Setting Up for Success in the 11PLUS Exams

Deciding how best to help their child can be an intimidating challenge for parents asking how to pass 11PLUS exams. The results of the test can have a major impact on available choices when moving from primary to secondary school.

Figuring out how to pass 11PLUS exams requires a strategy for tackling this massive hurdle in the life of a ten-year-old. Not only are there a wide variety of topics to cover, there can also be conflicting information and oftentimes wrong choices can be wasteful as well as financially crippling. Here are a few key points for you to think about as you prepare your child for the 11PLUS exams.

The Test

Parents concerned with how to pass 11PLUS exams need to be aware of the four different disciplines covered by the test:

  • Verbal Reasoning: it measures a child’s ability to use deductive reasoning to solve problems and requires strong vocabulary skills.
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning: it requires an understanding of spatial awareness and how objects relate to each other in a pattern or sequence.
  • Maths in the 11PLUS includes addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. It may also include ratios, decimals, money, graphs and calculating time.
  • English is about understanding the meaning of words, sentence structure, proper punctuation and comprehension.

A strategy for success

The very fact that you are reading this is an indication that you are concerned with how to pass 11PLUS exams and that you want to set yourself and your child up for the best chance at success. It is also the first step in building a strategy.

Be Prepared and speak to other parents

Preparation is the key to handling any task and preparing to pass 11PLUS exams is no different. Your preparation may include further research, reading books and magazine articles on the subject, joining an online forum or reaching out to other parents that have been through the process. Success leaves clues, so finding out what has worked well for others will inform your journey.

Communicate and positively engage with your child

Each action that you take also shows the concern that you have for your child’s well-being. Communicating positive support to your child will also let them know that they are not alone. This is important. Seeing how involved you are may help their motivation for the preparatory work ahead. Like most things in life, study and practice are essential for achieving goals.

Create a schedule and practise

There has to be a commitment to research, rehearsal and basic training in order to go into the exams with a sense of confidence. Designating a certain amount of time in the schedule for this practice is essential. Try to make this a part of your child’s routine, just as much as brushing of teeth occurs  twice daily, or at least we hope so!

Take Mock Exams

Taking mock exams is a great way to prepare for the stress of test taking. Try to simulate the conditions of the test site as much as is practicable. Experiencing the feelings of what it will be like on test day builds resilience such that the actual exam will be less intimidating.

Hire and Choose a Great Tutor

Another key to success in how to pass 11PLUS exams is to hire a tutor. In this, research and careful selection are essential to ensure you’re making the right choice for you and your child. However, a knowledgeable third party that can work directly with the needs of your child can make all the difference in the world and take much of the burden off your shoulders.

What to do on the Exam Day

How to pass 11PLUS exams on the day of the test includes having an adequate supply of pencils and erasers, bringing water and a snack and ensuring your child knows how to relax into the work. Practising  breathing with your child before taking the exam is helpful. Scan the whole test paper to familiarize with the content before beginning the work. Your child should answer the easy questions first before moving into the difficult ones. Information in the other questions may offer clues that will help with the challenging parts.

Final reminder- The Importance of Preparation

Remember, by the mile takes a while, but inch by inch life is a cinch. Preparation and committed practice will make passing 11PLUS exams a milestone of success in your child’s life.