Entrance Exam Preparation – When To Begin?

Entrance Exam Preparation – When To Begin?

Entrance Exam Preparation – When To Begin?

When your child is busy with homework and after-school activities it is tempting to wait until the last few months to concentrate on preparation for these tests – but this can be a mistake.

Building familiarity takes time
Despite all the stories about new tests that cannot be revised for, we are all aware that familiarity with a new subject or situation is the key to facing the challenge with confidence. Unsurprisingly, the 11+ and pre-tests are no different.

Crossword puzzles are a good analogy for these assessments because they are looking at our ability to think through a situation or problem. You can’t be taught how to solve crosswords, although practice quickly increases your ability and confidence. Over time, you find familiar patterns emerging and begin to observe the style of different compilers. Completing crosswords can also be a relaxing pastime, although this would quickly change if you were asked to solve twenty a day!

11+ and pre-test practice works in a similar, gradual way, and the process of learning how these problems and puzzles work can be a lot of fun. The 11+ is a challenge for the whole family, not just your child, so building the learning process into family life well in advance of the tests can not only significantly reduce stress but can also build their confidence and a greater chance of success.

Choosing the correct resources
Most products target specific tests, such as GL or CEM, although many independent schools set their own more challenging exams meaning these standard products can be pitched too low. An additional problem is that test providers introduce new question formats each year, which these resources do not cover.

Pre-tests are often delivered online and may be adaptive. This means that if a question is answered correctly, a more challenging question is then set. Speed is an important factor since the faster a child answers the questions, the more marks they can potentially gain. This means that the children who excel are the ones who work quickly and accurately and can consistently answer the most challenging questions.

Resources that cater for these modern tests
Independent schools often provide sample tests from previous years, so these are always worth looking at. However, using 11+ and pre-test resources that explain what the examiners are looking for and contain the variety of questions they may encounter are essential preparation as well.

Begin by finding out which subjects your child will be tested on and any background information about the tests they will face, and then look for a resource that fits in with these criteria. A well-constructed resource will work as a series giving a clear path from explanation through guided practice and test papers to provide understanding, build familiarity, speed and accuracy.

Revision Guides, Workbooks and Practice Papers uniquely cover the wide range of questions that typically occur in the new tests and, as your child works through the series, they are challenged with different formats to develop familiarity in dealing with different questions presented in a variety of ways.

Galore Park 020 3122 6405
A specialist publisher of 11+, pre-test and 13+ educational resources for pupils at Independent Schools

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