Multiplying in your head

It's actually quite easy.

Let me show you.

I'm assuming you know your timestables.

You probably do know them.  Perhaps 6 x 7, 6 x 6, 7 x 7, 7 x 8 and 8 x 8 are a little tricky.  For those, use building blocks

e.g 6 x 7 

5 x 7 = 35

Add on a 7 and you get 42.

Once you've nailed the timestables we can then move on to harder multiplications.

To multiply a 2 digit by a 1 digit, you could use short multiplication but why not do it in your head with some jottings.

e.g 17 x 8 

You want to do the tens first and then the units.

To do this, do 10 x 8.

That's 80

Then do 7 x 8 

That's 56

And add them together.

80 + 56

Add the 10's first.

80 + 50 = 130

Then the units.

0 + 6 = 6

The answer is 136



How to Answer Those Pesky Fractions to Percentages Questions [Part 1]

So you've watched my vid on fractions to %. 

but what about harder fractions.

Let's say 


I can look at this fraction and see what numbers go into it easily. e.g 2, 4, 8 etc.

That's ok for me.

I can also see that 48 goes into 240.

That's ok for me.

But still hard for you perhaps.

In that case, see if you can half the top and the bottom.


Ok, maybe now you can see what numbers go into the top and the bottom. 


Sure, but that's slow

24 maybe

Ok, hard.  Sure - try 12.

Why 12?

Because 120 on the bottom is nice.  Divide it by 12, you get 10

Ok, so 

24 divide by 12 is 2

120 divide by 12 is 10

2/10 = 20%


What to do when your students aren't succeeding

Let's face it, some students don't do as well as you'd like.

Why is that?

Your mode of communication is different to theirs.   I talk in pictures, you talk in feelings.  If you say 'it looks like' and I say 'it feels like', we're off to a bad start.  Solution:  mirror their mode of communication.  If they look up, look up.  If they say 'I feel sad', say 'I feel that you're sad', if you say 'I see you are sad', you're headed for trouble. You've been warned visual teacher.

You're teaching them with pictures, when you should be teaching them with songs.   Mode of communication influences mode of learning.  Too many words will scramble an auditory person's brain.   They crave for pictures, and you're yabbering on like a rap artist

They're in a negative state. Perhaps you can think back to when you were a child.   Perhaps you were 7 and making Christmas cards.  Your dad had arrived from home, grumpy as always and was faced with the task of helping you with Christmas cards.  He had no patience and barked an order at you: fold the card here twice and then........  Result: you're frozen.  Nothing is going in, it's like your brain has scrambled. If mum was to ask you your name, you probably wouldn't know it.  Solution: change that person's state. How?  Make them laugh.

Wow, if only someone had taught me that on my PGCE.  Or did they? Perhaps I was frozen :) 




How To Convert Pounds to Euros or Miles to Kilometres or Unhappy to Happy for QTS Students

To learn how to go from unhappy to happy, try this:

Sit up.  

Look up.

Smile more.

To learn how to do conversion, watch these 2 videos:


Practice Questions

Conversion.  Km to m or m to km



5m = 8km 


135m = ?




5m = 8km 


...... = 248km 




5m = 8km 






5m = 8km 






5m = 8km 





Conversion Money


(1) £1  = 1.40 euros,  £150 


(2) £1 = 1.60 euros, £150 


(3) £1 = 1.70 euros, £250 


(4) £1 = 1.60 euros, £300


(5) £1 = 1.80 euros, £200

The Facts about the QTS Test. How To Apply Pareto to Your Romantic Relationship and the Test

There is only 1.  Read on:

A bit of background.

Let's call her L.

L failed her QTS once and by 5 marks.

Today we focused on fractions to %.

It's a great topic to start with because 2 or 3 questions in every practice paper is a fraction to %.

If you know the Pareto Principle, you know that 20% of happiness comes from 80% causes.

Let's talk about my relationship with my romantic partner.

The 20% causes:

Watching a film


Going to a restaurant

Deep talks,

And well you can guess the last one.

The 80% causes that provide 20% of happiness.

