Preparing at home for the PPTC and AQE transfer tests

Any parents wanting to help their children improve while they are at primary school or wanting to help them through the PPTC transfer test or AQE transfer test can do so by using the right materials.

The educational publishing market is swamped with books and so it’s difficult for parents to understand what to use when.

We have tried to make the process simpler by showing parents what they could consider doing when and which books to use.

Preparing for the transfer test exam in Northern Ireland

Parents often want to help their children during their primary school years and this is especially true when it comes to the PPTC and AQE transfer tests. While we wouldn’t recommend cramming for the transfer test we do know that some help can make all the difference for children.

What we can say is that children who are helped at home for prolonged periods will benefit most, but even some help with last minute exam familiarisation can help.

Transfer test preparation basics

Before a parent should even begin to think about books, it is as well to remember that getting the basics right costs very little. Try thinking about the following:

1.  Children should be reading for at least half an hour each night. As part of that process they should be running a personal words diary each week where they note down 10 to 20 words they came across which they didn’t quite know.

2.  Parents should attempt to read a book ( often a different book to their normal reading book) with their child at least twice a week. This exercise should use the paired reading method where the adult and child take it in turns to read but both look at the book while the other is reading.

3.  If schools are not handing out weekly spelling then this should be done at home. The best way to help is also to check the spelling that has been learnt from a few weeks before to check it has really sunk in and not just been learnt for a test.

4.  There is always a temptation to leave times tables too early. Parents can have a huge impact by helping with times tables at home and ensuring that children stick with it. Weak times tables is the biggest single cause of the little slips children make in Maths.

5.  Focus on attention to detail. There is a temptation to over praise children for results. Remember that in many cases a child who scores 85% is quite capable of scoring 90% + if they focus a little more on the detail, over praising when little mistakes are still being made can send the wrong message. It’s quite possible in a fun and relaxed way to help children deliver the work they are really capable of by focussing on attention to detail.

Transfer test preparation materials to use by subject and by year

Year three- English

Year three- Maths

Year four- English

Year four- Maths

Year five/six- English

Year five /six – Maths