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How can a child prepare for entrance exams?

The preparation that a child should do for entrance exams depends totally on the subjects that are tested.

The tests are based on the idea that pupils who are taking it will have covered all of the material in school beforehand. Theoretically then, pupils shouldn’t require much preparation. The English and Mathematics papers are based on the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum, and so the pupil will cover most, if not all, of the topics way in advance of the exam.

In terms of Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning, these are subjects which are not generally covered in state primary schools. However, these subjects should be age indiscriminate as they are based on logic and problem-solving. We recommend that to prepare for tests in VR and NVR, pupils expand their vocabulary by reading and, during the last year prior to the exam, look at the types of questions that might be asked and apply themselves to them.

Some schools will supply pupils with familiarisation booklets. These contain either questions from previous years with answers and explanations or practice questions. Generally, grammar schools suggest that pupils use these booklets about 2 weeks before the exam to get a feel for what is coming.

It is important to give the child a well-rounded education with a good mix of academic work and extra-curricular activities in sports, music and languages. It is important that the pupil doesn’t get bored during their time in primary schools and embraces their education. If the pupil enjoys being at school then they are far more likely to do well and achieve.

In addition to this, it is important that the pupil doesn’t 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, or even an Olympian; they need to be at their peak performance 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 that a parent may want to consider for their child are private tutors, a tutoring centre or tutoring them at home. We would always recommend that the parent consults the child’s school before making any financial commitments.

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