Aussie teacher fails mandatory maths test: Can you pass?

A student teacher has shared just how difficult the test that every Aussie teacher must take is.

A student teacher pleaded for help after failing the maths part of her mandatory testing and she's not the only one left stumped, with many other educators feeling her pain.

Celeste Healey, 26, is studying to be a teacher but is facing the threat of having to defer her course because of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE).

"Obviously we’re so in demand for teachers. But guys I can’t pass the LANTITE numeracy test," she shared on TikTok, hoping for advice and reassurance from others in her shoes. "Please help me".

Regardless of the subjects they will be teaching, every Australian teacher is required to pass both the numeracy and literacy components of the test before they are allowed to graduate and begin teaching in a classroom.

Could you pass the test? Try it below.

Enrolled teachers have up to three times to pass each component of the test at this stage. Source: Supplied
Enrolled teachers have up to three times to pass each component of the test at this stage. Source: Supplied

What is LANTITE?

LANTITE is the test that assesses teacher students’ personal literacy and numeracy skills, and requires them to be in the top 30 per cent of the adult population in these areas. It costs $198 each time the test is taken.

Those who take the test while already enrolled in their studies have just three opportunities to pass.

Under the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, LANTITE is currently trialling two changes to the test which would mean an increased number of permitted test attempts and better feedback provided for those who have failed with the hope of attracting and retaining more teachers.

How many people struggle with the test?

In 2021, approximately 93 per cent of people passed both the literacy and numeracy components after taking the test between one and three times. There is no clear, available data which breaks down how many of those passed on their first try.

Despite some teachers never having to use math equations and algebra in their role, the numeracy test includes a range of complex math problems that many find difficult to complete.

"I literally dropped out of maths in year 9 and I haven’t been able to comprehend algebra and all the equations since," Ms Healey shared in her video, opening up about her difficulty with the numeracy component.

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Other teachers in the same boat

Ms Healey isn't the only one who has found the numeracy part of the test almost impossible, hundreds of Teachers showed up in the comments to share their own experiences and support.

"Me, I'm literally taking 6 months off my course so I can just focus and study and learn how to do math again," one person said.

"I was the same. I got an online tutor! I passed with flying colours," another shared with advice.

"You might have maths anxiety! Look it up, I struggled with it for years. I passed using coping strategies and having a growth mindset!" a third person explained of their experience.

Could you pass the numeracy component?

Scroll down for some example numeracy questions taken from the Australia Council for Educational Research (ACER), the test administrator responsible for delivering LANTITE.

Images for example numeracy test questions. Source: Supplied
Images for example numeracy test questions. Source: Supplied

Example Question 1:

Example Question 2:

Example Question 3:

Example Question 4: Refer to Image 1.1

Example Question 5: Refer to Image 1.2

I is the simple interest in dollars,

P is the principal borrowed in dollars,

R is the annual rate of interest (e.g. for 7%, R = 7),

T is the time period in years.

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