What should you expect in the 7 plus?

For students applying to prep schools, they may be asked to take a pre-prep assessment in English, Maths, Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning. These exams have the potential to be worrisome for both parents and students. However, there is no need to fret!

Here's the key info:

  • Taken by students in Year 2

  • Usually in January (but occasionally at other times)

  • Maths, English and often Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning assessed

  • May involve an informal 'interview' with the head

  • Schools will usually request a student report from the student's current school

To get a better idea of what to expect in each area we have split things up into the main categories of assessment below. Have a browse below to see what to expect for each section and how you can help. If you are looking for specific advice or want us to answer a question directly then send us a quick message  and we will get back to you in double quick time.

Need to ask us a specific question about the 7+? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation? Get in contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what the different options are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page.

 

What can you expect at 7+ English assessment?

The English section of the 7+ is divided into  comprehension (reading)  and composition (writing). There may also be an additional test on grammar and spelling.

The assessments that are set are equivalent to level 2 and level 3 of the national curriculum. Read on to find out exactly what this means.

 
Even superman found going into year 1 difficult.

Even superman found going into year 1 difficult.

COMPREHENSION

For the 7 plus, students will often be given a passage of around 200 words and will answer between 5 - 10 questions on the text. Most schools look for good understanding of the text and an ability to retrieve information from the text, writing answers in full sentences.

These comprehension tests also look for students to:

  • Infer meaning from the text - Is the student able to read between the lines? For example, if in the passage it says that 'James stomped down the stairs and slammed the door', students might be expected to infer that James was angry or upset. 

  • Make predictions based on the story so far - Is the student able to predict what might happen in the story based on the clues given so far? For example, students might be asked to write an ending or think of how characters might respond to events.

  • Sequencing - Is the student able to recount the story in the right sequence? For example, 'Did Mary go to the party and lose her scarf, or did she lose her scarf before getting to the party?' 

  • Word meaning in context - This means understanding what certain words mean in the text. For example, 'Circle the words that you think fit with the dry season: lush, bare, barren, green, dry, pleasant, hard, pleasant'. Having a good understanding of synonyms(words with the same meaning) and antonyms (words with the opposite meaning) is a useful for this type of task.

How to prepare for this? Well the best way is to read, read, read! Read everyday with your child and begin to encourage independent reading. Widening vocabulary and broadening understanding at this age needn't be a chore. Tuition at this age should focus less on directly preparing students for this exam and instead should focus on developing a love of reading and the written word. Have a look at our resources page to download some example English comprehension papers.


Understanding feelings can be hard when you can't see them...

Understanding feelings can be hard when you can't see them...

COMPOSITION

For the 7 plus assessment, most schools will ask students to complete a piece of extended writing. This will usually be a creative piece and usually schools will give a stimulus. For example:

Using one of the ideas below, write a short story:

1) The beach

2) The haunted house

So, what are they looking for? Schools are not looking for any one thing here, and criteria will depend on the specific school, so it's important not to be overly prescriptive when discussing composition. That said, there are some pointers that might be useful to remember:

  • Interesting content - Schools love to see students being imaginative! Ideally this imagination will be framed in a story which makes sense to the person reading it and abides by some of the rules of story writing in terms of introducing characters, settings or narrative in a way that is engaging.

  • Interesting vocabulary - Using interesting words (WOW words) always helps, and using lots of adjectives to describe is a step to success at this age. 

  • Well structured - Ideally the student will be writing in paragraphs which separate ideas in the story.

  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar - Getting the basics right is important! Getting  So capital letters, full stops, use of commas and speech marks where necessary. Also, largely spellings will be correct, though don't worry about the occasional mis-spelled word.

  • Neat handwriting - Though not as important as the rest, it does go in a student's favour if they can have developed an ability to do 'best work' hand-writing.

The best way to prepare for this is to write for fun. At school students will get the chance to focus on writing skills on thing at a time and at home it's just fun to do some free practice rather than concerning students with paragraphing, finding WOW words or introducing more complex punctuation. Tuition can certainly help in this area if students need a little confidence boosting in their composition. To have a look at some examples of 7 plus composition tasks, go to our resources page.



Trampolines are a great way to break the ice (and a leg... so, play carefully!)

Trampolines are a great way to break the ice (and a leg... so, play carefully!)

Making relationships

Whether your child prefers to play in a group, with their best friend or with an imaginary friend - at this stage of growing up it is important that children are initiating conversations and are enjoying coming up with ideas for play...

... co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

Exploring the idea of friendship can be really fulfilling for a child as they learn some of the rules that glue groups together - and this can happen either by playing and exploring freely, or by providing more organised activities and learning opportunities. Getting to know people outside of their immediate comfort zone is an important and giving children the chance to operate in a number of different group sizes is extremely enriching at this age. 


