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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:36 pm 
Our son is wanting to sit the exams for both St Dunstan's and Alleyn's in South East London. They are on consecutive days in January. I really think that our son will be completely exhausted after a full day at the St Dunstan's exam (it starts first thing, has 4 papers and finishes at about the end of the school day), even without allowing for the nervous tension. I can't see how he could perform anywhere near to his maximum on the following day, for the arguably even harder Alleyn's tests. The schools are not that far from each other and there must be lots of other candidates in this position. We are seriously considering not entering him for St Dunstan's, for fear of blowing his chances at Alleyn's (his preferred school). But it seems complete madness that competing schools are doing this.

Anyone else affected, or any comments?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:04 pm 
I was faced with a similar dilemma last year. My child had to 3 sit tests on consecutive days. Competing schools are very much aware that this is a real issue for parents. Dont be put off by it (it's what some of the school's want).

My child coped very well as I'm sure yours will too. Just make sure that he's prepared, eats well (wholesome food) and gets a good night sleep!

All the best.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:46 pm 
I don't think it's unusual to have consecutive days of exams. My daughter's school in Birmingham (KEHS) has 2 consecutive days of exams anyway at the end of Jan.

Most candidates seem to cope with it ok.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:13 pm 
There's nothing wrong with 2 consecutive days of exams at the same school (apart from the fact that it's probably quite exhausting). that's the same for everyone. It's different from 2 days at different schools. Candidates who didn't sit for the first school are (arguably, at least) at an advantage because they're not completely shattered on day two!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:52 pm 
My son sat both these tests last year and I have to say it was not a problem. If anything the more exams he sat the more blase he became. To put your mind at rest he found the atmosphere at St Dunstans very warm and relaxed - my husband dropped him off at the gates and the staff were all on hand to warmly welcome the children. He then sat the exam for Alleyns the following day and passed. However the Alleyn's test was without any shadow of a doubt more challenging.

My son sat for Dulwich College, Alleyns, St Dunstans and Trinity plus grammars and he says that Alleyns was the most difficult of the independents. Of all the exams he sat he found St Olaves by far the hardest and Alleyns slightly less difficult. If I were you I would let him sit both exams. You can never be certain of the outcome and it is always better to have a fall back position. You may find, as we did, that sitting the St Dunstans exam helps him to warm up for Alleyns.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:58 pm 
I should add (I posted directly above) that it is not complete madness for the schools to do this. I have noticed that the most competive schools test first and last. I suspect that St Olaves test early to catch the candidates fresh before anyone else and Alleyns test last because that really sorts the wheat from the chaff - only the children with the most stamina will still be going strong after two weeks of exams.

Good luck to your son - I hope he does extremely well.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:13 am 
I thought it was a test of intellectual potential and attainment, not stamina! :)

I really do take your point, but I still can't help feeling that it's not the most grown up way to behave. I'd add that I know for a fact that St D's exam 2 years ago was about 10 days earlier (I hadn't appreciated that last yr was the same as this year, as you mentioned above). So as far as I'm concerned this is a conflict created by St D, not by Alleyn's trying to test them when physically and emotionally drained.

Our son wants to go to Alleyn's most of all, but regards St D as a very acceptable reserve choice. So he doesn't want his first choice impacted by possibly being tired from the St D test the day before. I've heard it's done very well too, but it is a full day of exams. We are genuinely considering just going for Alleyn's, out of the two. Colfe's is the Friday before.

I also can't help noticing that Alleyn's isn't back to back with any of the other foundation schools (Dulwich and JAGS) - no coincidence I'm sure.

anyway, thanks for the encouragement, much appreciated.


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