark or rewrite pieces of text. These can be difficult, but it is important to remember that while the multiple choice questions are electronically marked, there are also real human beings marking large portions of these tests for you.
What types of questions will be in the Numeracy LANTITE?
ACER defines the purpose of the Numeracy test as:
“interpreting and communicating important non-technical mathematical information, and using such information to solve relevant real-world problems to participate in an education community, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential as a teacher.”Source: ACER https://teacheredtest.acer.edu.au/files/Skills_and_Content_Guide.pdf
There are two parts of the numeracy test; one where you are allowed a calculator, and one where you are not. If you are doing your test via remote online proctoring, you will only be able to use the calculator on the screen that you are provided with.
The section of the test where you can use a calculator is a lot longer than the section where you cannot, and it will include more complex questions. For the section where you cannot use the calculator, the focus is on mental math skills, so they typically keep the questions a little simpler.
How prepared are you?
I was surprised at how difficult I found the LANTITE. I went in feeling very confident about the literacy test and really not-confident about the numeracy test. I was surprised at how difficult I found the literacy component, and how easy I found the numeracy component.
This is due to how the test is structured. The LANTITE aims to determine whether our teachers are in the top 30% of the population, which is going to be at a different level for both literacy and numeracy.
ACER does have a comprehensive guide to exactly what they are assessing in the LANTITE and the different skills that you need to demonstrate. If you’re really keen on preparing as well as you can, it is well worth a look.
Have you done the LANTITE yet? How did you find it? Did you think that the ACER resources were beneficial in preparing for it? Comment your thoughts below!