Preparing for entrance exams: Top tips

Depending on which school you are planning to send your child to and where in the country you live they may have to sit entrance exams, which they will need to pass in order to be accepted into that school.
An entrance exam is an examination that many educational institutions use to select students for admission. These exams may be administered at any level of education, from primary to higher education, although they are more common at higher levels.

As a former Nanny I have seen some of my past charges getting ready for these exams and because of their young age they can find them rather stressful especially if they have a sibling in the school already or there is a great want to attend this school over others.

I have previously helped those I’ve looked after to study for these exams but I thought it would be useful if you are currently going through this to hear from those who have helped their children prepare recently.
Emma who writes at Emma and 3 says – “Start in Year 5. Stress that not passing is not failure and suggests also visiting schools that are not selective too.”
Her advice is to prepare with the past papers and to also look around as there are some great forums with advice and try to keep calm about it all.  Please do take a look at the blog post she wrote on when her son was about to take his entrance exam.
Jacinta and Joy also suggest working through past exam papers.  Joy advises starting early and being as gently with the preparation as you can be.
Anthea has some very sound advice and says that talking to you children is key.  “To emphasise when they start working through past papers to answer all the questions so they get used to the style, even if they can’t answer all the questions – and to start a year in advance if you can.”
She says this will help to teach them and get them used to the time constraints of the exams and to of course always go through their exam papers afterwards and explain anything they haven’t understood, then to repeat, repeat and repeat some more.
And, finally Julie says you need to believe in your kids.  If they are meant to pass they’ll be fine.
Are your children sitting entrance exams? Do you have any tips to offer other readers?
For those of you currently going through this and would like extra help then you’ll find lots of advice on the 11 plus exams forum, The ISEB have copies of past exam papers available for you to work through and if you are really feeling out of your depth and wish to offer extra support then Fleet Tutors have lots of qualified tutors available to provide that extra help and guidance your child may need.
As with all exam preparation make sure your child gets a good nights sleep, eats well and takes lots of study breaks.  Make sure they don’t get too caught up in exam preparation and that you still have lots of family fun – they are still very young and you really don’t want to make this process any more stressful for them than it already is.
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