Get your child ready for exam day with our resource recommendations.
If you’re just starting out on your 7 plus journey, the number of resources available can become overwhelming. However, these are imperative to your journey.
For syllabus acquisition, interview practice and exam technique, your journey will involve, among other tools, a great variety of resources.
Read on to find out more about the various resources on offer and how best to incorporate them into at home preparation.
Daily practise, especially in the early stages of syllabus acquisition, is key. Aim for small sharp bursts of learning, over breakfast, after school and throughout the weekend.
Remember that your child needs to be ahead of the National Curriculum Year 2. Therefore, the resources you use should typically be aimed at children aged 7 and above. A great place to find Key Stage 2 resources includes Twinkl. Here you can find resources for the English and Maths curriculum to make sure your child is working to the level required for their 7+.
Prep schools expect a high degree of accuracy in spelling. Make sure to set aside time for specific spelling practice. Consider frequently misspelled words and make sure to include at least two of these in every practice session.
Note down any spellings that your child has got wrong. Ask them to spell this again in a week or so, to make sure that they have learnt the correct spelling. Our page on how to learn spellings will help with incidents such as this!
Alongside your spelling practice, it is key to hone your child’s times tables. Perhaps one of the more difficult aspects of maths papers for prep school entry, being able to quickly recall standard times tables is key. This will help your child manage the time pressure of a 7+ exam, which can be the biggest hurdle for many candidates.
Times table knowledge may also be a key skill required for your child’s prep school interview, as mental maths can often come up.
Of course, the most obvious resource in preparing for the exam is practice papers!
Don’t start practice papers too early – this is a common mistake. Until your child has a good grasp of the curriculum, they simply won’t do well. If they perform poorly this is demotivating to both you and your child and can derail their confidence.
We think that no more than six months before your child is due to sit the exam is the best time to start. During the summer of your child’s Year 2, compile and print off all the sample and past papers you can find for your target schools. You can usually find these on the school website, but they can be a little tricky to track down. We’ve also compiled a good selection of past and sample papers from some of the top London prep schools for you.
Create a spreadsheet noting all the papers from the easiest to the hardest. Add a target date for each paper to be completed during the lead up to your child’s exam day. Try and get at least a paper a week scheduled and leave your first-choice school to last.
At the start of this process, allow your child to take as much time as they need to complete the practice paper. Only add the time pressure in when they understand the format of a paper and have a full grasp of the curriculum – your tutor can advise on when to start with the timed conditions.
As ever, you can always ask your tutor for more recommendations too. Our expert 7 plus tutors will provide your child with stimulating tuition sessions, with engaging resources to instil syllabus knowledge and develop exam technique.
Beyond using a plethora of resources for your 7+ prep, something we cannot emphasise enough is how beneficial reading. Be it paired or solo reading, get your child engaged in a variety of genres and formats as soon as possible. We believe this is the best preparation for not only the English exam but for the whole 7 plus. A confident reader can fly through the papers at a much faster pace than a child with less reading experience. This will prove invaluable on the day of your child’s exam, where they will have to perform under timed conditions.
For younger readers, our handy guide on phonics is sure to help.