What are 11+ exams?
Before we provide information regarding the eleven plus exam preparation, it is important that we grasp an understanding of what the exams entail. The purpose of the eleven plus exam is to gain entrance into Grammar schools and private schools. The decision regarding whether your child should take the exams is for you to carefully consider. Eleven plus exams have the potential to change the balance of your child's life and career so the decision should not be taken lightly!
Information your child should know
It can be difficult to decipher exactly what your child should learn for the eleven plus exam, mainly due to the fact that there is no homogeneous national standard, consequently, the content can vary from school to school. Nevertheless, there are a few basic areas that your child should be familiar with and will be included in any of the eleven plus exam papers your child takes.
Verbal reasoning - this will essentially involve problem solving tests, using word and/or numerical sequences.
Non-verbal reasoning - using shapes and patterns.
How parents can help
Below are a few helpful indications to suggest how you can help your child prepare for the eleven plus exams:
Show interest in what they are doing at school and research into what is needed for the eleven plus exams so you are both aware of how to revise for them. (See our resource page for revision guides)
Visit your child's school to request information from teachers regarding the eleven plus exams so you know which exam board they are likely to be using or if any papers are available to use as practise materials.
Encourage your child to do the best they can instead of emphasising on final results
Inform your child when the eleven plus exams are approaching so they can start constructively working towards them. Inspire your child to watch less TV for example!
Be patient and forgiving when necessary.
Make sure you offer your child as much support as they need. Talk to them about the eleven plus exams so that you can both put matters into perspective and are clear as to where they may lead.
What if your school does not offer preparation for the Eleven Plus exams?
Contact the school you are applying to and ask them for advice concerning preparation for the eleven plus exam. Prepare yourself and your child with past papers (see resources) Consider finding a private tutor specialised in eleven plus entrance exams. The more time your child has to prepare, the higher possibility he/she will have succeeding.