Why Academic Assessments are Important
Before you make any decisions about your child’s education, it is vital to understand how well your child is doing at school. This is where a good quality academic assessment plays an important role. A JK Academic Assessment allows parents to understand both the academic level a child is currently reaching at school compared to the national picture, and their academic potential.
Why is an assessment important?
Many parents come to us for an academic assessment because they are concerned that their child may not be working to the best of their ability; they want an honest and empirical analysis of their child’s current achievement level and potential. But an academic assessment can also help inform decisions about a child’s future schooling. If you are considering applying to academically selective schools, your child’s results will indicate whether this is an appropriate choice for them.
If selective schools are a good option, we will also be able to identify whether your child is likely to need any tutoring support to help them be successful in the entrance exams. Many children benefit enormously from the support of a specialist tutor, and this is particularly helpful where a child’s primary school will not have covered enough of the curriculum by the time the exams take place at the start of Year 6.
As well as providing invaluable information about your child’s current performance and future potential, the process of a JK assessment also reveals their learning style and allows us to get to know them a little. This knowledge then helps us to provide informed and personalised advice regarding potential future schools that would suit your child academically, culturally and socially. If you decide to engage a JK tutor, this information also helps us to match your child with the ideal tutor for them.
Many of the academic assessments we carry out are for primary school children, especially where parents are considering whether to go for the 7+ or 11+ exams, but assessments are also very useful in Key Stage 3. An assessment can identify where there are any concerns, so we can ensure that any gaps in knowledge and attainment can be filled before the start of the GCSE courses. Up to Year 10, standardised scores can be used for assessments in English, maths and both verbal and non-verbal reasoning. From GCSE level onwards, the exam boards’ curriculum and standards are used as a measure of assessment and can identify areas where any extra teaching support is required.
How does an academic assessment work?
Children meet with a senior member of JK teaching staff, either in person or online. They spend some time chatting about school and learning, and children then sit a range of assessment tests. The tests are tailored to the child’s age group and, depending on the child’s age, the process can take from 1.5 to 3 hours.
These tests provide us with a clear indication of the level your child is working at, and key information about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Assessing your child this way also gives us a guide to their potential ability and whether they are currently achieving it. We are one of a very small number of educational consultancies offering assessments that give an indication of academic potential.
The assessments are followed up with a detailed report and an hour-long feedback meeting with parents. The assessment report identifies a child’s academic potential and whether they are currently reaching it, and we can then start to ask ‘Why not?’, if they’re not meeting their potential. The report also identifies if and where some additional learning support might be useful.
Is it stressful?
This is not a stressful experience for children. Our assessors are experienced tutors and know how to put children at their ease so they can do their best. Parents’ feedback consistently tells us that children enjoy the process and come out of the assessment happy, relaxed and rather pleased with themselves!
Is it the right choice for your child?
A JK Educate Academic Assessment will let you know whether your child is performing to the best of their ability and identify their academic potential. This knowledge gives you the information you need to make the right choices for your individual child, getting extra support if it’s needed, and it can identify future options based on a child’s academic potential. For example, the assessment report might reveal that your child is already working to the best of their ability and that the competitive academic environment of a selective school is not likely to suit them. This will indicate that the entrance exam route is not the right one for them and avoiding this can save a lot of undue pressure on your child and setting them up for failure. We never recommend entrance exam tutoring for a child if they are unlikely to thrive in the environment of an academically selective school.
Whatever your child’s age or academic ambitions, it is worth booking an assessment to find out how they are really doing. You can then take control of whatever help they need and make sound future decisions about their education.