11+ school interviews are becoming an increasingly important part of the 11+ admissions process especially at schools such as Eton College, St Paul’s, Winchester, Harrow and Westminster. Here is some general advice on how to prepare for your 11+ school interview.
Before going to any 11+ school interview, even if you have already visited the school, take a really good journey around the school website. Note something which catches your interest, and something which you don’t quite understand and would like the school to explain. Be ready for: “Why do you want to come here? … What activities would you like to develop here that you haven’t had much chance to do so far ?” Remember, always have a couple of questions prepared for the end of the interview when you will be asked “Do you have any questions you would like to ask me?”
When preparing for the 11+ school interview, watch some documentaries on TV or DVD (natural world, astronomy, great inventions, history etc). Think about the people in History who interest you, and great events, and exactly how they changed the world; if you plan to say we study History to learn from the mistakes of the past, make sure you have an example ready. Think about why it’s valuable to study a range of religions, whether we believe in one of them or not. For Science and Maths, make sure you can talk about an experiment that caught your imagination or a problem you enjoyed solving, and why these subjects are so important in the modern world.
Try to understand the background to some of the big stories in the news in the weeks leading up to your 11+ school interview: ask parents and teachers; watch the BBC news; try to take in at least one article in a serious newspaper each day; try The Week, which condenses and explains the main stories … e.g. why is it so difficult simply to ban guns in America ? Who do you think is going to win next year‘s UK general election? Why is Ukraine such a difficult issue for the West to tackle?
For the more competitive 11+ school interviews, in particular at Eton, Westminster and St Paul’s, be prepared for logic questions and puzzles; for example “how many aeroplanes are currently flying in the sky?” Remember, there is no right answer here. They are testing your logic and thought processes.
A good technique just before going in to an 11+ school interview is to close your eyes and remember (in your mind’s eye and ear) parts of your practice sessions when you talked particularly well and felt confident; imagine yourself doing so again.