Coming up in the few weeks before November are the AQE Test familiarisation days at your child’s chosen test centre. These aim to help put you and your child at ease about the procedure on test days. For that alone, it’s worth making the effort to go along and find out what to expect. It’s like a dress rehearsal for the real event, helping you, and the test organisers, iron out any little niggles before test day dawns.
Here’s how to make the most of AQE Test familiarisation days
Expect the process to last around an hour from start to finish, although each school may handle timings diffferently.
The usual running order is this – staff, and often senior pupils, will greet you. Then all children and parents will gather together in the assembly hall.
Your child will have their registration checked in the same way as on test day. They will be led off to their exam room. Many test centres try to group children with a few others from their primary school. Truthfully, there’s not much time for chat, so don’t fret if that doesn’t happen.
Children should get a chance to try out their desk, meet the invigilators, and maybe even sit down and pretend they are beginning a test.
Expect great attention to detail from test staff. In previous years, invigilators in at least one school checked all the desks, once the children were seated, to make sure none were wobbly! If your child is particularly small, they might even be offered a cushion!
In each room, there will be spare pencils, rubbers and drinking water if required.
Bring along the AQE admissions card, and also your test centre registration card if you have one. You could also take time now to pack a clear plastic bag or folder with two pencils, a rubber, maybe a tissue or two. You don’t need, and won’t be allowed to bring into the test, any food, drinks, pencil cases, watches or mobile phones.
These things are worth thinking about on AQE Test familiarisation days, to get you ready for the real thing
How long does the journey take?
Assess how much time you should allow to be at the test centre at least 30 minutes before the test begins.
Where will you park?
If you have to walk any distance, allow for this extra time, as many schools will be really busy on the day.
Who will bring your child to the test?
Many schools ask that only one parent brings each child. In fact, in order to keep things as relaxed as possible, it’s probably better not to bring Granny, siblings and so on … but you know best what suits your child and helps them stay calm.
What to wear on the day?
No, not you – your child!!! Official guidance is to be comfortable. School uniforms aren’t required, but many parents make informal agreements among themselves to stick to the old familiar uniform.
What if you arrive late?
It’s worth checking out what the procedure is if, for example, you get a puncture on the way to the test! Each centre has a plan for this, and should have a special late room just in case, so try not to panic.
What will you do during the test?
Some test centres have a place for refreshments and a chat. From experience, other parents choose to leave the school grounds and go for a walk or coffee. It’s up to you.
Some thoughts for after AQE Test familiarisation days
Finally, it’s a good idea to have a well-thought out little script ready for your child after AQE Test familiarisation day. Reinforce how great it is that they know where they’ll be sitting, they’ve seen friendly faces and have a great idea of how things will happen on the day.
And for you too! Make the most of this chance to think things through calmly before test day arrives. Good luck and get planning! If you want to read more about AQE Test essentials – what to bring with you – click here.
Our site is full of information about helping your child achieve their potential in the AQE Transfer Test, including our 30 minute workbooks.