13+ St Paul's and City Interviews - HELP PLEASE!(9 Posts)
Much to our surprise, our DS has been called for 13+ interviews at City Boys and St Paul's. We are completely unfamiliar with the system and have no idea what to expect!
All we've been told by both schools that the boys will be tested in maths and English, and then be interviewed.
ANY advice or info really, really appreciated. The majority of candidates go into their interviews and tests prepped by schools who are familiar with the system. Our school can't help or give any leads. I just want my DS to go in feeling calm and prepared - and not taken aback by the process because he knows nothing about it.
Is their guidance in the booklets provided by the schools? CLGS does give very clear guidance on what's likely to be included English and Maths-wise. Interviews are more tricky to predict but I'd assume they are looking for genuine answers combined with some lateral thinking and a child not over-prepped and able to think on his feet.
Thanks so much Pradaqueen for your message. Literally no guidance at all apart from Maths test x 1, English test x 1, and then an interview...!
St Pauls has a habit of throwing in an unanswerable question to see how the boys react - my DS was asked "why don't clouds fall out the sky?". He was also asked if he'd read the Harry Potter books and seen the films and was asked to talk about how one book differed from its film.
My DS didn't have a clue about the clouds but still got an offer!
You can't be prepped for these interviews.
I have no specific experience but based on similar situations, I agree you can't be prepped in that reciting model answers will not impress and will not help with the "weird" questions.
That said, like any interview, there are some likely questions. So he could think about what his interests are, what he feels passionate about, what books and films he likes, something he's studied that he enjoyed etc. Schools are often looking to get kids talking about something they enjoy to see if that spark of passion and curiosity is there. Your DS will be more settled if he knows what he's going to say are his interests, hobbies, fave books etc rather than having that awful feeling of - "shit they've asked about films - what films have I seen recently - can't think of one - must say something - panicking now - um - "Bambi" - omigod what have I sad?
You should also remind your DS about eye contact, perhaps expecting to shake hands etc.
Thanks so much @midlifecrisis007
The interview will be what it will be. I'm encouraging DS to relax, be himself, and try to enjoy it.
But would be super helpful to have some kind of indication of what the basis of the maths and English tests include - any pointers?!
There are some practice papers on the Dulwich College website- obviously a different school and (??) maybe a bit less academic (than St Paul's anyway) but I suspect not a million miles away and at least would give your son some practice of doing tests of this sort with a time limit. They also give the mark schemes and show exactly how much working they want to see on the maths papers which I think is helpful (my son tends to do everything in his head then just scribble a few numbers down to "show his working"- was a real eye opener for him to see that you actually lose marks for not showing clear working on tests like this).
If you google, you'll find lots of mock interview Qs you can practise together (why do you want to come to this school? etc). My understanding is that most schools will quickly move away from Qs of this type to avoid just hearing a load of prepared answers, but it's worth going through them anyway just for confidence etc.
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