Manchester, UK

Are in person entrance exams a thing of the past?

At elearnus we understand that entrance exams have become much more stressful for both parents and pupils since the pandemic started, with many exams having their dates changed or even cancelled altogether. Entrance exams are continuing at a number of schools and turning online. Invigilation has also gone online, with some teachers having to watch prospective students while they carry out their test. 

What are entrance exams?

Entrance exams are admission tests carried out by private and grammar schools in order for them to know if the child has the academic abilities to study at the institution. They are normally called 11 plus exams because the children completing the exams are between the ages of 11 and 12 when they sit the exam. Because schools who require an entrance exam are private and grammar schools, each exam is different for each school and is designed to focus on the individual qualities they want from prospective pupils. Entrance exams usually take place throughout year 6 in the spring term between January and February. They consist of two parts: an interview and an exam.

What will entrance exams look like in 2021 and beyond?

So, to answer the question, in person exams will most likely be a thing of the past to a significant degree. 

Tests will be completed online, they will however, be similar to the traditional paper. There are a number of ways that schools can ensure that prospective pupils are not cheating like having Zoom or Microsoft Meetings open while the child completes the test. Prospective students may also have to share their screen and turn their microphones on so that they can’t receive any oral assistance during the exam for example. 

Most schools will also require prospective pupils to do a virtual interview where they will talk about areas like their academic interests, their hobbies and why they wish to study at that particular school to a stranger. Some schools will also require specific academic tasks during the interview while others won’t. It is also important to note that some schools will only require prospective students to perform the academic test during the interview so the examiner not only finds out about the student’s academic ability, but also their process when figuring out how to answer a question.

There are two ways that schools can ask children to perform specific academic tasks during the interview. The first way is to ask the child oral English, Maths and sometimes Verbal Reasoning questions where they will be allowed a pen and paper to make notes and calculations. The second way is also oral but prospective students will write their answers down on a piece of paper.

Virtual interviews are a new phenomenon for most pupils, so it is important that children prepare and practice with a family member. It is important for parents to help their child remain calm when they are answering the questions, so they don’t become flustered. A great way to do this is to remind your child that as long as they try their best, that is the most important thing. A benefit of virtual interviews is that it can help with children’s nerves if they are in a familiar environment that the comfort of their home provides.

Overall, schools are well prepared for delivering entrance exams online because of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. Online entrance exams are a new phenomenon for most students and are going to be a way of life for them for the foreseeable future this is why here at elearnus we have created our smart exam server. 

You are just one step away from being able to offer your students online tests. Register now with elearnus to be provided with the tools to conduct tests online.