Preparing your child for Common Entrance
Children take Common Entrance exams when applying to join independent schools at the age of 11 or 13. They are standardised tests set by the Independent Schools Examinations Board.
As a parent or student, you may be unsure as to what the tests consist of and whether you need to prepare for the exams.
It is likely that independent schools will be preparing students for Common Entrance months in advance, maybe even since the beginning of the summer term.
You may recognise the term ‘Common Entrance’ but there could also be similar examination processes that differ from school to school. If your child is expecting to sit Common Entrance, 11 Plus or a specific school exam then you are in the right place.
So what does it all mean? Common Entrance is a standardised test as mentioned above. However, some independent schools set their own tests and exams to evaluate children’s skills in different formats.
So does your child need to prepare for his or her test? Yes
Your child will need to be familiar with sitting an exam, they may not have experienced such environments and time constraints before.
Some exams will be in a format that the child has not yet experienced. They may have little know-how in dealing with the type of questions presented to them in certain exams.
For example, many schools will test for verbal or non-verbal reasoning. They may not test for both but it is likely to be examined in one way or the other. Many schools believe that this tests skills that are innate and cannot be learned.
Whilst the skills might be innate, it would still be an advantage for your child to have seen and practised similar tests. That way it will help them to stay relaxed and not become overwhelmed in the exam.
State schools might struggle to prepare individual children for tests like Common Entrance. Some teachers might not even be aware of which independent schools surround the area, or the examination protocols involved. With heavy workloads, teachers may not have time to be involved in this process at all particularly for the individual requirements of each and every student.
If you are looking for more information on how to prepare your child for Common Entrance then please contact Smithbrook Tuition for a free assessment. We help to get students ready for their chosen schools or even provide advice on a suitable school that is the right fit for your child.