IntroductionFor many children Grammar School selection tests are their first formal examinations. Of course, most ten-year-old children have taken timed tests in their primary school and also standard assessment tests as part of the National Curriculum assessment procedure. However, this testing has taken place in the child's own school, in a relaxed atmosphere and familiar environment, and the outcome of the tests has not had a crucial effect on determining the child's future education.
Selection tests, on the other hand, are often taken in unfamiliar surroundings and the teachers and many of the other children are strangers. The tests are normally more difficult than the child is used to in his or her primary school because the selection process is designed to select the brightest children in the area. In addition, verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests are often a new experience for the child.
Preparation for selection tests is therefore essential to ensure that children perform at their best. Of course, practising IQ tests, ie verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests, will not increase a child's IQ but experience has shown that children can improve their performance by up to 15 percentage points with practice.
Children usually reach their potential after six to twelve practice tests. Preparation should begin about six months or so before the selection test.
Verbal ReasoningBefore working through the first verbal reasoning practice test, parents and children should work through the 'Parent and Child' practice paper. This paper contains an example of each of the question types. Don't rush through this paper. Most children will benefit from working through this introductory paper over two or three sessions. When you think your child has a good grasp of how to tackle each of the question types he is ready to take the first paper.
To begin with children often find it difficult to finish the paper in the time limit. Don't worry about this - it is quite normal. Draw a line under the last question answered and then let your child finish the paper in their own time. After marking the paper you should go through the paper with your child. This is best left a day or two. During this time your child will have been 'working' through the questions subconsciously and will often find they can answer questions they initially found too difficult.
Keep a note of the types of question your child found difficult. If they have difficulty in subsequent practice papers it will suggest that you will need to spend some time talking through these question types. The chart on the back of the answer paper will help you to identify question types.
Talk through an appropriate strategy for solving these question types. Our publication 'Verbal Reasoning Tests Explained' will help you. It describes each question type and gives advice on the best strategy for answering each type of question. You can find examples from this book by going to Verbal Reasoning Question Types.
Non-Verbal ReasoningThe general advice above also relates to non-verbal reasoning papers. However, children are usually far less familiar with the content of these papers and initially will often require a lot of support. There is a 'worked' example of each question type in the parents' section of each test pack. We have also provided an interactive explanation of the major question types on our website - go to Non-Verbal Reasoning Question Types.
|Note. Any advice concerning children is aimed at the 'average' child. Your child is unique and any advice we have given should be interpreted for your child. The information given is therefore only of a general nature.|
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