DS bombed out in pretests - what now?(18 Posts)
We are currently in the middle of that exquisite hell known as pretest season for 13+ entry in 2015 and it has not been going well for DS. We are in Surrey/ South London area.
Did not get interview for Hampton. Called back for interview at Epsom so must be very borderline. Still waiting for result from St John's but as the word is that they are using the computer test sat at Epsom in place of their own, he will be lucky to get an offer. We still have Reeds to come in October, but could well be the same story.
Not sure what happened, others in his school in same or lower sets have been much more successful, DS just seems to be in a slump.
I would be grateful if anyone could give me any pointers on less competitive options that may still have openings or we are just left with the local failing comp.
Would you and indeed could you consider boarding? Its much easier to get into a boarding school at 13+ (obviously not a tiny handful of super selectives who select in yr 6 and Radley where you have to out your name down at birth). Secondly if your DS is currently at a prep what does your head say?
Thanks for replying Happy.
Not really keen on boarding as DS is firmly against the idea at the moment (he is a real homebody) and the extra fees would be something of a strain.
Have had discussions with head about a year ago when choosing shortlist of schools and he felt our list was well within DS's capabilities. Will see how the results come out next week then make an appointment with him if necessary.
I may be overreacting, I just feel so stressed out by the whole process and it has been hard on DS.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings!
Op I thankfully have never been in your position but I can imagine how dreadful you must feel so no I don't think you are over reacting. I know little about the schools you mentioned or even those in your area but do know that most are grossly over subscribed and that not getting a place does not mean your DS is an inarticulate clod with an IQ of 80.
On a positive note he's been called back to Epsom so from what I understand from your post that means its not a no you've not heard from St Johns and using the same test as Epsom could be good because he scored high enough to called for an interview an you don't here from Reeds till October so looking on the bright side there still three possibles out there. I also know that many sit on two or three places leaving it till the lat minute to decide which one they want so maybe you could get a place latter on.
Thanks happy, you are right - there could still be good news and I need to stay positive until we get the results.
Feel really bad for DS as these tests have come at a bad time for him as he is quite unsettled at the moment.
Anyway, will try to stay optimistic and deal with the situation that we have once the final results are out.
Thanks for your sympathetic ear.
In life we don't want to be rejected but its even worse if our DC's are rejected and we quite rightly worry about how they're feeling. Obviously we can issues lots of platitudes "it wasn't the right school for you darling etc etc" but its still hard. Its fine to acknowledge that both you and he are very disappointed and upset its IMO what you do next that counts your need to show your DC that there is a problem but its resolvable and that rather than sit doing nothing you are going to actively go out there resolve it. Where are his friends going? Are there any others you can start thinking about ordering the prospectus etc so if in the worse case scenario its a no from Epsom and St Johns you've can show him you've already got information on good alternatives. You say he's a homebody but as children get older they change and many offer flexi boarding one - two nights a week and if he would consider this he might have a far greater choice. Boarding isn't cold showers and draughty dorms anymore many boys really enjoy the atmosphere and the extra sporting opportunities. Good luck and let me know how you get on.
pretestnightmare I think you are looking at this a bit "glass half empty". Hampton is quite a bit more selective than Epsom or Reed's. You don't know what may have happened at Hampton, one off day? very bright cohort? If your son had a good chance of Hampton I would have thought he had a very good chance of Epsom and an even better one of Reed's, and still has.
What about about Claremont Fan?
There are some schools locally that do not do 13+ testing until yr 8 so will look into registering for these. They are not really easier to get into but DS may be in a better place by then. Hampton do have second chance for 13+ next January but not sure how many places will be available.
Anyway, thanks again and will definitely update when final results are out next week.
Good luck OP, hopefully one of the schools will come through with an offer, and if not, well there are still options beside the local comp.
Agree that Reeds and St Johns are not seen as being as selective as Hampton, and if your HM thought your DS was in with a chance it could have just been an off-day for him. Cross fingers all is well and roll on Feb 14th....
If you haven't heard, it does not necessarily mean bad news. Don't get disheartened yet. Presumably you won't have had the chance of a serious talk with ds's head yet, as it is not all over yet.
It could be that he just didn't feel comfortable sitting exams. If his work is usually up to scratch, could the head of your school have a word? Somewhere like Hampton may well allow him to sit again at 13 if they get a glowing report from the current school. If he's under-performing, maybe he needs some exam practise.
Reeds is a great school. I hope he gets in there. I've yet to hear a bad word about it from anyone.
Having gone through this last year - A year on I still can remember how awful it is . My advice is dont panic . Your DS may be a late starter and may improve given time - my DS did - There are plenty good schools that pre-test later , Whitgift and Dulwich . There is also Claremont which has a good rep . I wouldn't dismiss a second crack at Hampton as a year later your DS will have matured enormously. ( although it will be hard for you ) Its also worth taking to the HM as he can keep in touch with the schools to see if there is likely to be any movement . The pre-test at Epsom and St J are new and they may not have got the right offer formula and places could always come up later . Hopefully Epsom St Johns will come through for you first time . Good luck
Emmanuel doesn't pre-test for 13+, just an exam in the January of year 8. Easy walk from Clapham Junction and from what I hear well run school. The pupils I know there are all very happy. If they come from a prep-school at year 9 they are ahead of the national curriculum & can 'settle' comfortably in their first terms. Was the prep-school opposed to him doing the Hampton 11+?
Hi Pretest, we're in the same boat, waiting to hear about Epsom and St John's. DS very disappointed that he didn't get an interview for Epsom, several of his friends were recalled. He found the test very difficult, but so did everyone from his school! St John's went better, but there were so many applicants.
St John's letters go out on 12th I think. Fingers crossed.
Have you looked at Radnor House and the Harrodian?
Racing - DS doesn't usually have a problem with exams, but has not been himself recently. Hampton do have another try at 13+ in yr7, but I would imagine that the competition must be very high as not many places will be available. Will see how it goes and decide based on what offers come in.
East - HM was supportive of DS sitting for Hampton, just advised having other backups in case the competition was unusually fierce. All the schools we went for were recommended by him. I'm not one of THOSE mums who ignore HM's advice on schools, honest!
absolut - my understanding was that Epsom only interview borderline candidates, so not getting an interview can mean a secure pass with an automatic offer, or a definite no. Will only know which when the letters are sent out. A very odd and confusing system! So your DS may well have an offer in the bag!
Will also be considering Whitgift and Emanuel later on but as they test in yr8 will wait and see. I like Whitgift but a bit of an awkward journey for us.
Radnor house and Harrodian I don't really know much about.
Harrodian is very competitive at this level & in Barnes. Radnor House is in Twickenham on the old St James' Boys' School site.
What about St James in Ashford? They have the old St David's site & it is about 5 minutes walk from the station. My friend's son is there, he had been at a very competitive prep school and the head had suggested him boarding but my friend didn't want to send her son away. He regained his academic confidence and is flourishing. CCF, lots of rugby, football, option to do BTECs & 3 years of post GCSE study, have big careers days etc.
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