Planning holidays

Going from A to B. I'm terrible w/ maps.

etc etc.

Let's talk the QTS.

If you know that 80% of marks can be picked up by doing 20% of the work, you figure out which ones they are.

Fractions to %


There you have it.

You need 7 marks.  You can get 5 from those two topics alone :) 


Back to L.

L did not know what 5/8 was as a %.

I got her to write her eights down.

1/8 = 12.5%

2/8 = 



She said 4/8 was 52% or something nutty like that.


Because she was nervous.

Instead of focusing on what she didn't know, we focused on what she did.  Or what she could get marks for easily.


Fractions to %.

And you know what........because I focused on building her confidence 

And taught her a couple of things (seriously I did hardly anything)

And focused on the Pareto questions

She went from a nervous wreck who probably would have got 2 out 12 in mental maths of QTS practice test.

To 9 out of 12.

That's not just a pass.  She crushed it.  She only needed 7.

So to resume.

Focus on the 20% causes that give you 80% of marks.

Fractions to %






A Little Secret about learning the 2, 3, 5 & 10 timestables for QTS students and 8 year olds

Most of you won't need to read this post.  That's cool :)  If you do, that's also fine - you can still nail this QTS test.

First off.

You do not memorise the timestables by rote.

So if you have a son or daughter, do NOT start going 1 x 6 =   6, 2 x 6 = 12 over a bowl of coco pops.

It's all about building blocks.

And if you are a QTS student, or a 8 year old it's the same process.

First you need to know your 2 timestables.  You'll know these if you can add on in 2's e.g 6 + 2 = 8.

Once you've learnt these, you can do your 10's.  Easy right - add on a 0.  Then do your 5's.   easy because it goes 5,0,5,0 like 5, 10, 15, 20.........

Cool.  You know 3 timestables so far.

How about learning the 3's?

Ok, it's getting harder now, you will need to add in little bits - either 2 or 1 e.g 9 + 3.   9 + 1 = 10, 10 + 2 = 12

Ok so now you can use  your building blocks.  6 x 3.  Well we know 5 x 3 = 15 because that's the same as 3 x 5, and then we add on a 3 so 15 + 3 =  18.


The Truth about Trumping the QTS test or paying for the wall with 7

Trump keeps it simple

Check this out: Mexico will pay for the wall

There are 7 points.  Clear to understand.  

To succeed in life, the best you can do is keep things simple.

Go to Hilary's site and you'll see that there are pictures, a ton of's not clear.

She lost.

It's the same with the QTS test.

Keep it simple.

Have you heard of the Pareto Principle?

It says that 80% of your happiness comes from 20% of causes.

Or that 80% of your effectiveness at work comes from 20% of activities you do.

Or that 80% of the wealth is in the hands of 20%. 

And so on and so on.

So how can we keep things simple and apply Pareto to the QTS test.

1. Focus on the mental maths.  Most of you can do graphs, it's the mental maths that's hard.  After all, the two hardest things in life: mental maths and wedding speeches.

2. Focus on easy-to-pick-up-marks-questions


To do this, get a 100 on the bottom of the fraction

To do this, make smaller (or at school they say simplify)



Know your timestables and multiply 1 digit by 2 digits.  Short multiplication method is ok.  Do in you head, even better


Know how to multiply by 10's  (i.e add on zeros) and multiply 1 digit by 2 digits


Learn to add on hours and chunks of minutes e.g 20, 40, etc.

This is an absolute gift. Think holiday in Mallorca.

So you have 5 questions.  You need to get 7 questions correct to pass.  

That means you only need to get 2 more correct out of 7 questions.

You can get 5 questions (the 80%) with 20% of the effort. 

Trump the QTS.  It's easier than you think.


8 Ways To Reli[E]ve Stress for QTS Maths Students.

Stop reliving.  Start relieving your stress.

