Tak­ing the stress out of the Trans­fer Test

The 11-plus exams are the first big date in the aca­demic cal­en­dar, with pupils across Bucks get­ting ready to take the test. MIKE RUS­SELL, co-founder of Ever­lief Child Psy­chol­ogy, of­fers ad­vice on the best ways to pre­pare be­fore­hand and on the day

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SCHOOL REPORT -

AS CHIL­DREN set­tle back into school, for some par­ents their fo­cus is al­ready on next year. Yes, it’s time again for the 11-plus exams. Whether or not you agree with the sys­tem, the de­sire to get a place at a gram­mar school is as in­tense and com­pet­i­tive as ever.

The for­mal name for it is the Buck­ing­hamshire Trans­fer Test and most en­trants will be sit­ting it to­day (Thurs­day).

Test re­sults are avail­able on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 17, and about a third of chil­dren tak­ing the exam will get the marks they need to se­cure a place. There is then the dreaded ap­peals process if your child came close and you can ex­plain why they should still get a place.

The exam can be stress­ful for some chil­dren. The out­come is im­por­tant to them and, of course, their par­ents.

A lit­tle bit of stress helps to sharpen and fo­cus the mind, and a burst of adren­a­line pro­vides enough en­ergy to get through the exam. But too much stress is counter-pro­duc­tive, as the body thinks it is in dan­ger and goes into ‘sur­vival mode’.

So how can you help your child cope with this stress?

Dr Lucy Rus­sell, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist from Ever­lief Child Psy­chol­ogy, in West Wy­combe, of­fers her top five tips (see panel).

Photo by Mar­ion Ma­son

Gabriella Grodzka, six, hav­ing a happy time at the Day­break fam­ily fun day

Con­trib­uted

PROUD: For­mer Dr Chal­loner’s High School pupil Amy Botwright (cen­tre) with teach­ers Caro­line Rus­sell and Bar­bara Doyle

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