As a parent, what can you do to ensure your child performs to the best of their ability in school entrance exams, whether they are sitting Common Entrance, 11+ or other exams for selective entry schools?

Some careful preparation can make all the difference. Here are a few pointers:

§        Obtain specimen papers or past papers from the school, if they are available

§        Common Entrance past papers are available to order online from Galore Park

§        Ensure your child is familiar with the vocabulary used in the specimen papers or past papers

§        Encourage your child to take extra care with spelling and punctuation

§        Word games, puzzles and logic problems can be a fun way to practice logical thinking and broaden vocabulary

§        Work on mental arithmetic skills. Children should know tables up to 12 reliably, and be able to add and subtract at minimum 3 digit numbers quickly and accurately.

If your child will be taking an independent school’s own entrance exam instead of Common Entrance, find out as much as you can about it as early in the process as possible. Some schools provide specimen papers or past papers, but many only provide information on the layout or format of the exams, and the syllabus that they expect pupils to have covered.

Talk to your child’s teachers if you are in any doubt about whether the full syllabus has been covered or will have been by the time the exams come round. If the situation is at all unclear, it may be worth considering private tuition to ensure that your child is fully prepared. Asking for personal recommendations from friends or acquaintances can be a good starting place for finding suitable tutors. Otherwise, look for Common Entrance tutors or tutors with experience in preparing children for independent school entrance exams.

For those who live in the Witney area of Oxfordshire, I am a Common Entrance tutor specialising in Maths at 11+ or 13+, with plenty of experience of preparing children for independent school entrance exams. Please email me for further information or see Maths Tuition and FAQs.