Top Tips for Entrance Exam Success
Whilst Christmas is at the forefront of everyone's minds, those of you with children in Year 6 are also awaiting the impending 11+ entrance exams in January.
We wanted to reassure you that the hard work is nearly done and it's time to enjoy Christmas and read our top tips to prepare your child for the January exams.
As a parent myself, I know how daunting it can be; not just for the children sitting the exam, but also the parents watching their children head off to seal their destiny for senior school!
I’ve listed a few tips below for you to pass on to your child before the exam and hopefully make the experience feel less overwhelming and, dare I suggest, even a pleasurable achievement:
- We’ll get the obvious ones out of the way first: Ensure your child eats and drinks sensibly. It’s probably best for children to stick to breakfasts they know and love. A bowl of Crunchy Nut might not be the most nutritious breakfast, but it will get them through the tests with a sense of some normality.
- Try to reassure them that they’ve done everything they need to by this point. They have no doubt worked hard building up to the exam, and even over the festive season.
- At this stage, there’s no need to go over lots of practice papers, but it would be worth covering some common sense approaches: not over thinking their responses, what to do if they get stuck on one question, moving on if they are struggling on a question and coming back to it later etc.
- Have some fun. The night before the work is complete. Wind down by watching a funny movie or comedy sketch or play a board game; something that has absolutely nothing to do with the exam.
- Get a good night’s sleep - nothing helps concentration more.
- On the day - let your child wear what he/she feels most comfortable in – be it school uniform or jeans and a top.
- Allow plenty of time to get to the exam. There is nothing worse than adding last minute stress by not being able to find a parking space or having to park further away than you allowed time for.
- Let them know it’s natural to feel a bit stressed and what that stress might feel like – the butterflies in the tummy and the faster, palpably louder heartbeat. Get them to take a few deep breaths before they dive into the test papers.
- Tell them to be honest and speak from the heart in their personal statements – we’re not trying to catch them out. We’re simply trying to find out a bit more about what interests them.
- Finally, remind them, they are not alone. Everyone else will be in the same boat.
Good luck, and my fingers are crossed for each and every child that they secure a place in their school of choice.
Head of Examinations