Does your child need tutoring service to prepare for scholarship exams of Australian private schools?
Many private schools in Australia offer scholarship exams year after year and students who successfully clear these exams stand to gain as much as $200,000 in fees for 6 years in high school. Every school worth its name is after students who demonstrate their ability to become high achievers. Therefore, these scholarship tests are tuned in to find students with original thoughts and quality ideas as part of their high-level academic ability.
The test regime itself is understandably tough and yet thousands of students do take this test hoping to win the much sought-after scholarship. Many schools come together and engage companies to conduct the tests on their behalf. Year after year, over 10,000 students take these tests, with NSW alone accounting for about a third of the total numbers. These students come from families that are barely solvent to the wealthy ones and take the test hoping to secure a scholarship that can save the family some $200,000 in fees across 6 years of high school studies. Students who are inherently bright add significant value to the schools and that is one reason these tests are popular and pretty tough at the same time. To take these tests, the students are expected to be proficient in critical thinking, inferring, interpreting, and deducing, apart from knowledge gained from the academic stream. The tests also provide an opportunity for the participating students to showcase their smarts and encourage them towards higher levels of achievement.
The tests are tuned to things the students would have learned through the academic environment and not what they studied immediately before taking the tests. With regard to written expression, the tests seek to identify original thought and quality of ideas.
Given the way these tests are structured, students taking the tests would be at a distinct advantage when they are familiar with the structure of the tests, the multiple choice formats, extended writing and being familiar with putting down the answers on the answer sheets. Practice tests will also provide the students with an idea of what the test would look like and enable them to set the pace and determine the time to be allotted for each question. Moving on to sure shot answers first and then going back to solve the other questions is a beneficial approach in these types of tests.
Does your child need tutoring to take these tests?
In Australia, many institutions and tutoring centres provide scholarship tutoring services, Ex. Edu-Kingdom College, Learn Mate, just to name a few. The million dollar question that would be uppermost in the minds of parents would be whether tutoring institutions can benefit their children to take these scholarship tests and excel in them. But, one thing they should remember is that being prepared does not necessarily mean tutoring or practice sessions at a coaching centre. Preparation for these tests this way can be significantly stressful for parents and students alike and does not come with any kind of guarantee that the student will indeed qualify for the scholarship. That being said, there are students who do attend coaching centres for as long as 18 months before taking these tests. A better option, however, would be to read widely and step up the curiosity about all that is going on in the world. Remember that the tests are tuned to cull out students who exhibit a high degree of individual ideas that are unique too. On an average, some 150 students could be tested for a single scholarship. NAPLAN or similar assessments do not constitute a good indicator of potential performance in these scholarship tests.
Some students may complete only half the test
All the practice sessions and tutoring apart, some students may still be able to complete just about half the test. This should not mean that they are dull-headed and students failing to qualify for these tests should not feel stressed. It is important that the students as well as parents understand this and discuss thoroughly before taking the tests so that any anxiety about the tests can be eliminated. When students are trained to keep their nerves calm while taking the tests tend to perform better compared to students who are nervous. What is more important on a given day is the attitude that the student can do their best on the given day. It may be OK if all questions are not answered. But, it is indeed important that the stimulus material provided is read through and understood well. Rushing through the answers may not be the right way to approach these tests. Some of the stimulus material may be subtle but if the student plans things out, they can excel in written expression and score well.
These tests always focus on identifying students who are intelligent, have great leadership skills and are creative thinkers. The schools are not looking for students who have learned the art of performing well in any examination and the thrust is on real ideas and initiatives. Parents should, therefore, acquire as much information as they can, about these tests to avoid surprises on the given day.
Most of these scholarship tests comprise of 3 parts – Written expression – 25 minutes (extended response) Humanities – multiple choice – 40 minutes and Maths – 40 minutes. Some schools may also add another written expression tests with 25 minutes allotted for an extended response.
The decisive moment
Parents should always remember that the scholarship tests are aimed at high achievers who are at the top of the pyramid. Unfortunately, the room at the top of the pyramid is limited. Merely because your child could not qualify for the scholarship exam, you should not see that as the end of the road for him. There are several professions and callings that do not emphasize academic excellence. Home improvement, automobile garage, fire/water damage restoration, climate control equipment servicing, home electrification, solar panel installation, and an endless list of other trades need only average academic performance. Thus, your child’s career trajectory can be rising quickly from an employee to an employer. Initial employment is essential to gain quality experience and from there he/she can build up a business enterprise.
Here is a useful calendar of tests by different schools during the ensuing school season.