I want to write this post about how to revise for the 11 plus assessment and how to prepare your child. My daughter has just been through the 11 plus process and it was quite stressful and confusing at times. There are many things I wish I would have known to make the process run a little more smoothly and help Meme revise for the 11 plus more efficiently.
How to revise for the 11 plus?
Get a 11 plus tutor
A lot of people ask do I need a tutor for my child? The answer is yes absolutely. A tutor will help your child understand what they need to revise for the 11 plus. Even if your child is really academic, a tutor can still be really valuable. At the age of 10 and 11 most children haven’t taken an exam before so the 11 plus can be really daunting. A tutor will help your child understand the exam process so they feel less overwhelmed on the day. You can find a tutor to help with the 11+ online and I would definitely check local Facebook groups. Find one with lots of good recommendations if you can.
Practice 11 plus Mock Tests
Practice, practice, practice is key. Meme is really academic however she struggled when taking the mock exams. The best way for her to revise was to take more of them. It helped us discover that although she knew the answers she just struggled with the time constraints. She spends too much time double checking answers. This highlighted that we needed to work on her timings. The more we practiced 11 plus mocks tests the better she got.
I should add this wasn’t easy, it was the Summer and she just wanted to chill. However, she did it and her confidence grew as she could see the results. You can download some sample 11 plus papers below.
Help to revise for the 11 plus using these sample papers.
Focus on what your child is struggling on
A friend told me this tip and I had the same battle with Meme. When telling Meme to do some 11 plus work she would moan but then say ‘ok I will do some verbal reasoning’. Now it was easy to say ok to this but verbal reasoning is Meme’s strongest subject. It was one area of the exam that I knew she would excel in. However as a parent it is easy to think ‘ as long as she is doing something then that is fine’ Wrong! You need to be doing the subjects that you struggle in.
I am a gentle parent. As a family we aren’t strict (we’ve never really needed to be), we talk out any problems, we have a really chilled vibe in our house. However if Meme wanted to pass the 11 plus exam then she needed to practice. Truthfully she couldn’t be bothered. Of course she is ten, she wants to play and we were also in the midst of a pandemic. Life was tough.
However I knew if she didn’t pass the exam she would be devastated. I was the grown up in the situation. I had to be a bit of a tougher parent. Despite the tears and the tantrums she had to practice her work. She has to take 11 plus mock tests and she had to concentrate on what she struggling with.
Whatever the result of the exam was, I wanted to know that we tried our best. I also wanted to show her that if you really want something, you have to work at it. It was definitely a tough summer but it was worth it.
Build your Child’s confidence
Confidence is a huge part of taking any exam. You have to have the confidence to believe that you can pass the 11 plus exam. That you can do it. I am a firm believer that having a positive mindset that make such a huge difference. I found doing lots of practice exams helped her believe that she could do it.
Roll with the punches.
I thought we were fully prepared for the exam. Lots of practice and lots of confidence building. However it didn’t go as well as we had hoped. There was sections in the 11 plus exam that she has never learned before which knocked her confidence a little. The school bell also rang during the examination which shocked her a little. I stressed afterwards that sometimes in life you just need to roll with the punches and to just focus on what you need to do.
I hope you find this post helpful. It has been a really stressful time for everyone and I wish I had known what to expect a little more.