R & W – 5 Simple Steps


Reading & Writing

Step 1:

Look at the front of the test and talk about:

What name should you write? ( full name no nick names or baby names)*

What pens/ pencils / resources are required? ( do we write with coloured pencils?)

How many questions are there?

How long do they have?

How long do they have for each part? ( a touch of Maths)

Step 2: Break up the tests into their parts:

Give each student Part 1 and have them read the directions as a class . ( out loud is best)

Highlight key words that you think your students will not understand and discuss them.**

Complete each part slowly with your students as a group.

Cambridge often likes to trick children by having extra options, words or choices , make sure children understand they DON’T always have to use all words /options! ***

This is to make sure they are not tempted to just guess the answer.

Step 3

After you complete all parts, together, give the children a part they have never seen before and have them complete it individually. This is to see if they remember what to do or if you need to review certain areas.

This might sound time consuming and many students might be familiar with the tests already , but in most schools there is always 1 or 2 new students and others might not remember everything. ( Even when they say they do) DO NOT give Cambridge tests as homework! Parents usually end of giving children the answers OR , more likely, tell their child the wrong thing. Then the whole activity becomes pointless. Children must be able to read and understand the tests by them selves, it’s PART of the testing. This is the main goal of Cambridge preparation. This must be made clear to both parents and students.

Step 4

Once you are confident, as a teacher, that your students understand what to do, you should give them a full test with a time limit. Time limits are something the children will need to practice. ( especially younger ones as they are not used to it and often don’t have a good concept of time in general) Always make sure students do not “ sit” on one question for too long. IF they don’t know the answer, within a few seconds, tell them to go to the next one and come back to the tricky one at the end. Usually once options are crossed out or when the student has read the whole test, the answer is suddenly clear to them.

If a child is unable to complete a test, within the time given, discuss what areas were tricky. Try to do this as a group with a show of hands so you don’t single kids out, or speak to them privately during self reflection time. ****

During a normal year ( no Covid) I would :Give a part test in September to assess children’s levels, A full test at the end of January ( results in the report cards) A full test in May. ( results in the report cards) This means you can show parents their child’s clear progress and exactly what they need to work on. This also shows you as a teacher how your whole class is responding to your prep classes and what you as a teacher need to work on.

The most important thing I can advise to parents and teachers is: DONT make this process stressful for the kids. If you are too hard or take it too seriously children will become stressed and stress distracts children from the job at hand. Believe it or not this can be a fun and engaging activity for children , and many like such challenges.