7 Plus

We're here to help you and your child navigate the admissions process from start to finish.

How to Pass the 7 Plus Interviews

The 7 Plus Interview Standard

Your child does not need to be an extrovert, and indeed, academic schools are used to introverted, quiet children, but they should be able to talk to new adults without feeling unduly anxious or upset.

To excel at the 7+ for the most competitive schools, children will face group interviews and panel interviews with the school’s leadership teams. Our 7+ programme is designed to help your child pass the interview hurdles and is up to date with the latest information on what schools are asking candidates.

schoolboy doing his 7 Plus homework at home

Types of 7 Plus interview

Reading tests

Popular schools such as Westminster, Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and JAGS ask children to read a passage aloud as part of their 7+ interview.  When the children read, they are being tested for accuracy, intonation, and fluency.  After reading, they will often be asked comprehension questions to check their recall, inference and understanding of the characters, passage and setting. They are often also asked to explain the meaning of some words appearing in the passage.

Example questions:

Tell me what you have just read about in your own words?

Do you think the story is set in the present or the past, why?

How was the problem in the story resolved?

Group activities

Classroom based activities

Often with the most competitive London day schools, they will make an academic cut early in the 7+ process and invite successful candidates back for a morning, or whole day of classroom based  activities.

These are designed to show the ‘teachability’ of candidates, particularly their engagement in learning, an ability to follow instructions, listen and collaborate with other children. The lessons will be real teaching experiences aiming to recreate the normal school style of teaching and atmosphere. The children will often be expected to take part, show reasoning, apply new knowledge, and think creatively.

Group discussions

Group discussions and group tasks are another popular format for assessment days.  As part of the task itself, schools are looking to test characteristics such as persistence, flexibility motivation, problem solving and questioning.

However there is also a further aim with these assessments, which is to test the social interaction skills of the children and watch their behaviour. Children will be scored for their ability to take turns, share, listen to each other.  They should be able to advocate for their own ideas, whilst also taking on board other children’s ideas and work collaboratively to a successful conclusion of the task in hand.

These are daunting skills for any six year old to master and we offer lots of support and practice as part of our 7 plus programme and Interview Mastery Courses.

Individual Interviews

Your child’s interview is a chance for them to share their interests and passions with a senior member of the teaching staff and a prospective school.  They will need to practice making good eye contact and shaking hands well as well as other aspects of good manners. Typical questions might include:

  • Tell me about your current school?
  • What is your favourite lesson and why?
  • If there was one thing you would love to learn about what would it be and why?

The child should also have prepared some questions to ask their interviewer.

They could ask for example:

  • Why do you like working here?
  • What is your favourite book?
  • Do you have a chess/cricket/ netball club I can join?

We have seen a recent trend in schools assessing numeracy, literacy and logical thinking in 7 Plus interviews. Children should refresh their times tables and number bonds in the weeks before their interview.

How to help your child prepare for a successful 7 Plus interview

As a parent, the best way to prepare your child for their7 Plus interview is to take them to interesting places and talk to them about the things you do together and the places you go. Really listen to their answers and try to draw them out further. Practice interviews can also make all the difference in terms of settling nerves and soothing anxiety.  Please see here for further information about our 7+ Interview Mastery course, which is created specially for this purpose.

Final thoughts for a successful 7 Plus Interview

Don’t forget that you and your child are being observed whenever you are on the school site.

Staff are watching you and your child from when you arrive at their school.  Opportunities to play and have light refreshments are also chances for the school to observe your child’s social skills. They should be courteous and cooperative at all times.

Staff often spend time talking with parents quite casually and this is also a good opportunity for them to find out more about each child and also consider whether you as a family will be a good fit for the school.  Remain positive at all times and for example, resist being negative about other schools or other candidates.

You can book your child space on our 7 plus programme here.

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