Secondary Transfer - Tips & Advice

Top Tips


The following information is aimed at helping parents support and prepare their child for the secondary transfer tests. Information can be found on the South West Herts and participating school websites, the notes below are based on our experience.


Pre- test preparation

Parents should encourage their child to regularly complete both verbal reasoning and maths short tests (10 Minute tests) Try to make this fun, make a game of it; you could also take the test to make it a competition. In addition here are some tips to help.

  • Encourage your child to read a wide range of books including poetry, classic novels, non-fiction and newspapers as this will help to broaden their vocabulary.
  • Read to your child and discuss text read to check comprehension and identify any unknown words.
  • Play games such as Scrabble, Boggle to encourage a wider vocabulary and improve spelling.
  • Try crosswords and word searches to build vocabulary.
  • In day to day life, start to give your child more than one instruction as this will help them tackle multi part questions. Eg "first make your bed, then put your shirts away before having a wash.”
  • Play games like “Cludeo” to help logical thinking.
  • Help your child become aware of the concept of time such as 30 seconds, 1 minute. Set a timer to see if they can judge how long they have been working.(Good test technique)


Other tests

To help build test technique and confidence, it may be beneficial if your child sits either our mock test or similar, prior to the actual tests.


Special requirements

If your child requires additional time or has extra support at school, you may be able to request additional support during the tests. Please see South West Herts link for details.


Prior to the actual test

As this is a "Once Only" test, ensure your child is rested, no late nights in the run up to the test.


Parents will be provided with test centre details, rules, registration time and what their child can take with them. Plan the journey; parking may be an issue so find out before the day.


On the day

Children may be nervous but it's a good idea to encourage them to have eaten before as the tests last over 3 hours.


Set off early to avoid delays, parking may be an issue so allow time to walk to the test centre.


Post-test event

Lots of children hold a post-test event or party. It is not a good idea to sit and compare who answered which questions, and how each child feels.  It is better for the children to be busy, letting off steam with their peer group if possible.


Open evenings (September/October)

Schools host open days/ evening around the beginning of the autumn term. This allows parents and children to visit the school, listen to the head teacher speaking about the school and to see what the school has to offer.


We cannot stress the importance of these events and strongly recommend you take the opportunity to visit all the schools.


When visiting the schools it is a good idea to pick up an admissions pack as this will provide all the details and forms you need to apply to each school. Please note that each school has its OWN FORMS so be sure to pick one up from each school.


When visiting the schools, if you wish to see the school during the day, book a date/time while you are at the open day as these get booked up very quickly.


Day visits (October)

Day visits can be arranged so that you and your child can see the school in operation. These are particularly good where you have established a short list of schools that you want to apply for.