Entrance Exam Preparation – Dos and Don'ts

Entrance Exam Preparation – pitfalls and pointers

As we enter entrance exam season for students applying for schools at the 7+, 8+ and 11+ stage, we thought it would be useful to put together an insight on exam preparation dos and don’ts geared towards helping younger children (6-10 years). It’s a stressful time - and this year comes with uniquely unusual circumstances - but we hope these tips help set your child up for entrance exam success.

The Don’ts

Let’s kick things off with what to avoid. We don’t have many as these, as it’s best to keep things positive - particularly with young children.

  • Don’t create too much pressure: Exams are stressful enough as it is, and students will feel the pressure regardless of how they may appear. Don’t add any more by telling them they must get a certain mark.
  • Don’t create a fear of failure: Don’t make students worried about not getting into a certain school. Instead, make them excited to get into the right school.
  • Don’t give too much negative feedback: Although your child will have areas they need to improve on, receiving lots of criticism and negative feedback is demotivating.

The Dos

Let's move on to the positive things you can do to prepare a child for an entrance exam.

  • Do give positive feedback: Students respond to encouragement; there’s always something positive to say, so say it.
  • Do train for speed: School entrance exams are highly time-pressurised. Get your child used to working with speed by giving them past questions to complete in specific time frames. Gradually ramp up the pressure in terms of time per question and the overall length of the exam.
  • Do teach them how to manage their time effectively. Many students will be reluctant to skip a question they think they can answer, even if it is taking them too long. Skipping one question might enable them to get other questions.
  • Do coach them to check: This is especially important for younger students applying for the 7+ and 8+. They often won’t necessarily think to check, but it will gain them numerous marks if they do. Give them completed homework to review, or allow them extra time at the end of a practice test to check their work again.
  • Do hone in on weak points: Focus on the areas where your child can pick up extra marks by filling in gaps in knowledge or addressing misunderstandings.

We hope these tips have provided a quick snapshot of entrance exam preparation. For more in-depth support, you can enlist our expert tutors! If you’d like to arrange tuition for your child, or our team's advice on any other aspect of your child's education, don’t hesitate to contact