We believe that studying for the 7+ exam should be enjoyable, engaging, interesting... all the words you wouldn’t normally associate with exam revision.
Because despite being a rigorous entrance exam, the 7+ exam is for extremely young children who are just beginning to form their attitudes towards learning.
We all know that Year 1 and 2 children learn best through play and exploration, using a cross curricular and multi-sensory approach. It is therefore so unfortunate that the 7+ exam is still extremely traditional in its approaches to assessment, offering multiple formal written assessments to be completed under timed conditions. Of course, parents and tutors want to prepare their children and students as best as possible to secure a spot at their chosen school, so sample papers and mock exams are often keenly sought after.
In our experience however, there is a distinct lack of age appropriate exam papers out there to specifically help with the 7+ exam.
That’s where we come in! We have created a bank of exam papers that are carefully levelled to ensure that if students do wish to try exam papers before the exam, it can be done so in a way that will protect their self-esteem, confidence and positive view of learning.
We don’t have a huge bank of exam papers available – for good reason! Completing exam paper after exam paper does not tie in with our core beliefs about how students learn best. We believe that the 7+ exam can be successfully prepared for through partaking in a variety of activites: playing games, quizzes, completing group challenges, journaling, shopping, cooking, working on the computer… the list goes on!
However, we do think that introducing children to the layout of an exam is an important step in ensuring that children understand the format of the assessment and become more familiar with working independently for a more sustained period prior to the 7+ exam.
Too often do we see students attempt exam papers that are far beyond their age and stage. Exam papers should be challenging, not impossible. Anything too tricky and we run the risk of damaging children’s self-worth. This is why we created a tiered approach to exam papers, aiming to ensure that children are gradually exposed to an increased level of challenge.
Wicked Smart papers come in five different levels. As children progress through the levels, the number of marks awarded increases, while the amount of time allocated to complete the paper decreases.
In our maths papers, worded problems slowly become more challenging and all areas of the curriculum are explored in greater detail e.g. time, shape, measure.
The detail and length of the texts within our comprehension papers gradually increase and higher marked questions become more prevalent. Visualization, prediction, summarizing and clarifying questions are also introduced as are multiple choice questions.
In the story writing section of our papers, students are initially asked to focus on structure. Once children can include a beginning, middle and end, the marking scheme then demands more detail and accuracy in areas such as content, plot, vocabulary, grammar and presentation.
The goal with all of our papers is to help provide a gentle approach to exam revision, where challenge is introduced at a pace that suits the needs of the child.
The Wicked Smart way advocates for learning that makes students feel successful, proud and confident in their abilities. We believe that our exam papers help to relieve the tensions of both students and parents. They act as a marker of a child's progress, allowing a clear insight into strengths and areas for improvement. They provide clarity on what is assessed can ultimately help students to secure a place at some of the top prep schools in the UK.