entrance exams for schools

Hi My daughter is due to sit entrance exams for a start in Sept 2010 in year 7 (11+) stage. Anyone got any tips or insider info on what she needs to study to help her? Any advice gratefully received!

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good
Rank: 1/11

Entrance exams

You really do need to say which school or schools she will be trying to get into. For some schools, the most important requirements are a British passport and loads and loads of cash to pay the extortionate school fees.

bad
Rank: 11/11

This seems to be the strange

This seems to be the strange thing. How important is the entrance test? Or is it as you say a British passport and cash gets them in. We have visited the schools that follow the british and international curriculum - on the whole most have been very helpful and friendly - but one in particular (the name of our city is in its name) was particularly unhelpful and cold towards us. Some schools have said a formal test on Math, English and some science - others have said multiple choice - I don't know if my daughter is at the right stage or if she needs to do some extra work - and if so what work - if anyone has any information on the exams - I would very much appreciate some guidance - it is beginning to worry me - or am I worrying unecessarily and just the passport and money will get her a place!?

good
Rank: 6/11

They're trying to weed out

They're trying to weed out those students with Special Educational Needs and they're also checking on their standard of English (which shouldn't be a problem for a native speaker).

good
Rank: 2/11

Worrying about a School Place

My old sparring partner Squarepeg is quite right, of course. A lot of schools in Doha have little or no provision for SEN children and there is not much in the way of EAL support either. Trying to get the students through a curriculum that is in their second language is no easy task, so of course many schools would prefer to have more students for whom English is their "mother tongue". If a school has a significant proportion of Qatari students, then of course the Supreme and Absolutely Perfect Education Council of Qatar will want to make sure that the little darlings are getting lots and lots of lessons in Arabic and Islamic Studies. (That's a fat lot of use if your family are not Muslims and and you speak English as your first language.) Learning Arabic may sound like a fun thing for your child to do, but it isn't because the Arabic teachers follow the Supreme and Immaculate Education Council's orders and therefore they teach it in a really dull and useless way, instead of concentrating on conversational Arabic that could be useful and enjoyable. As for Islamic Studies, the teachers (who are usually Egyptians or Lebanese) do not want to lose their jobs and so they let the students see the exam papers before the actual exams, so that they can memorise all of the answers. Then the students get amazingly high marks and everyone is happy.

good
Rank: 7/11

Which school does your

Which school does your daughter currently attend. The teachers may be able to help you.

bad
Rank: 8/11

To keep the forum on

To keep the forum on track... you are from the UK so I wouldnt worry in the least about the entrance exams. These exams are general knowledge tests which determine what level she is at and her english abilities. As for Islamic and arabic studies, they arent mandatory at a lot of international school (only in some instances are arabic lessons mandatory but certainly not Quran). ____________________________________________________ "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock - Will Rogers"

good
Rank: 5/11

"Aren't mandatory"

Amoud has kindly suggested that Islamic Studies and Arabic are not mandatory at some schools in Qatar. He (or she) may well be right. The bad news, however, is that long waiting lists and lack of places ARE mandatory, it would appear, at all of the better schools in Doha. (These are usually the ones that do not have lots of Arabic and Islamic Studies on the curriculum.) Yes, a British passport does indeed come in handy, but so does a very big pile of cash. The better schools know that they are oversubscribed and so (surprise, surprise) they put up their fees accordingly. I have no problem at all with the idea of expat children learning Arabic. I do, however, get very annoyed with the way that the Completely Wonderful Education Council insists that expat children should be taught Arabic in a way that is totally boring, lifeless and insipid. When I was teaching in Doha, several expat parents told me that they were happy for their children to learn Arabic, but they wanted them to learn conversational Arabic that the children could actually use. When I quizzed the teachers, they said that the Utterly Amazing Education Council laid down the law about how Arabic should be taught, so it is just another example of the Totally Magnificent Education Council screwing things up. Great to hear from you again, Squarepeg. I am now teaching at a school in the UAE, but I thought that it might be fun to have a look at Qatar Living, for old times' sake.

bad
Rank: 9/11

Hippo, what you are telling

Hippo, what you are telling her has absolutely nothing to do with what she is asking, and to be honest a british passport does nothing for her if she is applying to a non-British school and then may not have much weight if the school does not have a policy of allowing entrance to it nationals first. Also, the huge pile of cash is baloney as well. If you have the money to pay the fees, or the company pays thats sufficient. The exams are also for the 2010 start, which she will have sufficient time for climbing the waiting list. It isn't as cynical as you make it seem, and I may add that the Qatar canadian school is governered by the Ministry of Education and offers neither arabic nor Quran at this point, but do offer french as it is the second language of Canada. _____________________________________________________ "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock - Will Rogers"

good
Rank: 4/11

Amoud, what you are telling...

Amoud, what you are suggesting to everyone (not just the original person who first posted the question) is that the school fees at most (or all) schools in Qatar are very reasonable. Or maybe you are saying that if the school fees are a bit high, then it is not a problem at all because your company will always pay. Many parents are not in this happy situation, Amoud, and sometimes there is a BIG gap between what your company is prepared to pay and what the school expects you to pay. Your comment about "climbing the waiting list" assumes that you have in fact been given a place on the waiting list. If you bother to look back at previous postings on Qatar Living, you will find that plenty of parents have been told that the waiting list is full for the school of their choice, so how can they "climb" the waiting list? Just in case you have not noticed, Amoud, again and again on this forum there have been postings about which schools in Doha are the best. Compass, DESS, Park House and Doha College have frequently been mentioned by parents as being some of the best schools in Doha. Guess what? They are all British schools and a British passport, though not compulsory, is highly desirable if you want your child to go to one of these schools. The American School also has rave reviews and (surprise, surprise) the fees are probably the highest in Doha. Hence my comment about piles of cash coming in handy.

bad
Rank: 10/11

Again Hippo, has absolutely

Again Hippo, has absolutely nothing to do with what the poster is asking. I am sure she is aware of the school fees if she is sitting for an exam for 2010. The rest is nonesense as well. I have been here 10 plus years and my children have been given places in more than half of the schools you mention and we dont have British passports nor is our school funding coming from our company. People who complain about not having a spot in school are the ones who wait until the last minute to register. She is registering for September 2010. If I do recall it is now November 2009, more than 10 months in advance..... ____________________________________________________ "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock - Will Rogers"

good
Rank: 3/11

School waiting lists

"Please help. We are trying to move out to Doha from the UK this October, but are coming up against a brick wall with school places. Every school seems to be full with waiting lists. How on earth do you get your kids in to schools, especially those teaching Engliush curriculum. It seems to be impossible?" I just came across this new posting today, Amoud, and it does seem to suggest that getting a school place for your child is not as easy as you suggest. I am not an economist, but I do believe that there is something called, "The Law of Supply and Demand". If there is a shortage of something, the price goes up. This is what has happened (and continues to happen) in many schools in Doha, especially the British schools I have already mentioned.

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