Practice papers for indie entrance(12 Posts)
As a result of a job move from the US to the UK next year we have decided that DS try for entrance to an independent school at age 11. We will live in Surbiton so are looking at schools in the area.
Coming from the US system I'd like him to get some preparation. So can anyone recommend a good resource for practice papers? Preferably that I can download online (even if I have to pay for them) as we don't have long to get prepped.
And our son is going to spit the dummy big time - not only because we have to drop the bomb that we're moving back to the UK but his Xmas hols are going to be spent poring over past papers!
The Bond books are good, but you do have to order them. Ditto Letts. Not sure about downloaded. Some schools will publish an example of the papers. MAybe worth having a look at those?
DSs both used the Bond books and they seemed to do the job.
Here are some specimen 11+ entry papers from an independent school (outside your area).
we used this site but not in your area.
If you have specific schools in mind, check their entry exam requirements. They don't all have the same type of exams - some have individual amths and English papers some have verbal reasoning and some have non-verbal reasoning. The school website should help.
I've got hold of some Bond papers, samples from indie school websites and a tutor for the Christmas holiday - yes we're going to have a fantastic festive season......
Does anyone know how the Bond papers compare to the exams set by the individual schools?
Do older years than the year he's in if possible to encourage speed. This is especially true for the verbal & non-verbal reasoning papers.
The schools usually send you a link to sample papers after you have registered. City of London Boys school has papers on its website, look on the websites of all the prestigious schools you can think of & print them off. You can have a look at the elevenplusforum too for help.
Go to elevenplusexams.co.uk. They have papers you can download. Plus the parents forum is split by region and each region tend to have at least one keen soul who has the inside track on your school.
As for your question about Bonds, IMO they are a bit easy compared to the papers at the more selective schools.
papa Which schools? You say indie so not the Tiffin level of testing. Our DD sat indie exams from overseas and was successful.
The entrance exams do vary quite widely. For instance Kingston Grammar is a fairly straightforward test of attainment, with a computerised VR paper and just making sure your son is familiar with and working at the level of the year 6 curriculum together with some VR papers and being familiar with exam technique would be enough preparation. Hampton has more questions designed to test ability and potential rather than attainment which is harder to prepare for but some lateral thinking puzzles, VR and NVR and some practise in answering Maths problems which they really have to think about. KCS entry at 11 is likely to be on an even higher level.
However these schools do value expats and the experiences they bring to the school community and they do understand, and take into account that pupils may have been in a different school system. They will look at your ds as an individual and his level of ability and potential so I wouldn't panic if he has not covered some of the ground.
Godolphin and Latymer have sample and past papers on line. Although they are part of the North London Girls' schools consortium they will provide you with an idea of the indie exams at the boy's indies like Hampton. www.godolphinandlatymer.com/page/?title=First+Year+Entry&pid=359
You need to know the format of the entrance exams for the individual schools.
For example, some do Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning tests, similar to the aptitude (proficiency) tests that your DS has done at various intervals in the US. He can familiarise himself with these by doing some Bond Assessment Papers.
Other schools will have papers in English and Maths. English exams will be split between reading (ie comprehension) and writing. There is a possibility that your DS will be hindered by his US culture, but all you need to do is make this known up front, and they will adjust accordingly. The maths paper is likely to be basic arithmetical operations and data handling, along with tricky problem solving questions.
Prep school pupils are usually prepared for their senior school exams by doing half an hour of VR/NVR a week, and then working towards the Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB) 11+ Common Entrance (CE) papers. 11+ CE comes in English, Maths and Science, but relatively few schools use the Science paper (success on this is more to do with the prep school rather than the student). Many schools set their own papers, but they are close enough the the ISEB papers as to make no difference. You can buy CE papers from the ISEB website.
Most 11+ senior schools have a sizeable (50%) intake from state schools, so do not expect them to be "prepped". Being able to get a level 5 on Key Stage 2 papers will be the standard a selective school is looking for.
When we moved from the US to the UK, my DSs went into Y7 and Y5 in a traditional prep school. Apart from an obvious lack of French, they were very comfortable. They don't do as much science in the US early on, and the history/geography is different. This did not pose a problem for my DSs, and they didn't figure in senior school exams. Their English and Math teaching in the US was very good.
My advice to you is not to worry
Just a quick note of thanks to everyone who commented on this post. All your suggestions were very helpful. Kids over here actually do Verbal and NonVerbal reasoning tests every year as part of their CogAT testing so hopefully they won't be too must of a surprise, and the rest........? Well there's only so much we can do. So I am trying to take your advice Amerryscot and just not worry .
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