How to prepare for the Year 7 entrance exam

December 16, 2022

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Starting senior school in Greater Manchester can be a daunting prospect for both students and parents. As part of our entrance process, prospective Year 7 students will take an entrance exam so we can determine where their strengths lie and where there might be areas for improvement. This allows us to help each Oldham Hulme Grammar School student to flourish. To ensure a seamless entrance application process, here are our tips on how to prepare for the Year 7 entrance exam.

Often, a great deal of pressure is put on students to do well on an entrance exam. Exams in their very nature can be challenging and nerve-wracking irrespective of academic abilities.

When a prospective placement at a desired school is on the line, this can add to the stress for both students and parents alike.

Our entrance exam is not crafted to scare pupils or indeed their parents, but is a method for us to identify the strengths and areas of challenge of prospective students.

It allows us to plan how we can allow students to grow as individuals, celebrating their strengths and helping to overcome their fears and weaknesses.

As with any traditional exam, preparing, researching and revising are some of the common tactics used in order to feel at ease beforehand.

Do Your Homework

Entrance requirements can vary between independent schools in Greater Manchester. It’s important therefore to understand what is expected of you and your child during and after the application.

Some will hold assessment days, whilst others may just conduct a formal interview. At OHGS, our process includes the following:

– English reading exam. (35 minutes)
– English writing exam. (30 minutes)
– Verbal reasoning. (60 minutes)
– Maths exam. (60 minutes)

There will also be an interview with a senior member of staff. This helps us get to know your child outside examination conditions and learn more about them, including any hobbies and what they would enjoy most about studying here.

Use The Little and Often Approach

When it comes to preparation, we always advise to start in good time. There is no defined period as it can vary from child to child. Starting sooner rather than later however, can help to reduce any potential stress your child may be facing, particularly as the exam deadline grows closer.

You may find that you have to revisit certain topics more often, or that your child finds one particular subject far easier than the others. Learning is not a linear process after all!

Building solid foundations can be done without even realising it, all by taking the time to gently reinforce. It also helps to develop consistency and maintaining the skills they have already or may be acquiring.

It can also be heavily beneficial to try the little and often approach, breaking down sections of learning into digestible bite-size chunks.

Mix It Up And Keep It Fresh

Offering different types of learning can help to keep things fresh and surprising for your child. Whilst some children will prefer to learn by following a routine pattern, others will prefer the variety that can be instilled in learning.

You can also include learning in real world scenarios. For example, when out shopping, you can ask your child to help keep track of the costings or even look at the possibility of savings. These are vital life skills they will need in the future that can be taught early on.

This also works equally well in English. Reading helps them to understand and can also be equally inspiring for their writing. Make sure there is a solid ratio of you reading to them and them reading to you, allowing them to put their skills into practice ahead of exams.

Asking how they feel about a book and allowing them to explain what they like or didn’t like about a passage can also nurture creative thinking and encourage them to develop an informed opinion. When they come across a new word, look it up in the dictionary. Do it together with young children and encourage it as an automatic, independent action for older children.

Identify Any Gaps

Our exam process is all about identifying gaps in students’ learning and seeing how we can help to develop these areas further. Your child may excel at reading and writing, but have concerns about their success at maths. The entrance exam will allow us to identify this and ensure their learning approach is catered for on this basis.

Utilise Practice / Previous Exams

It is vital to introduce your child to the concept of exams at the earliest opportunity. The more preparation they have, and the understanding of exams and their format, the less stress they may face at the time.

Our sample papers have helped hundreds of prospective students prepare for their entrance exams. They also help to identify any gaps in their learning and help them work on areas where they may be struggling.

Support Your Child

Supporting your child is one of the most important commitments you can ever make as a parent, and it equally applies to any form of exam.

Working with your child outside of school allows you to keep track of their development as much as it is tracked in the classroom. It reinforces their formal learning, whilst also inviting them to extend and challenge their learning methods.

Mock Interviews

Many would associate an interview as a concept for a job or the news. They’re equally important for us however as part of the entrance process into Year 7.

The interview will take place after the exam, and we aim to make it as informal as possible, for it to be as close to a ‘nice chat’ as possible. The interview allows us to get to know your child better, and helps us to understand their feelings of how the exams went.

Crucially, it allows us to get to know what makes your child who they are. We want to know what makes them happy, how they determine their own success and what they would be looking forward to when starting at OHGS.

Given our smaller class sizes, it allows us to be much more hands-on with your child’s learning. We treat each and every student here at OHGS as a name; not a number. An individual with unlimited potential; not an exam statistic.

If you would like any more information about our Year 7 entrance exam process, or want to enquire about your child sitting the exam to become a part of Oldham Hulme Grammar School, please contact our Admissions Team:

Mrs Sarah Summers – 0161 624 4497 –