Why diagnostic testing is important


Practice papers, mock exams, class quizzes and homework tests. All of these can be categorised under diagnostic testing, which serve to identify the current level and areas for improvement for each student.

Ideally diagnostic testing should be carried out in a controlled environment e.g. exam conditions. This can best assess the ability of the student.


As with many facets of education, there are supporters and opposers to diagnostic testing. Some argue that it places unnecessary pressure on the student, focuses only on exam performance and does not foster creativity or critical thinking.

Yet in an increasingly competitive world, diagnostic testing is here to stay. Certainly in Sutton and surrounding areas, selective schools and hence entry into university is becoming ever more competitive. It is not common for there to be 10-15 applicants for each admission place. Particular for selective schools, students are competing against students from not just their class or school, but nationally against many bright and able students.

Hence you need more than just being at the top of your class or school. You need to attain as close to 100% as possible.

As students gain more practise with a test environment, they develop skills around coping with stress, anxiety and time management.


For a particular exam eg. 11+, GCSE subject or A Level subject, I recommend students begin preparing at least 12 months before the exam. To achieve consistency standard for diagnostic testing, this requires full support from parents on both the value of education and the work ethic the student must be committed to.

Students joining the studio via a 6 week trial process, where they are given numerous diagnostic tests such as Placement tests, quizzes and level appropriate mock exams. This is to identify their current level of understanding, current grade and areas that need improvement.

It is often within this 6 week period, that the issue of exam performance is identified. It is common for students to feel confident and understanding a general part of the topic during lessons and homework. However when they need to recall on the information in an exam setting, they struggle to articulate the answer.

Hence diagnostic testing is used at regular intervals to make the student familiar with completing exams, so that when it is the time of their actual exam... they feel it like doing homework. No tears, no anxiety and stronger performance.