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Testing times in education

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.



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