Trick or Treat? How to pick the treat every time when preparing for the Selective Placement Test

by admin | 28th October 2020 |

Halloween is only a few days away. Where has the year gone?!

After enduring so much change this year, I am sure your child is looking forward to the familiarity of Halloween which comes around every year. Why wouldn’t they? It’s the perfect excuse to ingest large amounts of sugar on a day when it is socially acceptable to do so.

As the end of the year draws near, this also means that the NSW Selective Placement Test is less than 6 months from now. Use this time of year to your advantage and begin preparing your child for one of the biggest tests of their schooling life.

I know it may sound like a stretch—how does Halloween relate to the Placement Test?

Well, now is your opportunity to store away that extra Halloween candy and use it as a motivational tool in the coming months. Develop the practice of rewarding progress and celebrating small wins to help your child along the journey to the day of the Placement Test.

Quick tip—for the reward of candy to be an effective incentive, be sure to offer your child’s favourite, something they do not get to indulge in often. This makes each achievement in the preparation process even sweeter.

I will acknowledge not every child has a sweet tooth, and so the candy reward may not be suitable for your child. However, the principle remains the same. To further assist with preparing your child for the Placement Test in 2021, here are 5 tips you can implement.


1. Start preparing early

The selective school process is highly competitive. As we have mentioned before, some students start preparing from as early as Year 2. Don’t let this intimidate you. Each child is unique and requires varying levels of preparation to be ready to sit the test.

With 6 months to go, including the summer holidays, this is a great time to start preparing your child to build up their confidence. The cram study technique is not an advisable approach for a test of this nature! Shortcuts in preparation will only cost your child in the future.

Start developing a consistent study habit today.

 2. Make it fun and engaging

Studying is undeservingly labelled by many students as “boring”. As a parent, you can help your child rethink this label and create a Placement Test preparation experience that is anything but boring.

If you make study sessions fun and engaging, it will be a time your child looks forward to rather than dreads. Some examples of creative ways to make it more engaging:

  • Use game-based learning – you could turn quizzes to test your child’s knowledge into a “game show” format.
  • Try a mix of different learning styles to see which best suits your child – visual, verbal, logical, auditory, social.
  • Bring it to life – relate what they are learning to real-life scenarios so they can recognise what they are learning in the world around them.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate their achievements – this doesn’t always have to be a treat. For example, you can celebrate an improvement on their personal best in a practice test by creating a Tik-Tok video together (if you are into it) or anything else that your child is excited about.
  • Consider enrolling your child in group tutoring sessions – this gives them an opportunity to interact with other students as they prepare.

3. Create a schedule

Set goals with your child and create a study schedule to help them achieve those goals.

For a schedule that leverages your child’s strengths, take into consideration their attention span and preferred learning style. For example, if your child struggles to focus, start with 30-minute study sessions and progressively increase it.

Set aside a time each day, besides homework, to revise and prepare for the test. Consistency is key.

Remember to stick to the schedule you have set! This will assist your child in developing discipline, a quality they will benefit from beyond their schooling years.

 4. Develop time management skills

Your child may be highly proficient in all areas covered by the Placement Test but that is of no use if they cannot finish the exam on time. This is where time management skills are important.

In addition to the format of the exam, note the number of questions and the assigned timeframes. This should give you an idea of how long your child needs to spend on answering each question. It is usually 40 seconds to 1 minute per question.

The most effective way for your child to determine the optimal pace at which to work is by working through timed practice tests.

5. Ask for help

If you are looking for more support to prepare your child for the Selective School Placement Test, you are unlikely to find the level of support you need from your child’s current school. To set your child up for exam success, seek help.

At GEA, we specialise in helping students meet their learning goals, including receiving placement into a Selective High School.

Book a Benchmark Assessment today and take the first step to preparing your child with our award-winning selective preparation program.

Or, start by checking if your child has the required potential. Have your child take our GEA Genius quiz.

For more tips on how to prepare your child for the Placement Test, read 8 Tips on Preparing your Child for the Selective High School Placement Test.

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