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Prep entrance exam next week- how to prepare?

(17 Posts)
karise Thu 04-Jun-09 09:30:53

DD is very intelligent so I'm sure I don't need to worry, but the head said that some state school pupils will struggle with the verbal/non-verbal tests as they haven't come across it before.
What do these tests involve?

PortAndLemon Thu 04-Jun-09 09:34:17

You could have a look in your local bookshop (I know Waterstnes have them) for practice verbal/non-verbal tests aimed at children sitting the 11+ which should give your DD an idea of the sorts of questions and give you a chance to explain what they mean (obviously not "coaching" as such at this stage, just familiarising her with the likely format)

karise Thu 04-Jun-09 09:46:53

Absolutely, I was just wondering if there were any good websites or anything as she is only 6 & may get a bit bored with workbooks?

PortAndLemon Thu 04-Jun-09 10:00:48

Most of the online NVR and VR tests I've seen are firmly aimed directly at 11+ and I don't think anyone would expect your DD to be able to do them, whereas the Bond books (for example) have 6-7 and 7-8 editions. With a week to go I wouldn't try pushing workbooks to an extent she might get bored by them -- just sit down with her and explain how the questions work.

karise Thu 04-Jun-09 10:03:46

Thanks- I didn't know they did ones for the younger ones too!

LadyMuck Thu 04-Jun-09 11:14:40

Would second PortandLemon. The Bond ones will be closer to what your dd might get. Do you know whether she is sitting tests in both (unusual ime, dcs school just do nvr at this age).

Story writing is also good preparation as not all school cover this in infants.

karise Thu 04-Jun-09 11:31:46

Good point LadyMuck! Now I come to think about it it was only one of them but I couldn't remember which- must be just the nvr then!
Story writing won't be a problem- she loves writing stories. As she is intelligent anyway do you think it's worth preparing at all?

LadyMuck Thu 04-Jun-09 13:28:43

I think that it is definitely worth trying out a couple of the nvr tests to see how she does. They're mainly about spotting patterns. Once she's done a test then you'll have a clear idea of whether it is worth any preparation. The Bond books progress so it is worth trying a test about halfway through.

I would assume that most pupils being put in for 6+ or 7+ are deemed to be intelligent by their parents. How much prep you do will depend in part on how competitive entry to the school. If they pretty much take all who apply and the test is just to place her within sets etc, then relax. If it is a case of 2 or more pupils for each place, then I'd possibly do more preparation, though if she is a child who is always getting all answers correct then obviously don't bother.

Has the school told you what is covered in the maths test? Again in my experience preprep schools cover timestables earlier than their state equivalents. I think that most prep schools indicate that they won't test multiplication as it would discriminate against state sector applicants, but if this school is doing NVR then I would also check what tables they expect your dd to know.

pagwatch Thu 04-Jun-09 13:39:29

assuming the prep she is going for is a good standard and academic one,to be honest most children being put in will be intelligent.If applications outweigh places substantially then a lot of bright children are still disappointed.
so my honest advice to you is to focus on making sure that she is relaxed and not under any pressure or expectation.

Equally a decent prep school will be seeking and anticipating entries from state school and their testing structure will allow for aspects that state children may not have encountered before.

Just tell her to enjoy it and don't focus on obtaining a place so if the worst happens she is not made (unwittingly) to feel bad.

I do know parents who have fallen into thattrap and felt dreadful.

Merrylegs Thu 04-Jun-09 13:49:28

karise -
my DD is sitting a 7+ Prep test next week. I ordered the Bond books on verbal reasoning, maths and English for her age group from Amazon - they were sent very quickly.

I am glad I got the verbal reasoning one because although DD is very bright (like yours wink ) she was completely floored by the questions at first.

'What? I don't understand? What are they on about??" she cried.

As an example, could your DD answer:
A is to D as G is to_
3B is to 4D as 5F is to _

If the code for PEARS is 13579, what are the codes for the following words?


But when we had gone through a couple she 'got' what they were on about and began to understand. When she had clicked she said ' oh these are easy' BUT if she had just been presented with them in a test she would have been clueless.

Still don't know if she'll pass though! Perhaps we should reconvene next week and compare notes.

Good luck!

karise Thu 04-Jun-09 17:24:15

You too MerryLegs!
Although the school currently has enough places for DD & were very impressed by her verbal communications at her visit (totally talked the head's ear off! wink
Might the tests be similar to the holiday quiz books you can buy with secret codes, crosswords & spot the differences? If so, I think she'll fly!

PortAndLemon Thu 04-Jun-09 18:38:12

NVR are things like "what is the next shape in this sequence" or "fill in the missing shape from this pattern" ... umm ... or lots of other things I've forgotten at the moment...

LadyMuck Thu 04-Jun-09 19:19:59

Is she being the only person tested then? If so likely it is just for sets, and I would expect that they would want to see her in a class setting at some point in the day.

karise Fri 05-Jun-09 10:29:47

She has a personal assessment with the head. They are a generally non-selective school and they say most children who apply get in (as long as there are places). I am not particularly worried that she will fail, just wanted her to have slight exposure to the type of thing before sitting with the head.
That said, after the session we had yesterday where she decided for herself that she wanted to do some workbook practise at home "to practise explaining how I get the answers" she said. Bingo! That in itself is the exact thing they are looking for I think, a state pupil that hasn't had the discovery bit of her intelligence stifled!
That moment in itself has stopped we worrying completely! grin
Thanks all for your help!

littletree Fri 05-Jun-09 10:36:44

Sorry to be ignorant here, but is she starting at the prep this coming academic year, or are you getting her tested for the following academic year? If I wanted my child to go to a prep for next academic year, is this something I should have already sorted out?

littletree Fri 05-Jun-09 10:41:59

blush I mean, 2010-11 academic year.

karise Fri 05-Jun-09 10:59:10

Don't panic! It is for this September. The first events our prep offer for 2010 intake is open day in October

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