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Eton interview advice please

(17 Posts)
lifeafterwork Mon 03-Nov-14 11:45:53

My DS has an assessment at Eton in a few weeks and I wondered if anyone had put their son through the test in the last few years and can advise what sort of questions are asked at the interview?
Any details of what sort of things are asked during computer based reasoning tests too? Thank you…!

ZeroSomeGameThingy Mon 03-Nov-14 13:12:32

Boys can never remember what they did in the computerised test!

As regards the interview (and this is recent experience...) you should probably focus less on "what sort of question?" and more on "what sort of boy?" I haven't heard of them asking anything strange or unusual - reading, other interests etc. My impression has always been that they want to see if a boy will thrive in that particular environment, and they're not interested in rehearsed answers.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Mon 03-Nov-14 13:14:35

Sorry - was interrupted - is your DS boarding at the moment? If not - can he say why he'd like to board?

IndridCold Mon 03-Nov-14 13:38:37

All of us who've been through this know that you obviously want to do everything you can to help your son, but it really is down to them from now on.

For the interview, favourite books, sports and hobbies also seem to come up regularly, but a poster a couple of weeks ago prepared her DS to talk about his pig rearing and in the event it didn't come up at all! I think the masters who do the interviews are pretty good at spotting too much preparation, they want to hear what the boys come out with spontaneously, rather than what they have practised beforehand.

For the test, there is another mum on here who's son took the test last week, and he couldn't tell her anything about it at all! The only thing my DS remembers is a piece of scrolling text, and you had to mark all the mistakes, as it moved faster and faster, so that might give you an idea.

Just make sure your son is relaxed and has a good day. The boys always seem to enjoy their experience - it's just us parents who are in pieces! I wish you good luck.

grovel Mon 03-Nov-14 14:31:19

All the advice above is sound.

As to the computer tests, we were told that they hope boys will come out and tell their parents that "they were quite fun and quite hard but I can't really remember examples of what they involved". That is pretty much exactly what my DS told us.

The interviews are definitely not designed to catch boys out. They are looking for natural answers and enthusiasm. Eton introduced this admissions process to make sure that they were recruiting boys who have sufficient ability to take advantage of excellent teaching and also have the "get up and go" to involve themselves in extra-curricular activities.

So, the only advice I'd give your DS is not to be "too cool for school" in interview.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Mon 03-Nov-14 16:37:52

What sort of school (or home ed?) does he attend at the moment OP?

It makes no difference I'm sure - as long as he can show that he's ready (or will be) for what they're offering. By which I mean all the other stuff, on top of mere cleverness, that might indicate that he'd do well.

Dapplegrey Mon 03-Nov-14 18:16:23

My ds was asked what he liked doing to which he replied that among other things he liked being with his friends.
"What does the word 'friend' mean to you" said the master interviewing him.
"Well", said ds, "someone who I like being with and who I am loyal to and who is loyal to me".
He also talked about his interests with such enthusiasm that finally the master had to say time's up.

Dapplegrey Mon 03-Nov-14 18:17:06

Oh yes, and very best of luck to your ds.

lifeafterwork Fri 21-Nov-14 02:31:15

To all of you above who so kindly posted advice and good wishes, .. Thank you.
I'm new to mums net and hadn't realised there were so many posts in reply until last week (doh!)
I now have another conundrumconfused
My DS did his test and interview yesterday ... I nearly called the thing off after he had a raging temp the night before, but I dosed him up in the night and he slept and when he felt a bit hot late morning gave him paracetamol b4 we left & he seemed fine. He found the interview fine but by the time he was mid way through the test felt ropey and came out hot and clammy again and said he completely flunked the last section. Had medicine when we got in and his temp went back down. I should perhaps have postponed but was conscious we were among the last test dates and he seemed fine. Should I call or does it sound like pathetic pushy parent making excuses ... I've asked to speak to my sons school tomorrow ... Do I get them to call?
He's hot now , but u do find temperatures come and go with children and often lead to nothing . Any advice / thoughts ladies, would be gratefully appreciated ... Pls don't tell me I should have cancelled ... Already regretting that I didn't hmm Thank you

summerends Fri 21-Nov-14 08:47:17

Personally since I think you communicate very well the situation I would suggest that you email Eton admissions this morning with what you have just posted.

lifeafterwork Fri 21-Nov-14 09:17:36

Thank you, .... Haven't slept I'm so eaten away with guilt that I went ahead with it. Need to keep things in perspective , there are people with bigger issues in the world than this blush

summerends Fri 21-Nov-14 11:10:00

Perspective is hard come by in the middle of the night!

ZeroSomeGameThingy Fri 21-Nov-14 11:27:25

Well you've answered one question anyway - he's not currently boarding?

I'm sorry it's been so stressful for you both - but I do know that even in a boarding prep that sends lots of boys every year it's not unusual for exam nerves to manifest themselves in headaches, sickness, raised temps etc on the day. (Just as with any excited child.)

So while I'm sure it will be noted I'm not sure it would be seen as "noteworthy" unless it turns out to be a specific non-anxiety related illness. (Obviously I don't actually know. I could ask the relevant child whether anyone's exam date was changed because of illness ...)

No doubt by now you've spoken to his current school as well?

Hope he feels better soon. Does he still want to go?

lifeafterwork Fri 21-Nov-14 13:06:51

Thank you both. His little brother, 18 months, has now gone down with a similar temperature so suspect it's a viral infection. As you acknowledge .... the light and morning brings perspective...!

ZeroSomeGameThingy Fri 21-Nov-14 13:11:00

Ah, in that case yes - definitely let people know.

IndridCold Sat 22-Nov-14 12:21:11

Replying a bit late, but in this instance I think you should definitely get your current HM to let Eton admissions know the situation with your son, I think it will sound better coming from him.

Try not to worry too much, so long as your son managed to answer a reasonable number of questions they should hopefully have enough to go on (no one actually finishes the test anyway). They will also have his interview and school report as well.

Fingers crossed for you.

TinkerBellThree Sat 22-Nov-14 20:51:45

Someone I know was in this situation in the spring. They didnt feel they could or should say anything. The boy did not get in... IMHO- I dont think it can hurt, but I wholeheartedly agree with Ingrid - let your HM do the talking.
All the best of luck to your DS and hope both him and the little one are feeling better.

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