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Preparing for the 7+ to get scholarship into private school

(3 Posts)
Noorhan Tue 13-Sep-11 22:19:58


My son just started year 2. Am considering in applying for him to take the exams at a couple of the private schools near by who offer the 7+ for scholarships (reduced fee).

There is no information given by these schools to let parents know how to prepare their kids for the exams. All I know is that their reading will be tested, writing and paper in maths.

Any parents who are going through or have gone through these exams? Can you give an idea of how difficult the exams are and what is included? How did you prepare the kids for it? Any books/papers to use?

How difficult is it to pass the exams and get offered the scholarship? Is it like only the very best of the very best get through?

Also out of interest, sending your kids to a private primary school, will that pretty much safe guard them at getting into grammer school? Are grammer schools totally free?

Thank you

stealthsquiggle Tue 13-Sep-11 22:28:18

Ask the school what the format is - they will be more than willing to tell you, (or, if not, I would worry about sending my DC there, TBH). I think most are fairly low key, but we were tipped off that the one DS took used verbal reasoning tests, which he had never seen - so we got some books and he practised the tests, so that he understood how they worked - no big deal, he saw it as fun and was really happy when he got the hang of them.

As for how difficult it is, it depends on the school and the competition - if it is a purely ability based scholarship/entrance exam then it tends to be top x candidates get offers of places and the very top few get scholarship offers. We are consistently told that DS is "exceptional" but it is impossible to be objective - he seems pretty normal to me - but I know he did get a scholarship offer and another child who I would have regarded as equally bright got offered a place but no scholarship - so maybe he is.

Chelseahandfull Tue 13-Sep-11 22:28:37

It would be very unusual for the school's website to give no guidance at all. If this is the case contact them and ask. You may just get the usual bromides, but most will tell you whether a story is expected, or which tables should be mastered. Find out if they will do verbal reasoning tests (probably).
Then do Bond papers in maths, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and English (assuming all areas called for), aiming to be at a year ahead of age group by the time of the exam.
Make sure child can read aloud clearly and with expression, shake hands and make eye contact, talk sensibly to an unknown adult, and has been reading a decent range of fiction they can discuss intelligently and with enthusiasm. Make sure they have sensible answers about hobbies (not computer games and telly, or at least not soley).
And ask lots of questions when you tour the schools. This shoudl yield lots of info and give you a good feel.
And no, no private school can guarantee grammer entrance, but good ones will boost your chances (but obviously make sure they offer 11+, and not just 13+).
Good luck.

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