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 Post subject: 7 plus please help
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:33 pm
Posts: 11
Hi everyone
Just wondered as we embark on all of this for dd whether anyone could please please shed any light on what is required for 7 plus entry as am getting an information blackout.

Please could you tell me what these various tests entail

The schools we are considering are very vague and don't specify whether there is a picture story or a titled composition or comprehension. We are feeling very in the dark at our state primary about this and already I have heard that even parents at the 2 main feeder preps are also getting their kids tutored!

My dd does have a high reading age but is very slow at writing and at her state school they follow NC very strictly so are only just starting to write cat, bed , wig etc so I just don't see without input from us how she will have the first clue as to what to do let alone manage to do something to time

They say there is a standardised intelligence test but what that is for 6 yr olds I don't know

On the other hand I don't want to be confusing her with teaching stuff the wrong way. We have already had tears with DH trying to help her to add up carrying tens in columns like we were taught but from what I have seen nowadays it is all written horizontally

Any help really really gratefully received. Thanks

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:54 pm 
An idea of the schools your looking at will help, pm me if you wish. :)

 Post subject: 7 plus please help
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:11 pm
Posts: 4
Same issues here. If anyone has any useful tips that could come back onto open forum we would be thrilled to hear them.

Eldest child has been accepted at chosen school based on track record and results to date but, due to oversubscription, youngest needs to pass assessment. What a pain if he doesn't get in and they have to go to different schools. :(

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:28 am
Posts: 106
Location: Middlesex
I am not sure which schools you are applying to, but just to get a feel of what some schools around here expect at 7, please visit the following web and browse their specimen maths & english papers for 7+ testing. This is pretty much the max they might ask, so please don't be put off.
http://www.habsboys.org.uk/prep/admissi ... ions7+.php

 Post subject: 7+ exams
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:55 pm
Posts: 86
Location: London

My child took and failed two 7+ entrance exams some years ago. With hindsight, my advice would be:

1. I would not allow a child to sit a 7+ exam unless he or she was one of the top pupils in his or her class. In London, at least, the competition for places at good prep schools attached to senior schools is so fierce that it is simply not worth it otherwise and just creates an immense amount of stress for what is still quite a young child.

2. These exams are stressful and one way of telling whether your child would be able to cope is to observe how he or she deals with homework. Is he/she capable of doing their homework unaided for at least 20 minutes, with a reasonable result at the end? Does he/she get stressed or even distressed if there are questions he/she can't cope with?

3. I am afraid I don't know what the math test includes but the English may well be a simple story to write. Making sure that the story has a beginning and an end and, ideally a funny sentence or two in it, seems to be key to success here.

In our case, all the warning signals were there if we had been able to see them. If you are not happy with your existing school but doubt whether your child could pass the exam, at that age a sideways move to another 4-11 school can be a better option. This is what we did and it has worked out extremely well for us. I realized then that not all schools are suitable for all children, whatever the schools say about "nurturing the individual" etc etc. in their marketing literature.

Good luck with whatever you decide on!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:03 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:18 pm
Posts: 490
Location: kent
My experience is very old and probably not that relevant (early 70s), but this is what I remember.

I attended the first three years of a state primary school (equivalent of R, Yr 1 and Yr 2). During Year 2 I sat the entrance exam for a prep school. It was a selective one - but it did have an infant dept beneath it and I think all of those children automatically passed up into the prep school. There were very few places available at 7 so the competition was probably quite high - I remember being one of only two newcomers in my class.

Obviously I don't remember the entrance exams in much detail, but I do remember it involving some reading, writing (including a story) and arithmetic, and filling in time at the end with a picture. I remember not knowing what a division sign was and going home and asking my Mum what a line was with a dot above and below it. I was not bothered that I did not know. I just did not answer those questions with the mysterious symbol in it. I remember just feeling during the exam that they should have made those questions clearer!

I certainly had written plenty of stories at school already - during Year 1 and Year 2 I had filled in spare time at school writing loads of them. (Wish my Mum had been given them). The children who had moved up from the private infant dept could do joined up writing, I could not. This cannot have mattered as I gained a place, and I just viewed it as a curious fact when I joined the school, not a problem.

I hope you are able to find out more from the school about the exam, and what sort of standard is required to pass it. I don't think all children of that age have many preconceptions about exams and whether they should be able to answer all the questions or not, or indeed whether they answered them correctly or not. I certainly did not feel under pressure to pass the exam or get a place at that school. It was just something that happened to me. I don't remember sitting in the exam thinking I want to come to this school so I have to pass this exam. I had never seen the school before.

How long to the exam? If your daughter needs to write a story in the exam it may not be as impossible as it seems. Can she invent a story of her own and tell it to you? Can she write each letter of the alphabet? Does she know all the phonic sounds in a simple scheme like Jollyphonics?
If so, you might be able to prepare in time. Get this book: How to help your child read and write, Dr Dominic Wyse, Pearson Prentice Hall

If this really matters to you, give it a shot, but don't tell your child that this is all for an entrance exam. If she loves reading, she may be motivated by making her own books - making the book, ruling the lines, writing the stories, drawing the pictures, numbering the pages, the full works. This may be sufficient incentive to want to work on specific aspects of her handwriting to speed it up and widen the number of words she can write down in a readable form.

My Mum improved my writing speed and readability by a very simple technique. She wrote out some stories by hand (her own stories, things she knew would interest me personally) on alternate lines in an exercise book. I copied them out as beautifully as I could directly beneath. This was sufficient for me, but you will find lots of other great ideas in the book I have suggested. It is not one of these silly gimmicky American ones. It is written by a lecturer in Primary and Early Years Education at the University of Cambridge.

Good luck with it all.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:52 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:47 pm
Posts: 7
My son has just sat 7+ exams at three schools. It was really difficult to get any info from him about the tests themselves but he mentioned:

- maths (difficulty varied depending on school). One school, at the 2nd assessment stage, held up 4 numbers and asked him 'what's the biggest number you can make' etc...

- english. He had to finish a story & answer comprehension questions.

- spelling. He said these varied in difficulty but couldn't really remember them.

- reasoning. He remembered that there were verbal reasoning questions but couldn't remember if they had given non-verbal reasoning questions.

In preparation, we had given him Bond papers in English, Maths, Verbal and NOn-verbal reasoning (mainly his own age group). He said the Bond questions were similar to some of the ones he had to do.

Hope this helps.

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