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How To Prepare For 11+ Exams

A parent`s guide to the 11+

Date : 11/06/2022

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Uploaded by : David
Uploaded on : 11/06/2022
Subject : Eleven Plus

How to prepare for 11+ exams

What is the 11+?

The first considerations when preparing students for 11+ (eleven plus) exams is to establish what they are and what it is that they test. The 11+ is a series of exams students sit during their final year at primary school (Year 6) and go a long way to determining which secondary school will be attended as many grammar and private schools are heavily influenced by them when identifying the most academically gifted pupils. There are two exam boards GL and CEM (depending on which part of the country the exams are sat) although both will broadly cover the same four areas English, Maths, Verbal reasoning and Non-verbal reasoning. Despite this consistency 11+ exams are still highly regionalised and particulars of the subjects tested and the timescales involved can vary from region to region so it is crucial that parents are informed on the Local Authority their own child s examinations will be administered by well ahead of time.

How to approach them?

As the 11+ is likely to be the first and most significant set of examinations students will have sat to date they need to focus on the two most significant areas they need to cover in order to be successful, subject knowledge and exam technique. As the English and Maths elements of the exams largely follow the National Curriculum, subject knowledge will already be underway during Year 4 and this will grow increasingly important in the 18 months preceding examinations. The exam technique element should be developed in year 5 through working with practice exam papers and the introduction of ideas such as working under timed conditions and considering question details (such as essay titles) more closely.

The planning of study

A preparation calendar should be drawn up in Year 5 to ensure the time remaining until exams are sat is maximised. This calendar should consider three key elements:

- The child s strengths and weaknesses.

Being able to identify areas of weakness in a child s learning through testing allows for more resources to be allocated to them in time for a difference to become noticeable by exam day. Schedules will inevitably be squeezed as examinations approach and there will always be unexpected events that can disrupt study plans. Using the time available in the most efficient way possible is of paramount importance.

- Routine revision schedule.

The development and implementation of a revision schedule that is efficient and covers all the learning needs will need to be an early priority. Drawing up such a plan is one part but making it routine is equally important as students retain information more effectively if it is absorbed in regular, manageable chunks as opposed to being crammed in during the final weeks.

- Practice exams.

Practice exams will support the identification of strengths and weaknesses as well as provide crucial insights in how to get over the line on exam day. Examination techniques such as the allocation of time, the style and feel of the questions and proof checking will all be new ground for Year 6 students and the more familiar they become with such processes the more natural it will feel when they finally sit the actual test.

Good habits

In addition to 11+ specific techniques, good all-round habits such as the encouragement of reading will aid children throughout their academic lives as it develops and expands vocabulary. It will especially support them with the type of verbal reasoning questions found in 11+ papers. Lastly, and again more broadly, it is important that learning be fun and not add unnecessary excess pressure. Many students perform better than expected when alone with the examination paper and their natural intuition, the added it s now or never pressure often proves detrimental.

This resource was uploaded by: David