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Archive for the ‘Aptitude tests’ Category

Testing times in education

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Testing has always been contentious – notably disagreements surrounding when is the best time to conduct tests and how. Plus whether too much testing takes the joy out of learning.

Tests, by their very nature, determine a child’s progress and ability at any one time. With baseline testing recently scrapped for four to five year olds, it begs the question: are they really important?

Currently, our children experience a mixture of tests through their schools days. On top of teacher assessment, there’s also national tests at KS1 and KS2 – including 11+ entrance exams.

At secondary level, there’s CATs (Cognitive Ability Test) to give a snapshot of a child’s potential and learning difficulties. Plus, of course, national GCSE testing at 16.

Many parents, though, are unaware of MidYIS testing in year 7 or 8. It’s a baseline test to determine aptitude. And is used by many – including most private and independent – schools across Manchester and Cheshire to capture value-added learning data.

Schools use such data to monitor your child’s progress over time. Given that schools also implement Yellis tests at 14, the data is often used to predict GCSE grades.

What is my child tested on?

Interestingly, MidYIS tests often mirror school entrance exams in that they focus on:

  • Vocabulary such as word fluency and understanding
  • Maths spanning logical thinking to manipulating numbers and numerical concepts
  • Non-verbal ability: recognising shapes, matching patterns, spatial awareness
  • Skills, such as proofreading, perceptual speed and accuracy

Can your child prepare for them? Without doubt, your child can practise sharpening their response rate and boost specific skills such as proofreading. In our next blog, we’ll explain exactly how you can help your child do this.

In the meantime, if you need a tutor who can help improve your child’s chances at school, we’re always here for a friendly chat.



Aptitude tests can be testing!

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

You’ve applied for your dream job, maybe it’s the first step on the career ladder out of college or university. Then you get the letter, you’ve got an interview! Brilliant! But then you read on – you’ve also been invited to an assessment day where you’ll face an interview panel and aptitude testing. You start to feel a bit panicky. You’ve no idea what an aptitude test is and you’d look a bit daft if you rang them and asked. Because we tutor both children and adults we often help young people and those more established in their career as they transition into new jobs. One of the most common things that people encounter when they apply for a new job is the requirement to take an aptitude test and we often support people as they take them.

So what is an aptitude test?

Quite simply it’s a test or series of tests designed to check your work based reasoning (they are also called assessment tests or sometimes psychometric tests) . The most commonly used tests check your numeracy (numerical reasoning), verbal reasoning and abstract reasoning (how you solve problems and think).  It may also include personality tests and other types of testing such as how you work in a team.

How can I pass an aptitude test?

  • Don’t panic. You can improve all these skills but you need to set aside some time and focus on each skill set. This is where a private one to one tutor can come in handy.
  • There are practice websites for all three areas all over the web so use those to work on your skills.
  • Get used to tests again – make sure you have a calculator, paper and a pencil and find a quiet environment to practice
  • On the day before the test make sure you relax, get plenty of sleep. You should approach the tests as if they are an interview.

If you have been called for an assessment day and want help with aptitude testing in Manchester or Cheshire (covering Altrincham, Didsbury and other areas) call 121 Home Tutors today.