top of page
Piles of Books

Make it real

Exams are a stressful time for everyone. Eventually, the day will come that your DD or DS will walk – alone – into a school hall to sit their first entrance exam. It’s your job to make sure that they are as familiar as possible with how that looks and feels.

How much time and effort you are willing to commit to this will directly impact the level of success you have. We’ve broken these tips and tricks into two sections, Good and Superpowers.


Let’s make your mock test experience as real as possible.

  • Have a clock on the wall in the room that you use for mock exams, all exam halls will have this and it’s important we get used to looking at it during papers.

  • Create a clear working space that mimics an exam desk as much as possible, no TVs or mobile phones and as little external distraction as possible

  • Have your exam pencil case ready and on the table, this is a great way to create a real, physical familiarity for your little one on the big day.

  • Limit the amount of paper for working out. There is often as little as 2 pages of paper provided in an exam. You can ask for more, but that wastes time, so get used to a 2- or 3-page limit when sitting a mock paper.


Let’s get the characters and the set right.

  • Go somewhere that feels like an exam hall. This isn’t easy (unless you have access to a school or church hall), but it really helps. Wherever the exam happens, it won’t happen in a familiar environment like your home and getting used to this can really help. Some of the places we have found that work include public libraries and even your work office at the weekend.

  • Get into character. Examiners don’t cuddle or reassure the children in their care, nor do they bend the rules or help them in any way. They may well be kind, friendly and polite (and your character certainly should be lest you scare the life out of them), but there will be precious little interaction. Before and during a mock, try to behave as an examiner would. Statements like “The test will begin in 2 minutes” and “you have 30 minutes remaining” sound simple, but taking on that character will really help set the scene for the big day.

Have other ideas on how you can make it real? Let us know, we’d love to hear them!


bottom of page