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Preparing Your Young Child for Entrance Exams or Admissions Testing

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Preparing Your Young Child for Entrance Exams or Admissions Testing

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Fay Tips on preparing for Admissions TestingThe independent or private school admission process shouldn’t be intimidating to parents nor children, but Fay understands that it can be.  It is helpful to know what to expect at each school and how you can best prepare your child to gain admission to the best fit school for them. 

While some parents hyper-focus on the tests and attempt to guarantee their child will do well with copious amounts of tutoring and practice test prep, something we don’t recommend, others take a more laid-back approach that often proves more advantageous. Trust us. Think about it, colleges and universities have already begun to announce that they are “SAT Optional” because they recognize how limited a tool any standardized test is in actually predicting future success. If independent schools dropping their AP classes is any indication, then independent schools will soon follow suit on the standardized testing front. The landscape of education is evolving in big ways.

 “We are in the here and now, though. And my child is two years old. Admissions testing is real.”

It is important to remember that many children going through the admissions process at independent schools are two and three years old, and their days are unpredictable. We know, and we are with you! No matter how much time we spend on preparation or test prep, sometimes we can’t control what happens, and that is ok.  Leading admissions professionals understand this and do their best to ensure a school visit is successful for all parties. Leading admissions professionals will also proactively share this with you as we do at Fay.

With younger students, it can help lessen the stress if you talk to your child about where they are going and what they might be asked to do.  On the visit day, let your child know they will have to separate from you but that you will still be there, just in another room.  Fay recommends telling preschool-aged children that they are simply going to another school where they will get to see a classroom, perhaps play, and work with a teacher.  The more informed they are about the admissions process, the more comfortable they will be. 

When it comes to the academic assessment, the truth of the matter is that no parents know exactly what types of questions there are on the different assessments given by individual schools.  This uncertainty means there is truly no way to prepare for the test day.  Besides, the school entrance exam is simply one piece of a much larger puzzle, and all the pieces combined are what ultimately make an admissions decision.  Some pieces of the larger admissions puzzle include the school’s academic assessment, how the students interact socially, the ability to follow directions, teacher recommendation forms, standardized testing information from outside professionals, and what parents value.  For this reason, stressing over one piece of the puzzle isn’t necessary or productive. 

Preparing your Child for Admission Testing at The Fay School:

  • Attend Coffee and Cocoa at Fay the December before the January Admissions Testing dates. Contact Director of Admissions, Ali Lyman, for more information!
  • Check out the Fay website and show your child pictures of Fay’s campus, so Fay becomes a more familiar place.
  • Let them know they will be coming to a beautiful and green campus.
  • Relax!

About the Author: This is Ali’s first year as Fay’s Director of Admissions after serving in Fay's classrooms for over ten years. When she is not talking about all things Fay with prospective parents, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her dog, Finn!