There is More to Come!
Top Scope College is overjoyed to share some good news from a Year 4 student from our Chadstone campus! This student, who we will call “M”, recently completed a round of scholarship testing and achieved truly excellent results! She received scholarship offers from the following schools:
Loreto Mandeville Hall
Lauriston Girls’ School
Fintona Girls’ School
St Catherine’s School
We asked M’s mum to share some of her insights from their scholarship examination experience:
There’s No Such Thing as “Too Early”
M started studying at Top Scope College Chadstone when she was in Year 1. My philosophy is that a strong foundation is built from a young age. When M started the classes, her assessment test scores were moderate to high – 65% in English and 80% in Maths. After half a year of study, she scored 95% in both subjects, and from then on, she has remained among the top 3 students in her grade.
Persistence is Key
Since starting at Top Scope, we haven’t taken a break from tutoring. M has persisted in her studies from Year 1 up to now in Year 4. My rule is that, if she misses a class because we have other plans, she has to complete the homework regardless. Top Scope takes a break at the end of the year for 4 weeks, at which time the students don’t need to do any homework. The rest of the year, they have homework every week. My daughter doesn’t feel like homework is a burden, in fact, she enjoys it! This is the result of developing good studying habits from early on.
Note from Mum: In Years 1 and 2, homework time only amounted to 2 hours per week at most. In Years 3 and 4, that changed to 30 minutes per day, plus completing one piece of writing each week.
Walk Before You Run
We believe the Volume Tests at Top Scope are very important. Before each test, we make a big effort to go through together all the questions in the books that M got wrong (luckily, there aren’t too many of those, otherwise it would be a big job and would drive Mum crazy!) First, we ask M to go back and redo the questions she got wrong the first time. There are some questions that she got wrong due to silly mistakes – she can usually get those right the second time around. For the remaining questions that she still struggles with, either I teach her or we go to the Free Helping Class at Top Scope. My requirement is this: she must TRULY understand the questions, not just understand during the class only to promptly forget once she walks out the door! I have always thought that, for those questions that involve concepts, the teacher is much better at explaining than parents – teachers can explain clearly and succinctly. Once M understands all the questions she initially got incorrect, then she can sit the test!
Note from TSC: Every ten weeks, Top Scope College students sit a Volume Test. Our specialized marking system produces reports that analyse students’ results and show how their score compares to others in their level as well as with their own previous scores. The reports also provide information on each question in a test, including the topic covered and rate of accuracy amongst all students.
M does not necessarily always score among the top 3 in her tutoring class – there have been exceptions. But even if she can’t reach the top 3 for every subject every time, then at least being in the top 3 for one subject is enough. NAPLAN results are also a good way to measure progress: in the Year 3 NAPLAN test, M scored five A+ marks. This gave us all more confidence, as we felt we were one step closer to a scholarship.
Go All Out for the Scholarship Exams
The Christmas holidays after M finished Year 3 also happened to be the holidays before the scholarship exams. Aside from the regular homework, Top Scope had given us an additional set of recommended questions to complete. We didn’t waste time during the two-month holidays – but M still only studied for half an hour per day. This was no problem for her – she enjoyed having some quiet time to do homework after playing. At this point, the questions she was doing were already at a Year 5 level. I also bought 6 sets of Edutest practice tests before the exam – 2 sets of Year 4 tests, 3 sets of Year 5 tests, and 1 set of Year 6 tests. M received an average score of 18/20 on these tests. The average difficulty of the scholarship exam is between Year 4 and Year 5 level. The difficulty of the Top Scope questions is harder than the ones in school, and the mock exam is also slightly harder than the scholarship exam. So, after two years of study at Top Scope, M even found NAPLAN quite easy, and didn’t do any preparation beforehand aside from the weekly homework. After doing the mock questions from Top Scope, M didn’t think the scholarship exam was a big deal.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
When a student comes from a family where English is not their first language, they may need to work a bit harder on their language skills and writing. Improvement often comes in drips and drops, not leaps and bounds. M likes to read books outside of class, which is helpful for her writing. Top Scope provides an excellent resource in their reading lists for students of different year levels. Each day, I set aside considerable time for M to read freely. This is the source of her foundational knowledge. She has also taken a writing class at Top Scope, which had a huge effect on her writing. Since taking that class, her ideas are communicated more accurately and her essay structure is much clearer. She can write well in a variety of styles, and uses a wide variety of words to great effect. Not to mention she can maintain this standard and produce an excellent essay under timed conditions! M’s writing was the highlight of her scholarship exam.
Professional Guidance Makes Success Much Easier
We had the assistance of Top Scope throughout the whole process of registering for the scholarship. They provided support during key points of the procedure, as well as help in selecting the most suitable school for us and arranging interview training as soon as we got the interview offer. After participating in several interviews, my tip is that students should not memorise a script, but act naturally and showcase their own personality during the interview. This way, the interview will be enjoyable and the student won’t be nervous. Once you have prepared well for some interview questions, you can boldly put your best foot forward!
Scholarship is Just the Beginning
Having received an offer, M should remember to thank her own hard work, as well as that of her parents and Top Scope. But most importantly, she must remember she still has a long way to go!
It’s Never Too Late to Start
Top Scope College wants to thank M’s mum for sharing her experience. We welcome all students looking for a challenge – let’s work hard together and meet at the top!