11 Plus Preparation over the Summer
Posted on 22nd July 2020 at 12:17
11 Plus Preperation
For those students preparing for the 11 Plus in September the summer will be a crucial time to prepare for the entrance exams ahead. Most students who are entering year 6 in September and planning on sitting 11 Plus exams have not been attending school as usual since the end of March so will naturally be anxious about the upcoming tests and how to best prepare. But with preparation and the right approach to tackling the exam the 11 Plus process doesn't need to be a stressful experience.
What to expect in the 11 Plus
This will vary depending on location and the school a student is applying to. Different counties use different exam providers such as CEM Durham or GL. There can be up to four different areas tested in the 11 Plus; Maths, English, Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning. It is important to ensure that your child is practicing and preparing for the right type of exam as the content can vary considerably.
Once you know the test content follow the tips below for a positive and effective preparation experience.
Little and often
In our experience, it is best for children to slowly build up the skills and knowledge needed for the 11 Plus exams rather than cramming. 'Little and often' is usually the most effective approach. Setting aside some time each day to work through a practice paper or write a story will help children keep momentum and gain the knowledge they need to do well in the exam. Children are usually most alert in the mornings so using an hour or so after breakfast to do some 11 Plus practice is a good idea. Your child will then have the whole day ahead to do something fun.
Keep things fun and positive
Trying to make the experience as fun and positive as possible for your child is key. Find out how your child enjoys learning and what sort of tasks they like, then incorporate these into their 11 Plus preparation. Some of the things we use at Marvellous Minds Tuition Centre are 11 Plus vocabulary flash cards and story cubes for building literacy skills as well as brain puzzles and maths quizzes which help with lateral thinking, particularly in Non Verbal Reasoning. Some children also like the competitive element of exam preparation. If this is the case for your child, setting goals such as completing an exam paper in a set time frame or tackling the same paper again after practice to try and beat their previous score can help in keeping them motivated. Many children do better when they study with other people so another idea to keep learning fun is for your child to partner up with a study buddy.
Use 11 Plus practice papers and practice them in exam conditions
So that your child knows what to expect on the day it is important that they familiarise themselves with the type of 11 Plus papers they will be taking. There are a range of exam papers out there which can be purchased online or in bookstores. Some practice papers can also be downloaded free of charge. Once you know the type of papers your child's school is using make sure you source a collection of these papers. Practice papers can be used as a study resource where you and your child work through the questions together. The papers can also be used as mock papers. In this case ask your child to practice the papers in test conditions, paying particular attention to how they manage the time allocated.
Manage stress levels
One of the most important things that you as a parent can do for your child in their 11 Plus journey is to manage their stress levels. Reassure your child that you are proud of their efforts and will be proud of them regardless of the outcome. Discuss your plan B, and make sure that you talk about this positively, so that your child can be reassured that should they not pass the 11 Plus test it won't be the end of the world. Some parents promise gifts or rewards at the end of the 11 Plus process. This is of course up to parents to decide for themselves, but we would encourage such a present to award the effort, not the outcome of the process.
Take a break
Taking a break for a couple of days will help your child recharge their batteries and return to the task of studying with new energy! It is important not to overload your child with too much information, particularly in the days running up to the exam. Often a break from learning will actually help the information your child has learnt settle in and improve their memory.
If you need help with your child's 11 Plus preparation our team is here to help! We are currently running our popular summer school which offers a fun and intensive 11 Plus revision course led by our 11 Plus specialists.
For more information contact us on 01234 480949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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