Secondary school admission tests

Between preparation and pressure, admission tests are very stressful for 11 and 12 years old children and their parents.

For many reasons, High School retains the attention of parents. To make sure that their children have everything they need for a bright future, they look for a safe school where teachers are competent and where the curiosity of children is satisfied with enough information to let them achieve everything that they will want to achieve.

They also look for a polyvalent ground that will motivate children even if they will change a lot between their 11th and 17th birthday. When a specific school meets all of these criteria, it is normal to want our children to go there, but at what cost?

One test… or five?

Logically, when your child will be taking the tests, you will have already visited all the schools that interested you. If, after these visits, you still want to try for a few schools, try not to stress your child out each time he has an exam.

Try to see the first exams as practice and keep in mind that the preparation will be the same for all the tests. Some will say that it is not worse than having a few job interviews but these children are not even 13 yet. Let’s stay calm and refrain from stressing our children out with their capacities as if they were never good enough for what we ask of them.

Why does that test exist?

The goodwill of parents is not enough for a child to find his place in some schools. Money is not enough either. For a child to succeed and be happy in a specialized program, they must be strong academically. They must be above average, autonomous and eager to learn. Essentially, the test evaluates if your child will be able to follow the program. If it is the case of your child, they should not have to study all summer because the test is based on their level, not on the level they would achieve if they studied for hours every day.

Because some children were overly prepared and could not follow after they were accepted in enriched school programs, some schools are now considering removing the test and only basing their admission on school results.

What if my child fails?

There is no perfect life and just as there are no bad jobs, there is no such thing as a bad school. Children who do not go to the school you wanted might not have access to the content of your dreams, but keep in mind that this is their life and their career, not the one you missed. Your job as a parent is to give your children all the tools they need. You wanted them to take violin lessons? Find extracurricular lessons! You wanted them to play a sport more often? Sign in for weekend courses! You want science to be at the center of their learning? Look for a more accessible school with a good science program.

If your child is refused, they may not take the highway to success that you had imagined, but quiet roads often lead to the same success and your support will make all the difference. In short, to ensure your child’s success, be on their side and be creative in your solutions no matter what school they will attend.

Image de Anne Costisella

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