New free entry test to assess aspiring teachers

A new and free aptitude test is available to aspiring teachers that will assess their suitability for a career in education, a National and Victorian requirement for entry into a teaching degree.

The Aptitude for Teaching Assessment (AFTA) is based on scenarios that are specific to studying a teaching degree and teaching in an Australian classroom.

The test was developed by a team of researchers at La Trobe University, led by Associate Professor Melissa Barnes and Dr Kate Lafferty, who have been designing and researching competency-based assessment frameworks over the past several years.

Associate Professor Melissa Barnes, the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching, said that La Trobe’s School of Education wanted to design an assessment that was authentic and prepared candidates for real-life teaching experiences.

“The AFTA is based on scenarios that are specific to teaching, that are faced by teacher candidates both in their university classes and during their teaching placements.” Associate Professor Barnes said.

AFTA is designed to introduce candidates to the types of experiences and the nature of teaching prior to entering their degree and help them determine their suitability for the profession.

Support modules are provided to assist candidates to better understand these attributes as they directly relate to their initial teacher education as well as their work in schools.

These support materials also provide candidates with practical ways in which they can improve in each of the attributes.

The AFTA offers a free and education-specific alternative to the existing standard test, which currently costs $80 and is administered by a third-party organisation on specific dates, where aspiring students might not be available due to study or work conflicts.

“The AFTA is also free, which removes a potential barrier for students wishing to apply to study teaching and aligns with our commitment to social equity,” Associate Professor Barnes said.

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