Need to ask us a specific question about the Early years learning ? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation? Get in contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what the different options are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page.

What to expect from the 7+ Maths assessment?

Students will usually take one short Maths paper at 7+.

Phew! Thankfully, regardless of the schools you are applying to, the topics covered on these papers are almost always the same. The amount of problem solving that will be expected of students may differ depending on the school, and you can be sure that there will always be some more challenging questions at the end of the paper, but it is possible to prepare for this paper by making sure students have a firm grasp on some mathematical concepts.

All of these topics fall under level 2 to 3 on the national curriculum for mathematics

Using manipulatives is a fantastic way to help students that struggle with Maths.

Using manipulatives is a fantastic way to help students that struggle with Maths.

THE MATHS PAPER

Though nothing is guaranteed to come up, getting comfortable with the following topics will certainly help:

  • Place value - units, tens, hundreds, thousands

  • Addition and subtraction - column method and mental method

  • Multiplication and division - both written method and number facts

  • Inverse operations - for example, knowing that 3 + 2 = 5 shows the same relationship as 5 - 2 = 3

  • Telling the time - using both analogue, digital and 24 hour clock

  • Calculations with Money and time - problem solving using real life examples

  • Symmetry - knowing and identifying symmetry in shapes

  • Shapes and angles knowing and identifying names of shapes and angles

  • Measure - using a ruler understanding that there are 100 cm in 1 metre, 1000 ml in 1 litre.

  • Reading scales - for example, knowing how much liquid is in a measuring jug.

  • Substitution - for example, if x + 3 = 7. What does x = ?

  • Reading and completing tables - understanding basic bar charts or pictograms

  • Problem solving - this could involve any of the topics above and might be 2 or 3 step problems.

For worksheets, resources and exam papers that include all of these topics, go to our 7 + resources page


Need to ask us a specific question about the 7+ ? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation? Get in contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what price options there are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page

 

What to expect from 7+ Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning at this age amounts to a handful of different types of question. Put simply, it's about understanding and manipulating words.  

The type of Verbal Reasoning questions that can be asked is limited, and so it's possible to prepare and practice for this type of assessment. However, as we are dealing with words rather than anything else, being a confident reader with wide vocabulary will make a big difference. So, as with English, if student's are regular readers, they will find this section much easier.


 
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WHAT TYPE OF VERBAL REASONING QUESTIONS ARE THERE AT 7+?

Every type of verbal reasoning question that could come up is listed here:

  • Find the letter that can go at the start of one word and at the end of another. For example:

    • dru ( ) eat

      • The answer in this example is. M. Making drum and meat

 

  • Underlining the two words most similar in meaning. For example:

    • hair, eye       shoe, trainer        walk, balloon

      • The answer in this example is shoe, trainer because both of these things go on your feet. They are the most similar.

 

  • Rearranging muddled letters so the sentence makes sense. For example:

    • It was THO so we TAS in the shade.

      • The answer here is, It was hot so we sat in the shade.

 

  • Following a pattern, changing letters in a word in order to make a new word. Sounds complicated right? It's actually not too bad. For example:

    • FIE, FOE      DIE, DOE      TIE,  .....

      • The answer here is TOE as we have been exchanging for in each word to make a new word.

 

  • Picking the most sensible word to complete a sentence. For example:

    • The elephant was busy (laughing, eating, flying).

      • The answer here is 'flying'.... no only, joking. It's eating of course.

 

  • Using a word code, to write new words. For example:

    • In a code KITCHEN is written 1 3 5 7 9 4 8. How would you write NET?

      • The answer for this is 8 4 5

 

  • Writing words in alphabetical order. For example:

    • NEAT, NICE, NERD

      • The answer here is NEAT, NERD, NICE

Need to ask us a specific question about the 7+ ? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation? Get in contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what price options there are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page

 

What to expect from 7 + non-verbal reasoning?

Non-Verbal reasoning can look like an ancient hieroglyphic script that needs to be deciphered, or like something from the film Arrival. 

As with anything there are a set number of rules to these types of assessment, and with practice they become fun puzzles to be cracked rather than headaches in picture form. This type of assessment is all about reasoning without words, so its all about coming to conclusions based on the pictures and sequences that are presented visually. Sounds cryptic? Well have a look below to get a better idea

 

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What type of NVR questions are there at 7+?

All the possible questions types that can come up are listed here. If you want more NVR practice papers for your child then head to our resources page. 

 

ODD ONE OUT QUESTIONS

Straight forward, though with differing degrees of difficulty. For example:

1) Easier

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+13.18.21.png

2) Harder

3) Challenge

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+13.31.20.png

The answers to these are b, and c.


