How do I prepare my child for a 7 plus interview?
A good starting point for preparing your child for the 7 plus interview would be to simply have regular conversations with them on any topic. Conversing with your child – taking turns in listening and speaking, with questions and answers included – will help your child to interpret and respond to the interviewer’s questions. Engaging your child in conversation will hopefully also put them at ease when they come to the actual interview, as they will view the interview as just another conversation.
When speaking with your child, encourage them to offer explanations. You might want to encourage your child to use ‘because’ to expand their answers. Your child may be confident in knowing their likes and dislikes, their hobbies and what happens at school. If they can expand their answers to include specific reasons as to why they like something, this will help demonstrate depth to their thinking and will help the interviewer see your child’s personality.
It’s also important to develop your child’s confidence in speaking up when they are unsure of what you are saying or asking. This will stand your child in good stead if they are unsure of something in the interview, they will feel at ease in asking for clarification.
Helping your child develop their own opinions is another way to prepare for the 7+ interview. There are no correct answers to interview questions. Instead, encouraging your child to give their personal opinion without a judgement of it being right or wrong, will show their individual thoughts and give a sense of their character. Added to this, expanding on their opinions with an explanation will also demonstrate how your child can use reasoning to answer questions and will therefore show deeper thinking.
Additionally, regular reading with your child is essential for your child’s language and vocabulary development, and it will ultimately help with their communication skills in the interview. Discussing a book that you are reading together provides a good opportunity to develop your child’s opinions and thoughts, too. Some schools may also want their candidates to read a text and discuss it with them in the interview. When reading with your child, check for their understanding of the story and, if appropriate to the story, you may want to ask the following questions:
- What happened on this page?
- Why has the author used this word?
- How does this character feel?
- If you were in the story, what would you do?
What questions do they ask at a 7 plus interview?
There are many questions that could come up in the 7+ interview. Interviewers may want to know about the child’s family, their likes and hobbies. Questions that may be asked are:
- Can you tell me about your family?
- What do you like to do on the weekend?
- Describe your favourite toy. Why is it your favourite toy?
- What are your hobbies?
- What is your favourite place?
The school may also want to know about the child’s current school. Questions may include:
- Can you tell me about your school?
- What do you like about your school?
- What is your favourite subject?
- What would you like to learn more about at school?
The school may also want to know more about the child’s opinions and assess their reasoning behind their opinion. Examples of these kinds of questions may include:
- Would you prefer to play football or go swimming?
- Do you think it’s better to win one big race or five small races?
- Would you rather play in mud or sand?
- Would you rather blow a trumpet, bang a drum or sing a tune?
Some schools may want to hear a child read a passage and ask questions about it. Questions may include:
- What happened?
- Can you describe this character?
- What was the problem in this story?
- What do you think this word means?
Some schools may also ask candidates if they have any questions for the interviewer. Talking to your child about their school, their likes and extracurricular interests will help spark ideas for questions they can ask the interviewer. Examples of questions for the interviewer may include:
- What is your favourite book?
- What do you like to do on the weekend?
- Why do you like being a teacher?
What is the interviewer looking for?
The interviewer will be assessing the communication skills of candidates. The interviewer will also be looking at whether your child is a good fit for the school. To be able to judge whether a candidate is a good fit, interviewers will be looking to see if children can readily and openly share their thoughts, feelings and opinions in response to their questions. They will be looking for answers that go beyond one-word responses and give a sense of the child’s personal thoughts and feelings. Children that can expand their answers and give reasons will give the interviewer a sense of their personality and show strong communication skills.
7 plus tuition
Keystone Tutors have a number of highly experienced 7 Plus tutors who can help with exam and interview preparation, wherever you are in the world.
For more details on how Keystone can help prepare your child for the 7 Plus, please call the office for a chat with one of our client managers, or contact us via our request a tutor form.