11+ PARENT CASE STUDY – Approaching the 11+ for the first time, where do we start?
By Emma Crossey
04 Jul

Approaching the entrance exam process for the first time can seem overwhelming; where do you even start? Here, we talk to a dad looking ahead to the 11+ and provide guidance on how you can make the process clearer. 

My son will be sitting the 11+ between November 2017 and February 2018, and as it’s the first time we’re going through the process, we’re both feeling quite anxious. 

We’ve applied for 2 schools: St Paul’s Boys and City of London. We chose those two based on school visits/open days and overall academic excellence, based on league tables. We also got feedback on the schools from other parents who have children there. Both schools have similar requirements: a pre-test followed by a detailed written assessment and interviews. My son will be sitting exams in maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning but it’s hard to know if we’ve covered the right areas for the exam. He’s not at a prep school so they’ve not been involved in this process at all. 

Of all the resources reviewed (Galore Park, Bond, CGP etc), we’ve found Galore Park most user-friendly, well laid out, organised and methodical, and we will therefore be revising using Galore Park. We’re not using tutors except for English, which is my son’s least strong area. Galore Park material has helped us immensely here, in particular the 11+ English revision guide.
The most difficult thing about approaching the 11+ is finding the right information and guidance on how to best approach the process. There is a myriad of information available out there and ‘cutting through the noise’ and finding the most pertinent sources is a real challenge. After learning of the broad requirements of the schools, we obtained further information during school visits, from the school website, from online forums and from the Galore Park parent focus group. Speaking to other parents who have sat the 11+ before has really helped. 

- Rohit Kumar, parent approaching 11+

As Rohit says, approaching the 11+, pre-tests or 13+ can seem daunting. Where can you go for guidance?

The Galore Park Parent Guide

Start off by checking out the FREE Galore Park Parent Guide, with information about the exams your child is likely to take and plenty of guidance on how to support your child in their preparation. The following advice is taken from The Parent Guide, which was written in conjunction with the Independent Schools Examinations Board.

Your child’s current school

If your child attends a prep school, it is likely they will cover all the ISEB examination topics as part of the school curriculum. If your child attends a state school, we recommend contacting your child’s existing school (and the senior school they hope to apply to), in order to seek advice about any additional areas your child may need to cover. 

The senior school your child hopes to attend

Ask the senior school to which your child is applying exactly which exam type, subjects and levels your child will be sitting.

The ISEB (Independent Schools Examination Board) website

If your child is taking an ISEB exam, you can familiarise yourself with the syllabuses here.

Gather information about the exams your child is expected to take as early as possible. There is no denying that the entrance exam process can be stressful. However, with careful preparation and a clear head, the whole experience can be easier for both you and your child.

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