SERIES QUESTIONS

Simply complete the sequence. With these questions you have to find the next logical picture based on the previous pictures. For example:

1) Easier

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+13.28.47.png

2) Harder

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+13.35.15.png

3) Challenge

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+13.37.10.png

The answers for these are d, a and e. 


SIMILARITY QUESTIONS

With these you have to find the picture which is most similar to the other pictures that you have been shown. For example:

1) Harder

The answer to this one is e. Because the small shape inside is the same as the big shape.


ANALOGY QUESTIONS

Sounds worse than it is... With these questions you have to say which picture completes the second pair. Verbally speaking this would be like saying Dog is to Bone as Cat is to..... any ideas? Here is a picture to help

1) Easier

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+13.49.48.png

2) Harder

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+13.53.39.png

The answer to that first one is c. Fin is to Fish as Wing is to Bird

The answer to the second is d. I'm looking for a shape that is made up of 4 of the original pieces and has the same sized black ball in the middle. The second shape has been made by rotating the original piece clockwise.


MATRIX QUESTIONS

Again, sounds harder than it is. You don't have to be Neo to understand these. Just find the missing square of a matrix.

1) Easier 

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+14.02.59.png

2) Harder

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+14.04.00.png

The answers to these are and c. The second one might require you to look pretty closely!


STORY SEQUENCE QUESTIONS 

These involve picking the right picture from a set to tell the next logical step in a story. For example:

For anyone that has ever made an omelette they will recognise the next logical step here is the to put the eggs in the pan. So the answer is b. 


CODE QUESTIONS

These questions require students to break code and then use it to decipher what the code for a new picture might be. For example:

Screen+Shot+2018-03-09+at+14.15.12.png

With this question you can deduce a few things. 

Firstly, we can conclude that the diagonal line must = K... because that is the only similar thing in the 2nd and 3rd triangles.

....so the horizontal line must = D

....so the empty triangle must = S 

So the second letter must denote the type of shape that floats above the triangle. I'm looking for a white square, which by looking at the first triangle I know must be D.

Therefore the code for the last triangle is SD. Make sense? For more questions like this and all other types you see above, head to our resources page.


Need to ask us a specific question about the 7+ ? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation? Get in contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what price options there are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?

When we talk about Personal Development  at this age, it might sound a little unnervingly like a chapter from a self-help book. However, in this context we are referring to all those vital little things that support a child's emotional and social well-being, both as they enter school and in the future. Gaining both the self-confidence to express oneself and the self-awareness to ask for help when they need it. being able to see the world from another's point of view. Making friends with others

 

Self-confidence and self-awareness

Every child is different, and as such they should not be judged against others when it comes to their self-confidence and self-awareness. However, as children get older they should be...

... confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They [will be] confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help. [Early Learning Goal]

As they move up to Year 1 children become more willing to talk with other children, both those that they are familiar with, and new friends. They will also begin to enjoy receiving praise and may even be excited to take on small responsibilities around the home and in the classroom.

This confidence and awareness will be expressed by posing questions and expressing opinions whenever there is the chance children should be listened to and given the time to formulate and express ideas without being spoken-over or cut-short. 

Even superman found going into year 1 difficult.

Even superman found going into year 1 difficult.


Understanding feelings can be hard when you can't see them...

Understanding feelings can be hard when you can't see them...

Understanding feelings and behaviour

Understanding your feelings and emotions can be difficult at a young age. Even harder is controlling them when they could result in hurting someone else. Taking turns, adapting behaviours and inhibiting their own behaviours are all part of growing up at this age and children will begin to...

...talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

The idea of actions having 'consequences' is a key idea that children begin to grapple with and by modelling behaviour, children at this age start to negotiate complex social problems which involve concepts of fairness and 'what is right'.


Making relationships

Whether your child prefers to play in a group, with their best friend or with an imaginary friend - at this stage of growing up it is important that children are initiating conversations and are enjoying coming up with ideas for play...

... co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

Exploring the idea of friendship can be really fulfilling for a child as they learn some of the rules that glue groups together - and this can happen either by playing and exploring freely, or by providing more organised activities and learning opportunities. Getting to know people outside of their immediate comfort zone is an important and giving children the chance to operate in a number of different group sizes is extremely enriching at this age. 

Trampolines are a great way to break the ice (and a leg... so, play carefully!)

Trampolines are a great way to break the ice (and a leg... so, play carefully!)


Need to ask us a specific question about the Early years learning ? Or just want to talk to someone free of charge about your child's situation? Get in contact and we'll schedule a free telephone consultation.

If you want to organise a tutorial but want to know what the different options are, go to our Cost of Tuition Page.

This part of our website is currently being updated. Stay tuned for a brand new resources page very soon.