Preparing your Primary 6 Child for the Transfer Test

It may seem a long way off but by this time next year, your child in P6 will be in the final stages of preparing for the Transfer Test. I strongly recommend starting preparation early, due to the significant amount of lost learning time, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. The GL Transfer Test is made up of two tests (English and Maths) which is usually sat by pupils in mid-November. The maths section of the test consists of 45 questions, with a duration of 45 minutes. In addition, the English test consists of 60 questions, with a duration of 50 minutes. However, children sitting the test in January 2021 have an additional 10 minutes on both tests due to Covid-19.

Maths Preparation

My first preparation recommendation is (you’ve guessed it) the Times Tables! If your child knows their Times Tables, it will help unlock a large proportion of areas within the test such as fractions, decimals, percentages and angles. It is also essential that they are confident using mathematical operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (including decimals). 

The biggest area for concern that I identify with lots of new pupils is dividing using the Bus Stop Method. I would recommend assessing your child on each of these areas before embarking on any other area of test preparation. If you are unsure of these terms, try searching the terminology on Youtube or you can contact me with any questions you may have. 

English Preparation

It may seem obvious, but the best preparation that your child can do regarding the English section of the test is to read. I would suggest reading a wide range of books including classics such as The Hobbit, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Secret Garden. Additionally, it is important to read modern classics such as Harry Potter and Alex Rider! The reading materials chosen for the Transfer Test has been above students reading ages in previous years. Subsequently, the text includes vocabulary which they may be unfamiliar with. There are techniques to identify the meaning of a word which I teach, but it is invaluable if a child has a good range of vocabulary in their armoury. It is also essential that your child comprehends/understands what they have read. This can be practised at home by creating your own questions, sourcing questions online or buying an age-appropriate textbook. 

A significant proportion of the English test is focused around spotting punctuation and spelling mistakes in a piece of writing. Again, there are techniques employed which help identify these, but it is important that your child fully understands the use of capital letters, full stops, commas, inverted commas/speech marks, apostrophes, question and exclamation marks. There may be errors missing from the text or inserted in the wrong place, which your child has to spot. 

It is surprising the number of children that struggle with identifying nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs (NAVA). If you have been out of a school setting for a long time, I do not expect you to remember what these are. A quick online search will help freshen your memory! It is imperative that your child can comfortably identify NAVAs in a piece of writing. This is another task that you can start at home.

In my opinion, it is too early to start practice papers and exam techniques for the current P6 pupils. In addition to the risk of ‘burning out’, it would prove to be a fruitless task as they will not have covered most of the topics within the papers. This is why I have started my current P6 students’ Transfer Test journey by focusing on some of the topics I have discussed. Although I will not be starting practice papers yet, I will be cherry-picking relevant practice paper questions, related to what I have covered. This will assist in building pupils confidence towards the test. 

Accelerate Academic Progress with Education Support Hub

The response to P6 Transfer Test preparation has been fantastic! However, this also means that there are limited spaces available. If you would like to avail of a free first session/assessment please contact us early to avoid disappointment. Education Support Hub also assists children of all primary ages. Following an initial free assessment, your child will join a small group (maximum 4) with similar academic ability. Groups of 4 children help mirror a classroom environment while still allowing our fully qualified teachers to provide individually tailored lessons and carry out a continual assessment on their progress. The teaching methods we use cater to a range of different learning styles to provide the tools for your child to become a more confident learner. We also utilise textbooks that are used by local primary schools, further assisting children in applying their new learning directly back to the classroom.  

Sessions are delivered by Access NI cleared tutors through the online platform Zoom, ensuring that classroom bubble guidance is adhered to in the comfort of your own home. If you would like more information, please contact us for your FREE assessment.

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