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Entrance tests – how to cope on the day

The new year will signal the start of entrance exams for independent schools. So you’ve read our revision tips blog and have been working hard with your child over the Christmas break. The big day (or days!) is here, how do help your child cope?

Preparation is important

The school will have sent you a pack of information before the day. It will include information on the location of the school (and possibly precise location of the exam), parking information, what you need to bring with you (such as pens, pencils, packed lunch). Read this pack very carefully and if you aren’t sure about anything then call the school (bear in mind they could be closed until 4th January or later).

Set them up

Ensure they get a good breakfast (energy foods like porridge are great) and avoid any last minute cramming. This can lead to panic. The best way to approach an exam or entrance test is calmly. You can really help with all the little things, double check with your child they have a pen, pencil and other equipment they might need.

Listen to your child

On the way to the exam they may be very anxious, give them the opportunity to express their fears and discuss their anxiety. Don’t dismiss it and offer as much reassurance as you can. Go for lots of positive encouragement.

Don’t panic

However nervous you feel for your child they probably feel ten times worse. Try and keep calm and if you notice your child starting to get anxious simple breathing exercises can really help. Ask your child to slowly inhale through their nose and out through their mouth. Get them to do this five times. It might feel a bit daft but it can stop panic escalating.

Leave time

There will be lots and lots (potentially hundreds) of parents dropping their kids off. Make sure you know the route to the school and leave plenty of time to get there and drop your child off safely. Again it’s worth referring to the school information pack or website on entrance tests for detailed advice.

Top tips to give your child

You’re the most important cheerleader your child has. Send them into the exam brimming with confidence by leaving them with these 3 top tips:

1. Read each question carefully, if you don’t know the answer don’t panic. Skip it, do the next one and come back to the tricky ones at the end.

2. Don’t compare answers with friends after the exam. Everyone wants to do it but you can’t go back and change your answer so it will just stress you out.

3. Remember it’s only  an exam. Yes it’s important but soon it will be over!

If you or your child need advice or help on revision or preparing for exams we have a raft of highly qualified tutors across Manchester and Cheshire – call us today for more information.

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