Any educational admissions process is a stressful and often difficult experience for pupils and parents alike. Common Entrance is no exception: a varied set of examinations across all subjects, requiring an all-round performance in order to gain admission to a preferred school.

Common Entrance certainly has its critics: how effective is it? Is preparatory education overly fixated on CE? Is it too much for a 13 year old to cope with? While these concerns are valid for some, it is important to focus on its benefits.

However, Common Entrance is important as it offers an introduction into externally marked exams – an advantage when GCSEs, AS Levels, and A Levels hove into view. The stress of a large set of exams is also something which will recur throughout a child’s educational career – beyond school, and even beyond university! Common Entrance therefore provides an opportunity to test and hone a child’s learning, revision, and exam techniques. Getting these aspects of education right early on in one’s education gives a pupil the opportunity not just to succeed in their academic work, but also to continue (and increase) their participation in extra-curricular activities.

This is where private tutoring can help; if the right techniques can be taught and moulded during the process of preparing for and sitting CE, it will pay dividends for life. Stress management, efficiency in performing tasks, and the ability to maintain a work-life balance (especially in the face of ever-nearing exams) are all invaluable life-skills. Private tuition can help instil these characteristics, and CE provides a perfect, relatively safe, environment for practicing and developing a system of facing exams, which can be transferable beyond school.