In 2009 the education minister changed the 11+ exam in Northern Ireland. This exam was to decide which secondary school children could attend. Each child had a choice whether to sit the exam or not, however the 11+ was scraped and grammar schools then decided to have their own exam to decide which pupils could attend their school. So if pupils decide to go to a grammar school they have to sit an exam, for those who fail they will automatically have to attend a state school. On the other hand if a child decides they would prefer to attend a state school, then they wont have to sit this exam.
My eldest son was the first of my children to experience the new test In primary 7 the children got sent home with practice papers and parents had to choose whether their child would do these practice papers, after a lot of thought I encouraged my son to give these practice papers a go. So he did. After looking through the test papers I realised just how difficult these papers are. Approximately a week or so later my son was in bed crying due to these test papers, so I informed his teacher he would be no longer doing these test papers.
Now a year later I find myself in the same situation with my daughter. She wants to attend a grammar school, so she has to sit this exam and will soon be coming home with these practice test papers. I mentioned them to a friend, and she told me you can buy practice test papers.
So I went to Eason's and bought a set of these test papers, CEA Practice Tests, they retail for £6.99. They come in a clear plastic wrap, the package has four practice papers and one answer sheet. The front cover is pale green and orange and says "New transfer tests" below this it states that these are CEA Practice Tests in English and Maths. There are several packs available each with four papers and one answer booklet, the one I got is pack 1 as we are only starting these papers.
Each test paper has a set of instructions, space for the pupils name and a total box, there are 58 questions on the tests and one hour is given to the child to complete the test, the questions are a mixture of both english and maths. The answer sheet is just two pages long with all the answers to each test paper.
Although my daughter has found these practice test papers difficult, we have gone over the questions together and she is now starting to find them slightly less difficult. The reason I bought these papers is to let my daughter see an example of the test papers she will be getting from school. I have no intention of putting any pressure on her to do the test however I want to make her aware exactly how difficult this exam will be.
During the week we don't do the test papers, but at the weekend we will spend some time doing them. I think that during the school week she does enough school work so I keep these for weekends. I am hopeful that this will help her improve her maths and english and to also help her with the practice test papers she will be getting home from school and hopefully help her with the exam. I only wish I had known about these practice papers when my son was in primary 7.