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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Entrance tests

The annual round of private school entrance tests, at least around Stockport, are very nearly upon us and for year 6's this mean keeping the studies going over Christmas. Those who don't are very likely to be putting themselves at a disadvantage and its probably not a risk worth taking.

Competition to get into the favoured senior school, especially the grammar schools is very intense and fierce... some must be driven by parents but we find the children too are keen to get into their chosen/'the best' school - though whether this comes from years of indoctrination from schools, peers, parents, siblings etc isn't certain. Preparation is key.

According to many of these schools websites, no preparation for the tests is necessary. But without preparation you are entering a competition with a handicap... the majority of entrants appear to be having help with preparation; especially those from private/prep schools. Those at state primary schools appear to be at further disadvantage as they generally work towards the SATs, which aren't until May, and even then the work/standard required for SATs seems to be a 'piece of cake' compared with the common entrance. [The pressure/preparation for SATs starts to intensify around now, though that's another story!]

Many of our own year 6 students have been left with a timetable to record how long and how much work they do over the Christmas break [though I believe they have been 'allowed' to take Christmas Day and Boxing Day off!] - and to make sure they have something to fill this time, a set of 'holiday homework' that would keep anyone busy: at least 6 maths general tests, along with reasoning, English and more maths questions. The idea of this is to keep the brain 'ticking over'. Of course, its a good idea if the child is to be on par... but then why are the tests set mid January? As an adult, take a few weeks holiday and all pre-holiday tasks are very often rusty when you return to work and it takes a while to 'get back into things'. Imagine at 11!

For those about to sit the tests - good luck :) If you get into your chosen school then congratulations - if you don't then it wasn't meant to be. You tried your best and the school mustn't have been right for you and you probably wouldn't have liked it anyway!.

For those wanting last minute preparation Bond Assessment books/papers are good and obtainable online - check out amazon.co.uk - or via many high street bookshops eg WHSmiths

Of course, if you are wanting extra help/tuition, we can help you there: visit our website, email us at info@121hometutors.co.uk or call on 07914 568 259