top of page

How to manage your time during the Transfer Test

Pupils preparing for Transfer Test
How to manage your time during the Transfer Test

A lot of children may have difficulties with dealing with their time during the Transfer Test. This cause both parents and children to become worried that they will not complete the test in time.

There can be solutions and causes for timing issues during the transfer test exam. Your first job, as a parent, is to help children pace themselves effectively throughout the complete test. Many reasons can contribute to timing issues and these often include fear of getting a question wrong or your child reading the questions too slowly. Absence of preparation under conditions that reflect the actual Transfer Test causes stress and tension – this further compounds the timing issue.

It is very useful to practice under conditions that are as close as possible to the actual test. Is your child sitting the AQE Transfer Test or the GL Transfer Test or both tests?

It is essential that you, as the parent, know the exact format of both Transfer Tests because one is multiple-choice (GL) and the other is in standard format (AQE). Both tests are based on English and maths but they have different formats and you must be aware of the format of the relevant test.

Having these relevant details will make the whole Transfer Test process easier for both parent and child. These details will allow your child to work through the test paper at the right pace. A lot of children go into the actual test without appreciating that it will be a test of their willpower and not just their knowledge. It will require your child to have determination and belief in themselves.

It is always useful to get them used to exam conditions beforehand using material that accurately reflects the Transfer Test(s) that they will take.

Practice should be done under exam conditions as this will help the child get most benefit. It should give the child a understading of the number of questions and therefore the speed they need to be working at.

Some children can become hooked on questions that they feel they did not answer correctly. It is important to forget about the question they have just completed – whether they think that they have got the answer right or wrong. If they are still thinking about the previous question then they are effectively wasting time on that question and the current one.

After having your child complete a practice test under exam conditions and marked the test you may notice gaps in your child’s understanding of some aspects of their English or maths. Revising and re-visiting these gaps and improving their knowledge and understanding will help reduce apprehension of potential question types. This new knowledge will help with time management. Spend time going over silly errors and revising areas that your child finds difficult.


Inspire your child to try to work swiftly but not so quickly that they make silly errors. Increase their confidence by reassuring your child so that their self-assurance increases. Confidence is a vital factor for success in the Transfer Test and if your child is confident (without being over-confident) they will do better. Children who are apprehensive or edgy tend to under-perform so it is important to have a happy, confident child taking the Transfer Test as this will help performance.

The Transfer Tests (both the GL and AQE ) are based on English and maths so it’s a good idea to practice a variety of question types in both these subjects.


bottom of page