• Find out what exams your child will sit but don’t agonise over ‘school-gate gossip’.

Find out when the exams are and get the advice that the schools give out, but don’t waste your energy following rumours about what the pass mark or grade is.  It’s better to spend your time helping your child.

  • It’s always worth practising.

Whatever schools say, it’s worth it. Children can improve their performance by 15 -20% by careful practice.

  • Start early if you can, but don’t worry if you haven’t.

Ideally it is best to start preparation for the Transfer Test exam at least one year ahead.  However, don’t panic if you don’t have that much time; even a few weeks can make a difference.

 

  • Make a simple action plan.

However long you’ve got, have a clear, simple strategy.  There are two key principles:

  1. Start from your child’s present level of knowledge.
  2. Help your child to learn from their mistakes.

 

  • Motivation, motivation, motivation!

You have to take your child with you on this journey.  A simple rewards system can be highly effective.

  • Don’t just practice.

There’s a tendency to think that just practising one test after another will do the trick.  It’s more important to learn from mistakes by going through the test afterwards with your child as filling in the gaps in learning is crucial.

  • Stay calm, manage stress, build confidence.

Don’t talk about the Transfer test all the time.  Use breaks, treats and bite-sized learning sessions to keep things fresh.  Be realistic about your child’s potential.  Pass or fail, it’s important to try to make this process a positive one.

  • Manage the exam day.

Make sure that you have everything ready for the day, that your child tries to get a good night’s sleep, eats breakfast and gets there in good time.