7 Plus Tutors / 7+
7 Plus Schools Entrance, Academic Consultancy & Boarding School Entrance
We provide a comprehensive service for seven plus (7+) schools placement and entrance exam preparation including tailored services in Maths, English (Comprehension), Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning subsets. We can also assist with the application procedure as well as school open days and interview advice. An important part of the procedure is not only matching the child to a school where they will thrive academically but moreover to place them where the pupil will be happy and flourish.
What does the 7+ mean?
The 7+ exam is for children who are at the end of their Year 2 schooling year. Though made for young children, the 7+ is at times compared with the 11+ entrance exam, with children participating in the exams sharing the common goal of gaining a place at a competitive school. It is an entrance exam that enables independent schools to determine who their academically strongest candidates are. The exams are taken to enable the child to progress into their desired school for the start of Year 3 (September). Children that participate in the 7+ exams will be tested on Mathematics and English, with a current rise in the use of online testing also worth noting. A selection of schools will also include Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning into their tests. Most schools will not test past the National Curriculum age levels, but a highly competitive market makes revising a useful activity when preparing your child for their 7+ examinations.
What content is in the 7+ exams?
The 7+ exams are primarily made up of content surrounding Mathematics and English, with an increasing amount of schools now testing Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The average test formats are a written form, but some schools include verbal sections where testing of spelling, dictation, memory and mental arithmetic is concerned. Other schools will require your child to demonstrate their creative skills, inviting prospective students to draw portraits or engage with manual tasks. The increase in the use of online testing has enabled certain schools to use the technology to match learners questions with the abilities that they present in their answering, meaning the more questions your child answers correctly, the harder the questions become; this is done to determine which students are the strongest academically, enabling shortlisting to take effect more efficiently.
A closer look at exam content:
Mathematics: In their mathematics exams your child will be asked to demonstrate their skills and knowledge against the National Curriculum level for their age. This means they will be expected to know their 2,3,4,5 and 10 times tables, applying them where they are required. Your child’s knowledge from their schooling experience will be challenged, with harder questions requiring them to select and apply appropriate methods to answering more complex/ word heavy questions.
English: English as a subject is broken up into reading and writing subcategories, with the interest in evaluating your child’s English knowledge and application across a wider spectrum of questioning. Reading is a key skill that will require your child to demonstrate reading aloud (annunciation and pronunciation) and to discuss the topic of what they have read (demonstrating understanding of narrative). Writing is another key skill that enables your child to engage with a wide range of subjects and tasks and the 7+ exam for writing is concerned with your child’s spelling, grammar and punctuation abilities. If they struggle with certain words, they will be asked to engage with knowledge learnt from previous years, including phonics. Your child will also be tasked with demonstrating the ability to create structure in their writing, using paragraphs and punctuation effectively.
Conversing: Typically observed during the interview stage, staff will encourage prospective students to engage with group tasks and to discuss a subject that interests your child; this is done to enable your child to feel at ease and to get a good understanding of where their communication/ conversation skills are. This highlights the importance of introducing new words to your child, including them in conversations with other children and with people of an older age in order to stretch their communication skills.
Reasoning: Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning is included by some schools in the testing process, with a rise in mathematical reasoning in the new curriculum worth taking note of.
What is the pass mark?
The general pass mark across schools that participate in the 7+ examinations is 70%. If your child is scoring consistently between 70% and 75%, they are likely to do well. The examination questions are created in a different style to that which your child will likely to have been exposed to at school, demonstrating the exams as a true challenge of your child’s reading and comprehension skills. Most children will be unable to answer every question correctly and reminding your child of this can help to prevent any nerves surrounding taking the tests. The 7+ exams are competitive because there are typically less spaces available at independent schools than there are applicants. By looking at past examination papers we are able to discern where marks can be picked up and equally dropped. The 2018 7+ Mathematics paper was approximately eight pages in length, featuring time questions, fractions and remainders. The English comprehension featured multiple-choice questioning and the writing component consisted of five minutes dedicated to planning, twenty-five minutes remaining to write a response to the question. These select examples provide insight into the value of researching past papers, engaging your child with practicing the content and themes under timed conditions.
Will the exam results factor in my child’s age?
It is acknowledged by schools that the difference in the maturity (both emotionally and educationally) of children born in the Autumn months and those born in the Summer months will vary. Children born in September and those born in August are close to a year apart and at a young age this can mean a drastic difference in motor skills and concentration levels. It is useful to know that most schools with be understanding of this, but it is useful as their parent/guardian to determine whether you believe it would be more beneficial to delay their testing until the 8+, 9+, or 11+ to enable your child the best chance at success.
How do I prepare my child for the 7+ exams?
It is important to ensure that your child is ready for the 7+ examinations. You can determine this by identify useful (and in some case imperative) strengths that your child demonstrates. These include the ability to write with legible handwriting. If your child is unable to write words that can be read by someone unfamiliar with your child’s handwriting it is important to assess whether this can be improved in the time parameters, or whether it is a smarter decision to wait for the 11+ examinations. Your child should also be able to demonstrate the ability to fill an A4 page of writing in approximately twenty minutes, to be able to answer to 7+ exam papers in the time permitted. Is your child familiar with and confident reciting and applying their 2,3,4,5 and 10 times tables? This skill is very beneficial to be able to take into the 7+ exam, enabling your child to answer the Mathematics questions and demonstrate arithmetic skills. It is also valuable for your child to show strengths with communicating with other children and adults, as these skills will be observed in the interview stage. These social skills will tell the school how your child will contribute to their community, with reports from your child’s current head often being requested by your desired school to assess your child’s behavioural and academic tendencies.
How do I prepare my child for their interview?
The interview process is normally conducted by the Principle/Headmaster/mistress of your child’s school of interest and is generally an informal discussion where your child will be encouraged to discuss their hobbies and interests. It is understood that as your child is of a certain age, there is no “perfect” answer, with the purpose of the interview being to ascertain what your child’s personality and behaviour typically is. Your child is likely to be engaged with a group activity, where it is useful for the interviewer to see your child interact with others. Seeing a friendly, polite prospective student who is confident communicating with others will see your child stand out as a potential asset to the school’s community. This makes engaging your child with playdates, encouraging healthy friendships with their peers and including them in discussions about what they have learnt in the day and what they have particularly enjoyed a good habit to be in. Your child will then be accustomed to sharing their thoughts, voicing their opinions with adults and communicating with children of their own age group.
If you would like to arrange 7 Plus (7+) schools entrance consultancy or enquire about our schools placement service in England as well as schools entrance tests please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.
Past/ sample papers: