The Multiplication Tables Check Assessment Framework document, released in November 2018 provides detailed information for test developers. Key points, helpful for teachers, are outlined below

The framework states that the MTC is a key stage 2 (KS2) assessment to be taken by pupils at the end of year 4.

The MTC is focused on the fluent recall of multiplication facts. This is included in the national curriculum (2014) statutory programme of study for mathematics at key stage 1 (KS1) and KS2.

The MTC will be delivered as an online (using an internet connection), on-screen (using a computer or tablet) digital assessment. Under standard administration, the check will take each pupil less than 5 minutes to complete. It will be automatically scored, and results will be available to schools once the assessment window closes.

All eligible year 4 pupils who are registered at maintained schools, special schools or academies (including free schools) in England will be required to take the check.

It is intended that the MTC will be statutory from 2019/20 during a 3 week window in June each year and, in the meantime, schools can decide whether they wish to participate in the voluntary MTC in the 2018/19 academic year.

Each test consists of 25 questions worth one mark each. Pupils each get different questions randomly selected using the specification in the Test Content section below. Pupils have 6 seconds to enter their answer to each question using a keyboard or on-screen number pad.

Questions will be in the below format.

The 25 questions in a test will be selected from the 121 possible questions that make up the 2 to 12 multiplication tables.

The below table shows the minimum and maximum number of questions (items) that will be randomly selected from each multiplication table.

Additionally the second table shows the minimum and maximum number of questions that will be taken from KS1 tables (i.e. 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables) and those that will be taken from KS2 tables.

There is therefore an emphasis on the more difficult 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 multiplication tables but KS1 questions are included to ensure an appropriate breadth of coverage. It should also be noted that questions will not appear in the reverse order in the same test, i.e. 3 x 8 and 8 x 3.

It is interesting to note that the first number in a question (n1) denotes the multiplication table the question is part of, for example 3 x 9 is considered part of the 3 multiplication table. The maximum and minimum numbers in tables 1 and 2 will therefore be applied to the first number in the multiplication. However, the secondary number will also be monitored to ensure instances of each number are within +/-1 of the minimum and maximum parameters.

This makes the specification largely commutative, minimising any impact of the order of the numbers in the questions.