COMMON APPLICATION FORM 2021
There are often stories of disappointment from people allocated inappopriate schools. Or even unacceptable for their child. There are various reasons that this may happen. Although, it’s often because parents did not:
- Grasp the admission criteria for their chosen schools.
- Comprehend the process of allocating schools – the Equal Preference System.
It really should not happen that children lose out on school places. Certainly, not because their school preferences were entered incorrectly on the CAF (Common Application Form). Often this happens because parents listen to a headteacher or teacher.
Even Headteachers and teachers are not always aware of the best procedure. Or able to advise on the correct way to complete the CAF. Often, parents have entered the following order of preferences on the CAF on the advice of their child’s Headteacher.
- Preferred grammar school, not a catchment school.
- Local Comprehensive school, heavily over-subscribed.
- Local, catchment grammar school.
ISEB Exam Intro
- ISEB, or the Independent School Examination Board, provides sets of Common Pre-tests for senior school students in year 6 or 7, when the students are aged 10 to 12.
- While candidates who are aged 6 take the 11+ Common Entrance Exam, those who are aged 8 years take the 13+ Common Entrance Exam for admittance to the senior school of their choice.
- The ISEB tests are considered entrance tests for students by many prep or senior schools and the marks achieved therein help students to gain admittance to independent schools.
- As these tests are age-standardised exams, students start to prepare for them at a very young age in readiness for joining their senior school.
- ISEB tests are held online by the school administration in which the pupil currently studies. They include multiple choice questions in English, mathematics, non-verbal and verbal reasoning.
- As it is the responsibility of the senior school students to inform the parents about the Common Pre-tests, parents do not need to register.
- The ISEB is taken once a year for those children applying to several senior schools.
Common Entrance Exam 2021
The Common Entrance Test is offered by Galore Park, which is the selected distributor of the Independent School Examination Board (ISEB) exam papers. The common entrance exams are titled the 11+ Entrance Test and the 13+ Entrance Test.
The 11+ Common Entrance Test is conducted by senior schools in the United Kingdom in order to assess the eligibility of the candidate to enter the respective senior school. The test is held in year 6, during the spring or autumn. The subjects for the 11+ entrance exam are English, mathematics and science. The exam is at one level only.
One set of parents were advised to put the comprehensive school as high as possible on the form if they wanted a chance of getting a place. The Headteacher was under the impression that if the child qualified for grammar school; the comprehensive school will automatically be ignored. She was wrong.
Private School Entrance Exams / ISEB Common Entrance Exam Papers
Unfortunately, the Admissions Department could not allocate the child a place in the grammar school. Even though the child did qualify for a one. Although he/she qualified for grammar school allocation, the first preference school was oversubscribed. Therefore the Admissions Department automatically moved to the next preference school. The Admissions Department had to believe that that was what the parents intended. To therefore award the child a place at the comprehensive school.
The only solution for the parent was to go on to the waiting lists for both grammar schools. To hope that a place would become available at one of the. Or to fight an over-subscription appeal for both schools. Luckily, on this occasion, a place came up at the local, catchment grammar school in the second round of allocations.
As the example above shows, even experienced professionals can give incorrect advice, despite their best intentions.
In many areas of the country, the CAF allows you to express up to six preferences. This is generally sufficient for most parents. However, in certain areas, there are only three spaces on the CAF, and completing the form presents considerable challenges.
The golden rule for completing the CAF is that you should always put the schools in your real order of preference.
COMMON APPLICATION FORM 2021 Part IV
Remember when completing the CAF:
- If your child is taking the 11+, list all your preferred grammar schools above any other type of schools.
- Be realistic. If a certain grammar school is 15 miles away then don’t list it as a preference. Although if you live only 8-9 miles away, take a chance.
- Your last preference school should be your ultimate fallback if all else fails. Therefore, make sure it is still a school that will be acceptable. Plus, one that your child is certain to get a place.
- Keep a copy of your CAF (print the online version or make a copy of the form signed and dated version). You will be very glad if you decide to appeal. Then need to prove what you filled in.
- Get proof that your application form has been sent. Take a screenshot or send it by recorded mail. You can even phone the local authority a few days later to confirm.
- If you have any questions – ASK. You only have one opportunity to apply for secondary school places. So make sure you do it right.
- If your child does not get a place at any of your listed preferences, your home local authority will allocate your child a place. Check carefully with your local Admissions Department. Or with the School Choice Advisers.
Private school interview tips I
For your private school interviews:
- Remember these determine how well are you connected to your roots and students are also judged on where they come from based on the interviews. There are a few things can do and at the same time avoid doing or saying at such an interview. The tips and tricks will come in handy for someone who is appearing for the university application interviews for the first time.
- In recent times, since the pandemic is in full force, all interviews are being held virtually so the below tips will be specifically related to someone who is performing the interview from their smart devices.
- Firstly, an active internet connection is very important, when you’re appearing for such an interview. Even though the internet connection is a dependency factor but a stable internet connection will surely ensure better scores for someone and at the same time an unstable network might bring in a negative impact if not marks deduction.
Private school interview tips II
Since the interview will be judged on the appearance style and how you present yourself, a stable internet connection does help in building the image. The interviewers will always remember a good experience they had with a candidate, so every minute detail counts, even the internet stability. It is always better if you take the interview from a laptop rather than a phone as it looks more professional. However, if one does not have a laptop at their disposal, then a smartphone can be used.
Private School Interview Tips Part Two
As virtual interviews are about presenting yourself, you must look clean and sharp. Once you have set up the webcam, it is important to sit right in front of the camera and make sure that sunlight is coming from the front and not the back, so that you are visible to the interviewees. If you’re using a setup with multiple monitors, then the division should be set in such a manner that the one in front of you becomes the interview screen. Nobody wants to do a side-faced interview.
Sit in a quiet place. If you have multiple rooms at your disposal then chose the quietest one. If you do the interview sitting somewhere where there is consistent disturbance and surrounding noise, then it is relatively evident that it will affect the experience, which in turn will harm your interview results.
Switch off the notifications of your phone if you use your smartphone for attending the interview. Calls or notifications can hamper the network and connectivity of your device and the interview might get paused or even shut down in certain cases. This will lead to a negative impact on the interview results again.
Finally, doing a test run with your current setting is important. You must be aware of all the minute details of your setup. It is better to check everything on the rest run session and then make changes accordingly if something is not right.
Why Are Virtual Interviews Better?
There are some cons of such meetings and interviews and the most important one is that you cannot meet the people in front of you in person. However, some institutes and individuals prefer it more than the conventional ones. Below are some of the reasons why virtual interviews are better:
Virtual interviews provide an interview a good period to prepare for the discussion. The prime motive is to make sure that the interview goes well, so scheduling or booking an interview session using the virtual meeting applications is always better.
University Interviews Prep
A virtual interview always makes a candidate feel more comfortable as they will be able to answer more naturally in this setup. There may be scenarios when the candidate is working somewhere and is not able to travel to the interview location because of his or her strict working hours. In that case, a virtual interview is the best solution that assists in making the whole session done on a remote basis.
Etiquettes Of Virtual Interview
The first and most important thing about a virtual interview is that it should look like an original interview. So, dressing professionally and looking sharp and clean still applies. A lot of individuals do not take this seriously enough and this affects the results of the interview.
Using professional language, sitting straight and maintaining eye contact are something that applicants should remember while appearing for a virtual interview.
For interviewees, it is important to keep the questions before holding the session.
Before the interview One
Good luck with your private school entrance exams!