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How can a child prepare for entrance exams?


The preparation that a child does for an entrance exam depends totally on the subjects that they are being tested on.

All tests rely on the assumption that candidates will have covered all of the material in school beforehand. So theoretically, pupils shouldn’t require much preparation. The English and Mathematics questions are based on the Key Stage 2 National Curriculums therefore pupils should have covered these topics well before the exam date.

However, most entrance exams include testing on Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning, subjects not generally covered in state primary schools. In principle, these subjects are age indiscriminate as they are based on logic and problem-solving. That said, most pupils would benefit from some familiarisation with both of these subjects prior to the exam and there are easy ways to develop their VR and NVR skills. Pupils are advised to expand their vocabulary by reading and, during the last year prior to the exam, should look at the types of questions that might be asked and try and apply what they know to them. There are plenty of resources available to assist pupils with VR and NVR preparation, including BOFA.

Some schools will supply pupils with familiarisation booklets. These contain either questions from previous years with answers and explanations, or practice questions for them to try independently. Generally, Grammar schools suggest pupils use these booklets about 2 weeks before the exam to ensure they feel prepared.

Pupils who have a well-rounded education tend to do well in VR and NVR tests. Build on your child's cultural capital by taking them to visit museums, galleries and exhibitions and encourage them to ask questions about the world around them.

It is important to ensure pupils do not become burnt out in their preparation for an entrance exam. If a pupil does too much work in preparation for an exam, they will become tired and lack motivation. It is therefore essential to get the balance right between preparing and relaxing. This is much the same as a marathon runner; they need to be at their best on the day of their performance.

Some parents choose to send their pupils to prep schools, who focus mainly on preparing pupils for entrance exams and Pre-Tests. Other options a parent may consider for their child are private tutors, a tutoring centre or tutoring them at home. We would always recommend parents consult their child’s school before making any financial commitments.

How can BOFA help?

BOFA 8+ - 12+ is the leading online formative learning platform, specialising in guiding pupils to entrance examination success. Our unique test, teach, retest approach works out a pupil's weak areas, then offers them practice questions and explanations. Our online tests keep preparation concise and effective, with parents often noting how keen pupils are to engage with our platform. Learn more about how BOFA works here. 

See what we do. Try a free BOFA demo test by clicking on the subject button below:

Maths Demo English Demo Verbal Demo NonVerbal Demo

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