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The 4 Plus Assessment

The 4 plus assessment

The 4 plus assessment is the means by which some selective schools choose which children to take into their school at reception. The assessment is conducted in the autumn of what is the pre-reception year.

Why should I go for the 4 plus assessment

Parents are attracted by the test because it offers the chance to avoid the pressures of the 11+. Most of the schools who take it offer a full run through into the senior school or offer most children from their junior school unconditional offers to the main school. As such passing the 4+ can take significant pressure off a child. This can mean more time for other activities in years 4, 5 and 6.

However, parents should bear in mind that the fees for such schools are usually more than those of a typical prep school. So the certainty being bought can come with a cost of ?20-?30k more, over the primary years of the child.

In addition, these schools do not offer the drilling for the 11+ that a typical prep school offers. They do not need to because the children are moving straight through. The school is really trying to ?land? them at 16 and at 18 years old. As such if you make a decision to change school at 11, you may find that your child is not as prepared for the 11+ as if they had been at a normal prep school.

Little girl sitting on the floor crossed leg reading a book for her 4 plus assessment

Is the 4+ right for my child

Many parents feels that it is a lottery who passes a 4+ on a given day. However, we notice that children who pass one 4+ tend to pass many. By contrast, a child who fails one, tends to fail many or all of the assessments. In short, the schools are consistent looking for the same attributes and are successful in using the days to identify them.

They are looking for evidence of raw intellectual capability. This is usually around critical thinking rather than memory. They are also looking for an ability to express oneself by explaining what one is doing. Finally, they are looking for a child who is teachable ? which de facto at this age tends to mean compliant in a classroom or other pedagogical setting.

What to expect in the 4 plus assessment?

The teachers will take your child into as assessment room. They will not take the parent with them. If your child will not go then that is invariably a fail. About 10% of children fail at this stage.

In the room some of the activities replicate a classroom environment ? sometimes there is a group reading exercise followed by a Q&A session. There is then usually a series of tests in which the child?s cognitive ability is assessed. These appear as games but actually put some unresolvable dilemma for the child to attempt to find a solution. The child also needs to show that they are able to express themselves and can explain themselves clearly.

Some schools also have some sort of fine motor skill test and a few even have a gross motor skills test.

What schools take the 4+ assessment?

Many of the north London schools use this test as well as the Dulwich schools in South London. A few prep schools also use the test.

How to prepare for the 4 plus assessment

  1. Make sure your child can leave you.
  2. Make sure your child can explain whatever task they are doing.
  3. Make sure your child can draw their family and explain who is there.
  4. Make sure your child is not hungry on the day.
  5. Make sure your child is not sleepy on the day.
  6. Make sure your child is not sick on the day.
  7. Make sure your child has been to the toilet before the assessment.
  8. Make sure your chid has visited the school before so is not in strange surroundings.
  9. Make your child feel the assessment day is a playdate ? but one which they need to be well behaved at.
  10. Remind your child of the importance of manners on the day.
man and young boy paired reading a book at home to prepare for the 4 plus assessment

How we can help you prepare for your assessment

Our approach is to replicate the assessment that the schools conduct. This will involve a copy of some of actual activities that schools have traditionally utilised. This process takes around 50 minutes.

We will then give you detailed feedback on your child?s performance. We tell you what exercises you should expect and what they are looking for with each exercise. In short, we will give you the inside track on the day. We tell you how your child did and give you some exercises you can do for each task to assist her to show her best on the day. We will be open and honest with you and tell you if we believe your child is on track for a positive assessment.

Furthermore, while it is your child in the room for the assessment, there is much that you as a parent can do to give her the best chance of success. We will also give you some of those practical tips based on our extensive experience.

The entire session lasts for 90 minutes.

We charge ?300 for the full assessment.

Our track record for the 4 plus

Typically, the acceptance rate for most 4+ assessments is around 10?20%. Our rate is around 60-70%. We have a rule that we only help a maximum of ten children each year for the each school?s 4+ assessment. If we helped everyone, then practically we would be helping no one.

Contact us for more details about our 4+ Assessment

As we have a strict rule that we only help ten children each year for each school?s  4+ entry, please do not delay in booking. If you would like to find out more and make a booking please call us on 020 8883 2519 or alternatively you can book using the form below.