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SEARCH the UK’s Independent/private schools that use the ISEB Common Pretest.

How best to use School Entrance Tests‘ past papers 7+

Here is our step-by-step guide to encourage the best form of school entrance 7+ test practice. This is using the 7+ practice materials which are closest to your schoool entry exam. This is why we offer the very latest 7+ school entrance past papers. These are the best source of &+ revision for your child to use.

Step by step guide to using 7+ School Entrance Tests‘ past papers

  1. You need to search the School Entrance Tests‘ Index to access the type of school entrance test which your child will be taking.
  2. Download those 7+ past papers which are the latest versions of those listed.
  3. Schedule revision sessions for your child to familiarise themselves with the 7+ exam format and question styles.
  4. As they complete more 7+ practice papers (from earlier academic years) your child will perfect their exam technique*
  5. Note those sub-tests (for example the 11 plus for grammar school entry has four separate papers or subtests. These are for verbal reasoning, for Maths, for English and for non-verbal reasoning.

Our notes for using past school entry papers

Firstly, the above Guide to using past papers may occur alongside your child’s tutor.

Also, we also offer more challenging past 5+ papers for revision. These are supplied by our practice 5+ exam partners because of their reputaiton for providing high quality and engaging online (mock) exams. We recommend incorporately these at the asterisked step 5. *


Key Points about 5+ Exams School Entrance

  • Some parents wait until the end of Year 6 to move their children to a secondary school.
  • Other parents move them earlier, particularly if you are considering moving your child from a state primary school to an independent preparatory school.
  • Such prep schools primarily admit pupils at the beginning of Key Stage 2. Thus, the 7+ admissions tests are taken at the end of Year 2.

7+ Exams School Entrance children

Which London schools use 5+ exams?

Interesting independent school facts

Some independent schools also appoint learners as what they call a ‘Don’. A ‘Don’ will give feedback to the teacher on what they (and those in their class) are learning and how they are learning. A Don is, therefore, a student leader in important departments of the school. They are usually associated with academic departments. You would, therefore, get a Don for Maths or Biology, but there may also be a Don for other departments like Library. These Dons can then do the following

  • Lead activities for younger learners
  • Organise external speakers and organise extracurricular societies
  • Pop up at A level choices fairs to tell potential subscribers “what it’s really like”
  • Offer heads of department feedback on lessons and curriculum
  • Lobby for changes in what and how they are taught

Typical 5+ exams school entrance

The admissions process varies from school to school, however, usually the tests will involve English and mathematics. Some schools also include a reasoning test too, which can include both verbal and non-verbal reasoning. They can be written or computer-based tests. As with other entrance stages, schools often ask for a report from the child’s current school and those that pass the examination will often be asked back for an interview.

School Entrance Tests advice for parents

In our opinion, the best way to prepare for any Exam is to believe that your children can do it. Secondly, to manage their expectations openly. They should see the chance to get into a school as a possibility. And not a necessity. So if they don’t get in, it Is because the school was not right for them. Promote a growth mindset by avoiding the belief that your child has failed somehow.

London Pre-schools Feature

Verity’s children started their Early Years education in their local village at the primary school.  This primary school had a pre-school associated with it, so they were able to start there, aged two.

The pre-school had the same terms as the primary school. The days were a little shorter though, 9 am – 3 pm.  If Verity had had a full-time job at this time she may well have looked to send her children to an independent pre-school associated with a prep school. Schools such as these often offer school days which runs from 8 am – 6 pm. Their terms are sometimes significantly shorter though.

How does the independent education system work?

Independent Guide: Prep School

Verity’s two children, a girl and a boy two years apart transitioned seamlessly from pre-school to the primary school.  It was always the intention that at the end of Year 4 they would go on to preparatory school. Starting their journey into the independent education system.  This being the rural South East the prep schools tend not to be selective, so for Verity, it was a case of researching and visiting the schools that she liked the look of and putting her daughter’s and then her son’s name down.  Both children moved to prep school when they were seven at the beginning of Year 3, albeit two years apart.

Have a look at our London Prep menu. From there you will find links to Admission Info as well as Entrance Exams for Prep Schools in London.

Verity’s daughter was nearing 11. Therefore Verity started to consider which senior school her daughter should progress on to.  Verity considered briefly putting her in for the 11+ in an attempt to get her into a Kent grammar school but for a variety of reasons decided against this.  Had she decided on this route she would have needed to register for her to sit the test in the summer of Y5 with a view to sitting it in the September of Y6.

School Guide: Secondary School

The Headmaster of the prep school had some firm opinions about which senior independent schools he favoured. He knew which were most suitable for Verity’s daughter. Then later, her son.  Verity’s daughter was accomplished at sports, so schools offering opportunities for sports scholarships were on the agenda.   Additionally, Verity needed to take in to account how her daughter was likely to perform in an entrance exam if one was required, as well as her likely attainment in the Common Entrance Exam.  Verity’s budget allowed her to keep their options open and consider boarding school, which meant that they could look at establishments much further away from home.

Verity had completed her research for a school and pretty much made a final decision by the time her daughter was in Y7.  Scholarship assessments in the Spring of Y8 and Common Entrance in the summer.  Verity’s daughter started at her new school in Y9 when she was 13.   By this time Verity was well in the throes of carrying out the same research process for her son.

The two children are at different boarding schools – the daughter at an all girls’ school and the son had chosen a co-ed school.   During the first year at senior school, Y9, choices were made for GCSE subjects – ‘Options’, and the GCSE courses started at the beginning of Y10.

Have a look at our 11+ Private Menu. There you will find links to London Private Schools 11+ as well as Entrance Exams to Private Secondary schools in London.

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