Chapter 3 – How do A-Levels work?

The biggest advantage of starting your child at a pre-prep is the way it sets the pace for the following stages of education:

  • 7+
  • 11+
  • Common Entrance at 13+

Despite these exams ranging from Year 2 to Year 8, all three test similar skills at different levels: strong aptitude in Maths and English, as well as problem-solving abilities and the potential to think beyond the scope.

When a child starts their academic career at a private pre-prep school, they immediately begin to develop these key skills. When the time comes to move onto prep school, as well as secondary school later on, children who have gone down the pre-preparatory route will not be intimidated by the high standards of the top independent schools.

The 7+ Exam: What you need to know

Pre-prep school is also about working towards a smooth transition to preparatory entry, which is usually determined by the 7+ exam. Most schools will create their own assessment, which is usually comprised of:

– A Maths and English paper

– A Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning paper

– Some schools may ask children to complete a non-academic task, such as drawing or a teamwork exercise

Most of the 7+ assessment is written, however many schools also conduct verbal tests in mental maths and reading.

If a child is successful at exam stage, they are invited for an interview with the headmaster or headmistress. This is in the form of an informal chat and sometimes parents will come along too.

Does my child need extra help?

A pre-preparatory school usually coaches children for prep school entry, or if it is part of a bigger preparatory it will often allow children to go straight through after the 7+ stage.

While the exam is based around the national curriculum and should not contain nasty surprises, it is designed to challenge and the exam format can panic younger children.

We advise that parents prioritise preparing their children as best they can. Our Private Tutors have years of experience with these exams, and are happy to help first-time parents and children through the process.