Here's what I do to relieve stress (or enjoy life more)

1.  Meditate.  Headspace is a great app.

2. Read before bed.  Nothing on teaching maths or entrepreneurship.

3. Punch a pillow or break a chair.   Controlled anger is ok.

4. Make love.  

5. Laugh with friends.

6. Smile more

7. Feel grateful.  Every morning I ask myself 3 things.  What am I graeful for? Something small and close to me,  something from yesterday and someone I've met.

8. Look up

9. Eat brain power food:  organic meats, greens, yoghurt, nuts, natural fats (avocado, coconut, meat.........).  Low carb/sugar diet.

10. Put my arms in the air above my head and clasp my fingers in each hand (hands are not together).  This can energise you instantly.

That's it. Feel RELIEVED?


Change your internal dialogue to pass the QTS

My passion is entrepreneurship.  I tutor 10 hours a week.  The rest of the time I obsess about building business'.

You know.......... entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride.  One minute you are up and then the next you are down.

For most of my QTS students, they're on a similar ride.  One minute they get it, the next they don't.  One minute they feel elated, the next deflated.  

When the lows come? What things do I start to say to myself?

I'm not smart enough.

I'll never succeed.

I should have done such and such.

Why is he succeeding?

I'm too old.

My QTS students say similar things.

I'm terrible at Maths

I won't pass

I did terrible at GCSE

I don't know why I have to do this test.

Sound familiar?  We can all relate right?  We've all struggled with something in life.  Maybe a relationship.  A job.  Our studies.

So the key then is really quite simple. 

We simply need to change our dialogue.  What we say to ourselves and outloud?

Start to say:

I don't get this now.  I will tomorrow.

I will pass this. 

I'm grateful I'm doing this test. I will be a more confident teacher.  I'll be able to teach my own kids Maths

I have the inner resources to pass this.

I will remain flexible.

It doesn't matter you say, provided it's positive, you'll nail it.

Success at anything is 80% psychology, 20% strategy.  Look after your psychology.



QTS Skills Test: What to do on THE DAY

You have spent weeks studying. You are ready for the test. Your QTS tutor looks forward to good news from you. What to do on test date to guarantee your success?

1. Get up early

If your test is in the morning, get up early and make sure you arrive at the test centre early. Allow time for warm up, breakfast, traffic, etc. This's to make sure you are in a good and calm state. 

If your test is in the afternoon, still get up early and start the day fresh. Good state is the key.

2. Warm up

Do some exercise. Your physiology affects your mental state.

Run around.

Jump up and down.



Say "I will nail this."

3. Do some maths

Review some basic maths you've learnt. Make up questions for yourself. 

Start with timestables

Then +, -, x, /

Fractions to percentages




4. Image

Visualize an image that makes you smile. I usually have my students do this exercise in our last class. 

One thought of his cat whispering to him "everything will be ok."

One saw a friendly, pinkish clock patting on her shoulders.

Make the image as concrete as possible. Makes you feel good right? Remember that feeling. You'll pass the QTS numeracy exam in a breeze.



A word on timestables. Preparing for the QTS Skills Test.


You're probably saying things like that:

 I'm terrible at my tables.  

I've never been good at my tables

I can do the 9's on my fingers


9 times out of 10 my students say this.  

In fact, they simply can't tell me at lightning speed their timestables.

I once read, that the two most stressful things were wedding speeches and mental maths.  Makes sense right?  You're put on the spot and expected to perform.

Funnily I'm good at both

But enough about that.  Let's focus on you.

You probably don't know these.  Nail these and you will rock it.

6 x 7 = 42

7 x 7 = 49

8 x 7 = 56

8 x 8 = 64

That's it, done.



If you're really struggling, write them down just before you enter the test. 




Cheap v Expensive QTS Tutors

We haven't raised the price of tuition in 3 years.

In this post, I'm going to do an analysis of Cheap v Expensive.

Scenario 1:  Cheap

You get a tutor w/ little or no experience. It costs you £20 per hour.  You need 15 hours because this tutor doesn't 

a) understand your emotional needs.  

b) hasn't learn the best strategies to answer questions.  Perhaps they are using old school strategies or teaching you like they would for GCSE maths.

15 x £20 = £300

Let's say you pass, hurrah! The tutor has done great, you feel great.

