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What questions was your DC asked at 11+ interview? Did you practice?

(36 Posts)
Fluffyhamster Thu 23-Sep-10 13:53:23

DS1 will likely have a couple of interviews with Head Teacher/ senior school staff as part of his 11+ (independent school) application process.

Am just wondering what your DC were asked if they've been through this?

I don't want to 'over-rehearse' things, but I would like him to think about how he might answer certain types of questions.

I think the obvious ones are:

- why would you like to come here?
- what are your hobbies?

What else?

OP’s posts: |
hitmouse Thu 23-Sep-10 13:56:02

I'd certainly practise, though some schools will throw in odd ones like 'tell me what's happening in this picture' so it's worth spelling out to your DS what they'd be looking for in his answer

Fluffyhamster Thu 23-Sep-10 13:59:39

The same school last year asked a friend's child "were you tutored?" blush

OP’s posts: |
dinosaur Thu 23-Sep-10 14:01:04

They will ask him what other schools he's applied to.

hitmouse Thu 23-Sep-10 14:01:38

Oh yes, my DD had that! She said yes then when she saw my horrified face asked what she should have said. I couldn't tell her! She got in anyway - maybe for being honest!

Fluffyhamster Thu 23-Sep-10 14:02:39

Were you in the interview then? I don't think parents are allowed in ours...

OP’s posts: |
hitmouse Thu 23-Sep-10 14:07:34

No - but of course I quizzed her when she came out

Fluffyhamster Thu 23-Sep-10 14:11:57

Oh, sorry - of course...

OP’s posts: |
norflondoner Thu 23-Sep-10 14:16:23

mine was asked if he had read a newspaper or watched the news this week and asked to talk about it.

hitmouse Thu 23-Sep-10 14:16:58

Others were 'what was your favourite holiday' followed by questions like how was it different to the UK, what book are you reading, some topical ones eg what's in the news at the moment. I think it's important that they can elaborate, so if asked a straightforward question they can talk around it.

alexw Thu 23-Sep-10 14:18:44

I do the 11+ interviews at my (academic independent) school. Ask about hobbies - looking for self-motivated activities. Interest in reading - but don't try to show off - much prefer them to say Enid Blyton that Dickens if they can then speak enthusiastically about it. Give them some Maths puzzles/problems to do (for checking teachability/how well they respond to instructions). Talk about a picture - again, looking for interesting vocab and good ideas. DO NOT EVER give the answer to 'why do you want to come here?' - Because of the facilities. make sure you have visited the school before - an open day or something. Make sure your ds has noticed something in particular about the school to mention. Basically just be natural and enthusiastic. We can tell so easily when kids have been rehearsed - much prefer more natural answers.
Will be asked why this school, where else are you applying to, any siblings (esp if older and already somewhere else so more likely to join sibling)... HTH

Doodlez Thu 23-Sep-10 14:19:02

I know of one child who was asked what he could offer/bring to the school!

sue52 Thu 23-Sep-10 14:29:48

DD was called in for a scholarship interview after the entrance exam for an independent school. She was asked about her favourite author, why she was keen on her after school activities (piano and ballet),some general knowledge questions and a bit about current affairs. Good luck.

Fluffyhamster Thu 23-Sep-10 14:41:45

Some really good advice here!

Alex - do you have any 'horror' stories?

The head of one school we looked at told the story of a boy who came for interview and was very reticent to communicate..

Head: "so, what are your hobbies then?"

Boy: "erm, dunno, er, nothing really.."

Head: "Oh, I'm sure there's something you like doing after school?"

Boy: (ponders, then face lights up..)
"Oh yes!"

Head: (relieved..) : "Great, so what's that then? what do you like doing after school?"

Boy: "Eating..."


OP’s posts: |
dinosaur Thu 23-Sep-10 15:26:09

Yes, DS1 was asked about his favourite book. He decided to go for Swallows & Amazons.

I should perhaps 'fess up at this point that DS1 didn't get in...

Litchick Thu 23-Sep-10 15:59:04

DD was asked what she was involved in at school apart form lessons - choir, sports teams etc
What she did outside school.
What book she was reading at the moment.
Which subjects she liked best and why. Dotto the worst.
And I think one school asked her if she could think of any recent news stories and discuss them.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 23-Sep-10 16:26:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stubbornhubby Thu 23-Sep-10 16:33:37

make sure DD understands there aren't really right or wrong answers. they want to hear him talk, to have opinions, to be interesting and interested.

5 mins analysis of harry potter or dr who or whatever - with the child coming alive and saying something interesting is going to be much more impressive than claiming 'Oliver Twist' but then being monosyllabic about it.

DOES he want to go to the school?

Fluffyhamster Thu 23-Sep-10 16:45:02

Yes - he DOES want to go, and I think could be quite animated about it, with good reasons etc, so I'm not too worried.

He would probably say things like "liked the boys who showed him round" "had a good feel to the school" "wants to join the jazz band, and the pyromaniacs club..."

All good stuff really!

OP’s posts: |
stillfeel18inside Thu 23-Sep-10 17:08:07

My DS was asked (he did quite a few interviews):
- what would you do with a million pounds?
- where would you most like to go in the world and why? (you weren't allowed to say Disneyland!!)
- why do you want to come to this school?
- what's your favourite subject, why do you like it?
and he had to talk about sports he played, musical instruments etc.
Also he had a "Vice-president" badge on, which he had in yr 6 at his state primary, and was asked what duties he had as Vice-president. (I hadn't prepped him on that one, so he said "er nothing much, I think we help at sports day"!)

hitmouse Thu 23-Sep-10 17:32:16

Oh yes the badges! At one school my DD was about the only girl there without one. I'm going to have to go and buy a load for my next.

stubbornhubby Thu 23-Sep-10 17:45:45

what would you do with a million pounds is a great question - most 11 yr olds must have thought about that before.

singersgirl Thu 23-Sep-10 21:42:16

DS1 got asked at one school what period in history he'd like to go back to and why. We did tell him that if he didn't know the answer to a question or didn't understand it, it was much better to ask them to repeat it or to rephrase it than just to say 'dunno'.

yoyo Thu 23-Sep-10 21:50:52

"How would you describe a window?"

Also asked to take something in and discuss it.

Favourite author.

"What did you read in the newspaper last week?"

alexw Fri 24-Sep-10 09:39:37

No real horror stories, but some children have said their favourite activity is watching tv or fighting with siblings (doesn't go down well). Also One girl who told me she wanted to come to sschool because of the facilities and the school's place in the league tables and how it would try to get the best out of her (obviously parents' answers). Main thing is enthusiasm.

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