7 facts Every Parent Must Know About Cambridge Primary Checkpoint Exams

When I say we are in exam season, it’s not a joke. My son keeps going on about how Year 6 is not an easy class (because he wants to be exempted from household chores). I’m like are you the first person? Lol.

On a more serious note, apart from the numerous entrance exams my son is taking (because Mommy hasn’t made up her mind on the school for him), he also needs to prepare for his Cambridge Primary Checkpoint tests coming up in April.

If you are a newbie parent, you might be wondering what’s Cambridge Primary Checkpoint exams all about? Especially as we can’t use it to gain entrance into any secondary school.

So, let me break it down for you:

  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) are a series of internationally recognised examinations that originated in the United Kingdom. So, chances are if your child’s school is following the British curriculum, they would want to do this exam. It’s a way of showing the school’s standard is in tandem with the British standard.
  • The Checkpoint exams provide schools with an external international benchmark for their students’ performance (a little show off is allowed).
  • The real purpose of the exams is to assess students at the end of Primary School and give valuable feedback on their strengths and weaknesses in each core subject area (English, Math and Science) before they progress to secondary school.
  • It is an international assessment administered in over 170 countries by private schools whose students write these assessments. (So, it’s not mandatory, a good to have. Though a country like Bermuda has made it a standard test for all children.)
  • The subjects are graded with a scale of 1.0 to 6.0.  An ‘average’ Cambridge Primary Checkpoint student should achieve a score between 3.0 and 4.0.(Being a Tiger Mama, I have told my son I’m expecting only 6.0 but no pressure. Ha!ha!Ha!)
  • Cambridge Primary Checkpoint test is usually taken at the end of stages 4 – 6 of the curriculum for English and stages 3-6 of the curriculum for Science.
  • Past papers are a fantastic study resource for students preparing for Cambridge Checkpoint exams. The CIE past papers are exam scripts from official externally assessed examinations written by Cambridge in the past.

My strong advice is because the question format might be significantly different from what your child is used to, ensure that your child gets plenty of practice of timed papers in exam conditions well in advance of the exam date, so that they are perfectly comfortable with the examination environment.

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