What if you don't and you fail 3 times.

You've now lost the opportunity to earn £28k and let's say you get an entry level job in a different industry and you earn £17,000, you've potentially lost £11k. 

How much did you save and was it worth it?  You lost £11k in a worst-case scenario.  In the best you took 15 hours and spent £300

Scenario 2: Expensive

You get a tutor from Adrian Beckett Tutors.  It now costs you £187 for a package of 5 classes. I believe we can pass you within that amount of classes or even with only 1, but let's say you need 10, ok it's £337 which is marginally more what you paid for the cheap tutor.  If you pass within 10 hours, we saved you 5 hours.

As we have a 100% success rate, you will pass so the worst-case scenario doesn't apply here

To summarise.

The disadvantages of getting a cheap tutor are many

1. Your confidence can be harmed.  Reversing this process is much harder

2. You can lose 11k.

3. You can waste time

If you find a great, cheap tutor then go for it. Make sure they have a proven track record.  If not, why not sign up for our 10 class package and be 100% sure you pass. 




The Art of Failing the QTS Skills Test Fast

I write lots of posts on how to pass the QTS Skills Test.  How about if you wanted to self-sabotage and fail as quick as you humanly possible.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder

Does you really want to be a teacher?

It happens rarely and of course, you may not even be aware whether deep down you really want to or not.  The subsconcious is mysterious.

In this post, I'll focus on what you might do consciously to guarantee failure.

Get a tutor in July.  You've got 1 or 2 months left, the university is putting pressure on them to pass.  The pressure is on.

Cancel or turn up late for classes.  Not a good sign.

Overwork.  I get it.  You want to pass, so you do a ton of QTS practice papers, questions, watch 100's of QTS videos..........before they know it they're burnt out.  Ufff!  Doing a little day is a better strategy.  1 - 2 hours max.

Getting a cheap tutor.  You've not got much money.   You either need a lot of classes or you fail and end up throwing away your dream career.

The lesson:  

Start early.  Get a great teacher.  Do a little each day.  Learn to be organised







Best Resources for QTS Numeracy Students

Many students can pass the QTS Skills Test on their own.  

If you're short on time, anxious about Maths or want to build your confidence, I recommend you get an expert tutor.  I've been teaching for 7 years and I'd love to help out.  Be sure to choose a tutor with lots of experience. 

Numeracy Ready

20 online practice tests.  Great to have extra practice.  I've been told by my students that the video explanations of how to complete the tests are not clearly explained.


There are some great videos on Youtube.  Here is an excellent one to get you started

Pass the Numeracy Skills Test 

This is the best book.  Plenty of practice questions.  There are many books on the market and I don't recommend you get them.  



How To Guarantee Success with the QTS Skills Test

Let me tell you a story.

It was told to me by Ajahn Brahm, a famous monk in Australia.  He's a British man who's renowned for his mesmerising and insightful talks.  

Some of the top researchers in the UK did a study with primary school children.  At the start of the school year, the teacher took the children outside.  Her name was Emily.   It was a cold, crisp autumn day.  You know what I mean right?  One of those days when it's warm on your face and cold on your fingers.  

Emily gathered the children round and told them her goals for the year.  She was a young woman who was recently married and her goal was to have children.   Of course, you can imagine how delighted the children were to hear when she said to them 'I want to have a baby'.   She told them that the secret to achieving all your goals in life was to look up at the sky.  It was as simple as that. She told them to think about their goals.   To really feel their goals in their body.   To say them to themselves, maybe outloud.  'Shout them out loud if you like', she said.   And that's what they did, they all looked up at the sky.  Some shouted, some said softly to themselves, some told their friends next to them. 

So what did the researchers discover?  They looked at the children's results and compared them to the children in other classes.  They found that the children's grades were much better than the other classes.

The lesson in this story is that to achieve anything you want in life you must look up at the sky. Before you sit the test, look up at the sky.  I've used this technique with 100's of students. Success is guaranteed.

Oh......and by the way, Emily gave birth to a beautiful baby boy :)