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Preparing For Senior School Entrance Exams – Grammar, Common Entrance & Independent Exams

When choosing a secondary school, lots of parents will consider the option of their child going to a school such as a grammar or independent, that involves taking an exam.


Entrance exams now vary hugely between schools, most schools have some form of 11+ exam however it varies across schools, for example some will include verbal reasoning, some won’t. Either way, they will have to do some exam preparation to ensure that they’re ready for the 11+ and/or the entrance tests they’ll need to sit. Thankfully, there are lots of different ways to help your child prepare for these exam papers and below we have looked into some of these in more detail.


Take a look at past papers of the exams


Different schools have different exams, many setting their own. It is therefore crucial that you look at past papers to see which areas the particular school you are interested in focusses on. Some of the brightest children have come unstuck as they are not used to the style and format of a formal entrance exam. If your school of choice uses CEM or GL Assessment again look at the relevant one – there are large differences between them. Past papers are a great way for you to get a feel for what is usually covered so you can target your child’s revision.


Go over all subjects covered in the exam


Generally speaking it is always beneficial to ensure that your child has excellent English skills and English is a subject that should always be focused on during revision. However, in addition to English, you should also ensure that your child has a good understanding of all of the other exams they may have to take. Verbal and non-verbal reasoning needs practice – if your child doesn’t cover this in school they will need to practice it. Whilst maths papers will generally follow the UK National Curriculum its important to check that your child has covered in school the same topics as they will be tested on – don’t assume they will have.


Use a range of online learning platforms


There are lots of different ways to revise the subjects covered in senior school entrance exams when used properly, online learning platforms are arguably the best tools available to your child. With a wide range of platforms to use, this technology can improve and enhance their revision and you can ensure that they’re always revising at a level suitable for them, keeping them challenged and interested. There are a wide range of online learning platforms out there so do try different ones out – most cover the same content in a different manner – find the one that works best for your child – don’t discount online learning if they don’t’ like one platform – try


Establish a routine for revision


When preparing for grammar and senior school entrance exams, your child will need to do revision on a regular basis and to ensure that they’re getting enough revision in, it can be useful to establish an evening or weekend routine for them. Whether they work better doing small revision sessions every day or longer sessions a few times a week, try to create a routine that is best suited to your child and how they learn. Once you have a routine, ensure that it’s being followed.


Get useful feedback during revision


Whilst your child may not need tutoring it can be very valuable to get feedback on past papers from a specialist tutor who is familiar with that school. They will be able to give you an insight that no online learning platform can give. That said, the useful element of online learning programmes is they do enable you to see how your child is doing and how much they are doing . This is a helpful feature as it means you can see if your child is over or under working


Ensuring your child is ready for their senior school entrance exam


All in all, preparing for grammar and senior school entrance exams isn’t something that should be done at the last minute. If you can get into a routine with your child in the younger years that they do additional maths and english outside of school they will be well placed for entrance exam preparation. RocketLearn can be a great tool for this. We have children as young as 7 on our platform – our ethos is to encourage a love of learning with children doing an hour a week. If you can start this in Year 4 rather than leaving specific exam preparation until Year 6 your child will have a good grounding in working outside of school. You will also, through the reporting system know where their strengths and weaknesses lie so if any tutoring is needed it will be effective – both in terms of time and cost.


Do visit the RocketLearn website. We provide a hybrid of tutoring, online learning and academic enrichment, and when you turn to us, your child will be able to access a wide range of online learning platforms. Your child will also have their progress overseen by a qualified teacher – taking the burden away from you as parents. We pride ourselves on offering a learning programme that is tailored to your child’s individual needs and that gives real results. You can find out more about RocketLearn on our FAQ page but if you have unanswered questions, feel free to contact us today.

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