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The Selective School Coaching Course by John Stivaktas

When is the best time to begin a course aimed at achieving success in the annual Selective School Test conducted by the N.S.W Department of Education each March? Most tutoring establishments advocate a period of 12 months preparation for the test to allow for adequate time for each student to cover the exam areas; namely Reading, Mathematics, General Ability and Writing.

At Master Coaching we skill each student initially in the concepts and methods required for achieving success in each subject area. After these methods have been practised and utilised by students we then focus on practising the skills required to achieve success within the short timeframe of each exam. This is critical as each test is only 40 minutes in length; most questions only allow each student 40 to 60 seconds to answer. The writing test is only 20 minutes in length.

The first part of the course, covering concepts and methods for solutions, focusses on identifying key elements in exam questions, comprehension techniques, extended mathematical solutions and problem solving and abstract, verbal and numerical reasoning. As General Ability covers Logic reasoning overall and is not specifically taught in school, more time is spent in this area to equip students to familiarise themselves with the type of questions commonly found in the General Ability exam.

The second part of the course follows on from the first part. Once students have been exposed to the modelled framework for solving problems in each subject area, they then begin to identify and grade the difficulty of questions in those subject areas. This is a highly important skill which requires time and guidance. By identifying questions which are quick to answer, students can devote more time to the difficult questions found in each Selective School exam.

Finally, we must acknowledge that there is no short cut to success in committing to this coaching course. Students learn more from their initial practice exams and their mistakes; consistent feedback from tutors allows each student to identify areas required for improvement. We find that improvements in each area are incremental; by the end of the course students have the confidence to complete the Selective School Exams because of their thorough preparation.

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