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The QTS Punctuation Page

So, what is it, this punctuation?

"The use of standard marks and signs in writing and printing to separate words into sentences, clauses and phrases in order to clarify meaning."



" ! , . ' ; [ ? ] : (

* ) ... - "

Punctuation and the QTS test

Know your enemy

They look a formidable bunch when seen together but in fact these marks are all necessary; they enable writers to get their exact and unambiguous meaning over to the reader.

The rationale

"The correct and consistent use of punctuation is an essential aspect of a teacher's literacy; clear writing demands the ability to understand and apply the rules of punctuation.

In the test

There are 15 instances of punctuation that need to be inserted, you are not required to remove or rewrite sections of the passage.

The passage may contain instances where punctuation is acceptable although not essential; nonessential punctuation will not attract extra marks, nor will marks be deducted."

(Information from 

Punctuation is the difference between knowing your nuts and knowing you're nuts!

Common punctuation problems

Confusion between YOUR and YOU'RE - take a look at this video.

Confused about apostrophes? Follow the link to this BBC site and download this PowerPoint

There is a really helpful webpage called 'Punctuation'. It takes you through the basic uses of the different punctuation marks and shows the common errors and how to use the marks correctly.

See the exercises below to practise your punctuation skills.

Follow this link and try the game,

it will help you practise the use of commas.

If you are really stuck for a basic guide follow this link to the Punctuation Pyramid. 

Download the 

Dealing with the punctuation section

The basics 

Consult this first: Basic Punctuation Guide - Unravelling the confusion between colons, semi-colons, commas etc.

Downloadable Exercises

Spot the commas - Place the commas in the correct places.

School Fashion Show try this and then check the solution.

Healthy Schools (15 omissions – with solution)

School Centenary (15 omissions – with solution)

Note to Parents and Carers – using the guidance provided, can you write a succinct, informative and accurately punctuated letter to parents?

If you are really stuck for a basic guide follow the Punctuation Pyramid link and this PPT will also help ....

Try this methodical approach.

Look carefully at the whole passage first you need to get the sense of the whole. 

By doing this, much of the punctuation will seem natural and you will be able to spot where the omissions are.

How does it read, how should it flow?

Look first for missing capital letters and missing full stops.

Then look for missing commas. How is the sentence organised? What are the different parts of it?

Is there a list which will need commas to separate the components?

How is the list introduced (is it with a colon, or is it with a semi-colon?) Check the Basic Punctuation Guide.

Make sure that if there is an open bracket there is also a closed one.

Always check for missing question marks and quotation marks.

Members Area

Spread the word

Links to other pages ...

Practice Papers

Creative Learning

Teacher Training

Commas really do matter!

I like cooking my children and my pets.

Today we are going to cut and paste kids.

Let's eat Grandma.

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