7+ What did the tutors do with the kid just few weeks before the exams(11 Posts)
As exam dates approaching, I'd like to learn from those experienced on the last minute preparation. Since we haven't put DS under the tutoring route, we are pretty blank as to the value those tutors might add at the last minute. Do they give the kid more mocks? Lots of revision? How many hours do they ask the kid to spend per day? Any secrete recipes? More intensive sessions with the tutors? Anything else that you might know that the tutors did? Any more importantly did it actually work?
Any light shed would be appreciated and I just hope our DIY approach so far won't be backfiring badly in the coming January ...
From the timings, I'm assuming independent school entrance exams.
At this stage, it's likely to be exam technique. And if the tutor is very familiar with the target schools, then tips on what those examiners are looking for.
It's too late to plug any but the most minor knowledge/skills gaps now, but presentation and confidence building can help.
DC I know are spending 4-5 hours revising daily to increase their speed and finesse their exam techniques.
Mine succesfully did 7+ for the super-selectives last year. We enjoyed christmas, let him have a rest after a busy term at school and did at most a couple of practice papers a week.
5 hours revision a day for a 6 year old is insane. Think of the pressure we are putting these children are under.
If the school is the right one for your child the process shouldn't be that painful!
If a child has to revise for 5 hours a day at 6yo then they will struggle at the school if they do get in.
I have heard from several mums (still a small sample so I could be wrong) that at many of these super selective schools the bar for entry is much higher and once the successful boys start in year 3 they often end up repeat the same or even less challenging curriculum.
So I wouldn't really say that super prepped boys who gain entry to the school will necessarily struggle.
I tutor 7+ and I advise the parents NOT to do hours of practise in the final weeks before the exam. I think the kids can burn out if they are pushed too hard in the final days in particular. I advise lots of early nights/good sleep, plenty of exercise (boys in particular) and one session of practise each day (no more than an hour) in the holidays.
I advise my tutees to practise writing a story within a half hour timeframe, plenty of oral comprehension exercises in an enjoyable way with a parent, mathematical and critical thinking worded problems. Interview technique - as, even if there's no formal interview, children may well interact with senior staff who'll form impressions that could influence 'deciders'.
Did 7+ with my son in Jan 2015 and have 2nd son coming up in Jan 2017. Would agree with several posts above.... bar is high at many of the schools, purely because they need to select from such a large number of applications, but the height of this bar is not really representative of the work expected at the start of Y3 - where they tend to consolidate a lot of the knowledge.
Also agree about the burn-out, definitely not more than 1 hr. a day and focusing on quality not quantity. By this stage of the game hopefully the parents are very clear on where their child's weaker areas may be and they can focus on there - may it be story writing, making sure comprehension is answered in full sentenced etc.
My DD attended a mock 7+ exam a couple of weeks ago and some DC cried and left after 5 minutes, and in the waiting area parents talked about their DC wetting their beds from stress. What in the world has it come to?
We're not London, but did 7+ selective 2 years ago with a bouncy, sporty (generally) enthusiastic DD.
We did very little, but made DD do a couple of tests from the Bond Books at 8-9 level (with a bit of guidance to make sure she understood what was required from the qns) so she wasn't too phased on the assessment morning.
That said, it seems that she is great at creative writing (which might be an issue for boys) and expressive reading. I think the school did standardised tests when assessing (so they would be expecting better scores from the older cohort).
Looking back (and trying to make sense of what I've heard from subsequent mums), I reckon that about 50% of her "assessment morning" involved tests. The rest was about observing how she reacted to challenges, played with other children, looked "engaged" and interacted with the teachers. And, yes, the teachers were very conscious that the kids were out of their "comfort zone".
We didn't make a big thing of the assessment (it wasn't a disaster if she didn't get in). I can't begin to imagine what even 1 hour a day "targeted revision" would have done to her stress levels after a busy Autumn term.
Assuming that you and immediate family/friends are intelligent souls, I recommend that you chill and talk (and listen) using a rich vocabulary and make sure your child reads and talks with appropriate emphasis.
For some schools, though, money probably talks.
Good luck and keep sane.
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