Belfast Telegraph

Get ready for the Transfer Tests with the Belfast Telegraph and have provided some top tips have provided some top tips

Each day from Monday 23rd September to Saturday 28th September we will be publishing a full AQE style practice paper and a full GL style practice paper, helping you and your child to prepare for the examinations later in the year.

To help you make the most of the papers, have provided some top tips.

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Tutors’ top tips for Transfer Test success

  • Work out what exams your child will sit but don’t agonise over ‘school-gate gossip’. Find out when the exams are and get the advice that the schools give out, but don’t waste your energy following rumours about what the grade is. It’s better to spend your time helping your child.
  • It’s always worth practising. Whatever schools say, it’s worth it. Children can improve their performance by 10 -15% by careful practice.
  • Start early if you can, but don’t worry if you haven’t. Ideally it is best to start preparation for the Transfer Test exam at least one year ahead. However, don’t panic if you don’t have that much time; even a few weeks can make a difference.
  • Make a simple action plan. However long you’ve got, have a clear, simple strategy. There are two key principles: 1. Start from your child’s present level of knowledge. 2. Help your child to learn from their mistakes.
  • Motivation, motivation, motivation! You have to take your child with you on this journey. A simple rewards system can be highly effective.
  • Don’t just practice. There’s a tendency to think that just practising one test after anther will do the trick. It’s far more important to learn from mistakes. Going through the test afterwards with your child and filling in the the gaps in learning is crucial.
  • Stay calm, manage stress, build confidence. Don’t talk about the Transfer test all the time. Use breaks, treats and bite-sized learning sessions to keep things fresh. Be realistic about your child’s potential. Pass or fail, it’s important to try to make this process a positive one.
  • Manage the exam day. Make sure that you have everything ready for the day, that your child tries to get a good night’s sleep, eats breakfast and gets there in good time.

How and when to use our tests

It’s best to use them as real exam practice. These tests are mock exams. They are set out in a style as close as possible to the real thing – though the format will vary from year to year. It is best to use them as authentic exam experience rather than for general practice. Follow the instructions and advice in the sections before starting the test.

What a score means and how to boost it

It is unfortunately impossible to say that a certain score can guarantee a pass in the actual exams. However, we suggest that a score of 85% would be a standard to aim at. It is important not to present this to your child as a concrete benchmark though, as the best motivator for them is to see the scores going up. Here are some tried and tested tips for improvement.

  • Go over any incorrect answers. Always go over incorrect answers so that your child can see what went wrong. To help with this process, some of our harder Maths questions are explained.
  • Use an action planner inside. This will provide a plan for what to do next when a test has been marked.
  • Improve basic exam technique. Work on improving speed, working efficiently – coming back to trickier questions later – and pacing within the time limit.
  • Improve general English skills. Ensure the foundations are strong enough. Use a range of checklists to help reinforce your child’s English skills.
  • Target what is not fully understood. The secret is not to keep blindly practising but to target the areas of English/Maths that your child is weakest in. This is where crucial marks can be picked up.

Once your child has completed the papers you can download the corresponding answer sheets here:

If you would like to access the answer sheets for the transfer test practice papers from April/May 2019, you can access them here.

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