Advice regarding preparing for entrance exams for independent secondary schools

(8 Posts)
motherforceawakens Tue 27-Mar-18 15:45:28

I have a year 5 DS and we're thinking about secondary schools that would be right for him. For several reasons he'll be going to an independent school. He's bright and an all rounder and while none of us want him to apply to a very competitive, academic secondary school he will inevitably end up sitting some entrance exams. He's not going to receive extra tutoring but I did want him to start doing some practice papers in Maths and English (and non verbal reasoning? Does he need to do that too?) Any help would be appreciated. This is our first time with all this.

OP’s posts: |
trinity0097 Tue 27-Mar-18 15:58:20

Depends on what the schools want that you are going to apply for. Might be a combo of Maths, English, NVR and VR

motherforceawakens Tue 27-Mar-18 16:13:45

Thanks Trinity0097. Is there a particular make/brand of practice papers that is considered good?

OP’s posts: |
trinity0097 Wed 28-Mar-18 08:59:08

Again, what schools are you thinking of applying to, as that will affect how I answer!

underneaththeash Wed 28-Mar-18 09:27:00

Completely depends on the school, some do common entrance, some set their own papers. There will often be sample papers on each school's website. If there aren't though, the admissions people will be able to point you in the right direction.

Most independent schools want to be seen as being inclusive, so they welcome applications from children at state schools, in some cases they don't need to sit sections of the paper that they haven't covered in their previous school e.g. latin.

AnotherNewt Wed 28-Mar-18 09:34:56

Everyone does the Bond books, and some people do others as well.

Are you aiming for pre-test plus CE, 11+ or competitive 13+? I'm guessing, as you don't specify otherwise, that you are thinking of 11+

SoupDragon Wed 28-Mar-18 09:40:25

We did Bond books too. I would suggest looking at maths tuition though as our state school didn’t cover the syllabus in time for the exams and the methods they had been taught at that stage weren’t necessarily best/quickest under exam conditions.

DSs were both exceptionally good at maths but benefitted from an hour a week for the year before the exams.


Julraj Wed 28-Mar-18 11:37:40

Hi @motherforceawakens,

It depends on the school. The entrance test is an IQ test for children for obvious reasons. Some schools choose a combination of Maths, VR, N-VR and Reading. Others also include an element of creative writing, sometimes only to see their handwriting in a "final-round" scenario. Sometimes they'll have a pile of tests but place an enormous emphasis on N-VR (for example).

Ask the school exactly what their assessment structure is and tailor their preparation for this.

On a side, as good as independent school can be, it can also be a mixed bag. In my experience it can suit girls really very well but it often doesn't improve their future earnings or even influence their career choice. For boys it can force a lazy pupil into becoming a high achiever (despite their initial reluctance). If a grammar school is a potential option then in all honesty, I find that the best mix of schooling with the advantage that it doesn't even cost you any more.

Choose their school wisely and I'd like to wish you the best of luck.

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