How we test

We assess your child closely once they’re on the course.

Throughout your time on the course we encourage you to stay in close contact with us and our teaching staff, and we will always be available to talk you through how your child is performing and how to help them improve. Our teachers and teaching assistants are on hand to talk to you before and after lessons and we try to be as honest as possible about your child’s ability and their chances of success.

Our monthly test is key to this process, as it allows you and our teachers to see how well your child is doing and what areas are in need of work. Children take two tests on the last session of each monthly cycle: one for maths and one for English. These tests are taken under real exam conditions and the results are recorded on a table, allowing you to compare your child against the class average as well as against the historic pass mark for the real exams.

How we track your child’s progress

This is an example of the registers that our teachers receive. In addition to the children’s names, it also shows their results in their most recent tests, allowing teachers to see at a glance how each student is performing and which of them need more help.

This register shows the last four test results achieved by the students in each of the four test types (mathematics, English multiple choice, English written comprehension, and essay writing). The register also allows the teacher to see a child’s position relative to other children in the class. The shading of the results boxes is matched to the child’s position, with a lighter shade of green for lower-scoring children and a darker shade for higher-scoring children. In this case, the darkest shade of green on the register corresponds to the top 20% of scores.

How you can track your child’s progress

Once your child has taken their monthly test, it is then taken in to be marked in-house by our examiners, much as it would be in a real exam. The results are then entered onto a results chart and handed back on the next lesson.

Our marking methods follow those used by local grammar schools; depending on whether a test is written or multiple choice, we may either mark it by hand, have our examiners assess and annotate it, or mark it using a scanner and marking software similar to that used in real exams. All of our tests are handed back to you after marking along with the relevant answer sheets so you can better understand the marker’s decision making process and see how your child might have improved their answers.

See your child’s relative position

In our reports, each child is identified with an ID number which is shown in the first column; the higher your child has scored the higher their name is in the column.

Your child’s percentage score is shown next to their ID number, as well as their response for each question. Correct answers are shown in green, incorrect answers in red, and blank responses are marked in yellow.

Target questions at your child’s level

The row at the top of the chart shows what percentage of children got each question correct; the easier the question, the higher this number will be.

Children can use this to identify the easiest questions that they got wrong, which makes a good starting point for children looking to improve, allowing them to tackle questions at their level first.

See if your child struggles with timing

Questions left unanswered are shown in yellow. If your child’s row ends abruptly with yellow, your child ran out of time and failed to answer the questions at the end of the test.

By doing monthly tests, children will get faster and learn the pace at which they should be going. By the end of the year, we aim to eliminate all yellow from the chart.