11+ Exams|Common Entrance|School Applications

In partnership with Century Tech

If your child is applying for independent school entrance in the autumn, they are most likely gearing up for entrance exams such as the ISEB Pre-Tests. The ISEB Pre-Tests are a set of online admissions exams which encompass up to four subjects (depending on the school): English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning.
Preparing for the tests requires a strategic approach, and understanding where to start can make all the difference. If your child is starting their ISEB test preparation, we have provided expert advice on where to begin.

Learn your child’s strengths and areas of focus

Before diving headfirst into test preparation, it’s helpful to first understand your child’s academic strengths and areas for development. Doing this can be as simple as paying attention to their interests both in and out of school, or speaking with their teachers to learn about their classroom performance.

This can be trickier when it comes to subjects not taught in schools, namely Verbal reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Online test preparation platforms are an easy way to understand your child’s current ability. The ISEB-endorsed Bond Online Premium Plus platform has a series of quick assessments which immediately identify their strengths and areas for growth, down to the topic level. Using these reports, you can ensure your child spends their valuable revision time in exactly the topic areas they most need to.

Shape a revision plan

Whether you have over a year or just a few months until the ISEB Pre-Tests, having a structured study plan can help boost your child’s confidence and mental preparation ahead of the big day.

For long-term preparation, start with regular 30 minute sessions, once or twice per week. Start in the areas where you’ve identified your child needs the most work, and use your available time throughout the year to stretch their abilities by revisiting these topics and strengthening areas they are already familiar with.

Bond Online Premium Plus can help ease this weekly lesson planning, as it recommends the best topics for your child to study based on their learning behaviours on the platform. This might also include topics that they have previously completed to encourage knowledge retention, and strengthen overall mastery of the subject.
If you have six months or less until the ISEB exams, more frequent study sessions will be valuable – aim for three or four per week. Stay focused on the topics your child struggles with the most, while also ensuring they have a solid foundation across the key skills required in each subject. At this stage, incorporate weekly mock tests or practice papers into your child’s routine to simulate real test conditions and prepare them for the exam.

Get familiar with the test

Understanding the format, question types, and timing of the ISEB Pre-Tests can make all the difference in your child’s confidence going into the exam.

Utilise resources like the ISEB test walkthrough to familiarise your child with the exam layout, and provide plenty of opportunities for them to complete practice tests to get them used to taking the exam. Bond Online Premium Plus has test practice questions written by ISEB, along with mock tests, which are designed to closely reflect the real test environment .

Help your child to learn basic exam techniques, such as managing their time adequately, prioritising questions to answer, and reading each question carefully to avoid careless mistakes. Mock tests are a great way to practise these skills regularly, meaning your child can approach the exams with confidence and clarity.

Consider using a tutor

While tutoring isn’t necessary for everyone, some parents find value in providing their child with personalised guidance from a professional tutor. A tutor can offer tailored support for your child’s needs, with many specialising in specific exams such as the ISEB Pre-Tests.

The Golden Circle provides access to a team of qualified teachers, who hold in-depth knowledge and experience in preparing students for ISEB Pre-Tests. Through personalised programmes of learning, tutorials focus on tackling areas for development, building confidence, and honing exam technique. Teachers also track progress closely through regular assessment and feedback.

Monitor progress and adapt accordingly

Throughout the preparation process, keep an eye on your child’s progress and adapt your approach as needed. They might show rapid improvement in certain areas or find others more difficult than expected, so it is important to stay flexible.

The Dashboard on Bond Online Premium Plus allows you to closely track your child’s performance in as much detail as you need, from overall subject performance down to analysing each question they get right or wrong. This makes it easy to be responsive to your child’s needs and notice changes that might otherwise be difficult to spot.

Preparing for the ISEB Pre-Tests may seem daunting, but it is entirely manageable with the right approach. Remember to balance study with leisure activities to create a wholesome environment for your child, promoting both academic success and personal well-being.

Try out Bond Online Premium Plus today with a 20% discount on the first three months of your subscription, using the code GOLDENCIRCLE20 at checkout. Visit our website to learn more about the platform or to sign up for your free trial.