November is upon us and so is the appointment for your dream-school interview. While parents might panic about the questions they will be bombarded with by the school administration, the bigger crisis is preparing your child for the most random day in his life.
The teacher, whom he has never met before, will take him from you -minutes after they’ve just met- and he is supposed to act like a civil adult. We know it’s scary and unpredictable, so the least we can do is show you most of the questions and tasks he/she should be acquainted with.
Here are the most common questions most international schools in Egypt would ask your child:
Your child will be asked about his name, age, his parents’ names, the nursery he goes to and if they want to be hard on the child they might ask about the parents’ jobs. Mostly basic questions to see if he can answer and talk properly.
Schools like Hayah International Academy, Modern English School, and Modern Education School spread toys on the floor in the classroom and observe how children behave in group play. Kids need to calmly share and not fight.
The same schools, in addition to Europa Schule Kairo and Deutsche Evangelische Oberschule (DEO), let kids play for 10 minutes in the playground and observe their behavior and motor skills.
A classroom slide
This slide is inside the classroom at the American International School (AIS). Every child that undergoes an assessment there is asked to slide on it.
Throw or kick a ball and hop on one leg
Your child will be asked to throw or kick a ball to the teacher. Sometimes they ask the child to jump on one foot to assess his motor skills and overall balance. I’ve seen this task at Modern English School and American International School.
Use a pen and draw or trace a line
Schools usually ask your son to hold a pen and draw a straight line. Many parents told me that Metropolitan School takes it a little further and asks your child to trace a letter. When schools find that your kid can hold a pen properly, sometimes they give him a bonus chore and ask him to write down his name. No need to panic, this rarely happens.
Canadian International School of Egypt and Global Paradigm International School are just some of the schools that expect your child to cut a paper during his assessment. It’s a very common task during interviews.
Find a hidden object in playdough
This is a classic question at Modern English School. The teacher gives your child a ball of playdough and asks him to find the toy inside. This mainly highlights the child’s motor skills. Sometimes kids are asked to roll the playdough and make a snake.
Opening a locked box
International School of Elite Education usually expects kids to open boxes similar to Sistema ones and put objects inside then close it. My child was asked to do so during her Pre-k interview.
Glue paper on a matching drawing
International School of Elite Education would give your child a triangular piece of paper for example, and ask him to glue it on a triangle drawn on a big paper.
Almost every school including Modern English School and DEO will ask your child to pass a thread inside objects with holes in them. If they want to take it a little further, they will ask the child to add shapes in a sequence (square, triangle, square, triangle, etc.).
They might ask your child to count from 1-10.
Sing a nursery rhyme
If the teacher wants to break the ice, she might ask the child to sing.
2D and 3D shapes
Our kids are supposed to recognize the difference between a square and a cube.
Vegetables and fruits
I’ve heard from a couple of parents that Modern English School usually asks the child to name Watermelons.
Fitting shapes puzzles
This type of puzzle is very common. Your child must be able to fit different shapes in their exact locations on the board. The shapes could be numbers, animals or food.
Hayah International Academy always shows children flashcards with actions on them. The child needs to say what the person is doing.
I remember a few years back, my friend told me that her child was asked to find the tiger, jaguar, and panther at Modern Education school and Hayah International Academy. Another mom told me her child was asked to tell the difference between a hippo and a rhino. They could also ask children to match animals with their babies. These are advanced and uncommon questions. Do not panic.
Sorting and sequencing
This is an extremely common question at the International School of Elite Education. Your child is usually given a bottle with a cap that has a certain color -let’s say blue- then he is asked to add all shapes with the same color inside the bottle. This is sorting. It could be either sorting similar shapes or colors.
As for sequencing, the teacher usually shows the child a specific sequence of colors or shapes and the child is expected to complete the sequence. I know it’s too much for kids, but you better try and prepare them.
Arranging different sized cups or rings
I’ve come across this task at the Canadian International School of Egypt.
Match similar shapes
Create objects with blocks
Hayah International Academy will show your child something drawn on a paper as a chair or stairs and the child will be asked to create it using blocks.
Moms told us that Hayah International Academy asked their little ones about elbows, eyebrows, and knees.
Matching similar cards
Some schools ask children what they would do if they’re hungry, or in pain. Hayah International Academy asked my child what she would do if someone bullied her.
I hope I helped as many parents as possible. Don’t panic, just give it your best. If you heard of any uncommon questions or tasks, please write them in the comment section so we update parents.