11 Plus (11+) Success Tips for Parents
Tuesday 20th August 2019
Getting your children through the 11+ exam successfully can be priceless. However, many parents who happen to reside in local authorities who have grammar schools would like their children to give it a go, but often are not sure where to begin. Demand for places in grammar school are very high and available places are limited. It is very competitive and hence important for parents to have a clear direction as how best to proceed to ensure that their children secure a place for their 'golden ticket' when places are allocated.
After many years' experience of preparing students for 11+ exams, I have decided to put together tips which I believe will maximise your child's success during the 11 Plus exam and hopefully give clarity and direction to parents. I must say that the tips are not exhaustive.
1. Start Early: Children sit the 11+ exam in September when they reach Year 6 of their primary school education. Therefore my recommendation is that the latest time to start preparing your child should be in April when your child is in Year 5- although the earlier you start, the better. I have seen parents who leave it too late, when in fact if they had been a little more proactive and began early, that would have maximized the chance of their child succeeding.
2. Right Resources: The 11+ exam format is entirely different from what your child might be used to in primary school and therefore having access to the right resources is an important recipe for success. Parents need to understand that there are different types of 11+ exam (such as CEM, GL and others depending on the local authority you reside in). For instance, in Gloucestershire, students are examined using the CEM papers. Therefore, if you are a parent in Gloucestershire and would like your child to take the 11 Plus, then you would need to get resources which are in CEM style format. I would recommend CPG 11+ books such as practice books and 10 minute tests with exercises in smaller chunks easily accessible for pupils. Parents need to get Verbal Reasoning, Maths (or Numerical Reasoning) and Non - Verbal Reasoning. All books come with answers so parents can easily check answers with their children.
3. Read Books: Children should be encouraged to read widely to improve their vocabulary as this is crucial for their success in 11 Plus exams. Reading books are the first step as this would enables children to come across new words and improve their vocabulary as a result. There is a book on 11 Plus vocabulary with words usage, synonyms and antonyms which I highly recommend parents to get as soon possible. Parents can also benefit from reading the books themselves as they will learn new words! This book can be purchased on Amazon and is written by J Johnathan: 11 Plus Vocabulary-500 Essential Words.
4. Practice!! Practice!! Practice!! : It is often said that practice makes perfect. The best way to get succeed at anything in life is to keep practicing. Once you have the right resources, success will not come to you on a silver platter unless you are willing to put the shift in and work hard. Effective practice using the right tools and techniques can lead to success. Working on practice papers will give children a feel of what they will encounter in the real exams and this will boost confidence and improve performance.
5. Manage your Child's Stress: 11 Plus requires hard work and hence could be stressful for children during this important period of their life. It is very important for parents to encourage their children to do their best, whilst at the same time reassuring them that whatever happens you will always be proud of them for their effort. This, I believe, will reassure the child in case they don't make it; the knowledge they have acquired will serve as a solid foundation upon which they can build on in secondary school. Remember, a positive result is a bonus not a validation of your relationship with your child.
6. DIY or Employ a Tutor: Parents can help their children with practice papers and other 11 plus materials on their own. However, there comes a time when parents may be busy with other important activities or may either not be familiar with the 11 Plus exams or feel less confident with it. It is in these times that engaging the service a qualified tutor with a proven track record will maximise your child's chance of 11 Plus success. Sometimes, parents might be overwhelmed when deciding which tutoring company to use.
I would highly recommend Achievers Tutoring, a local Gloucester tutoring business operating in the Gloucestershire area with the sole aim of ensuring that students are nurtured to achieve their full potential. If you require a tutor who can get the best out of your child as far as 11 Plus is concerned, then please get in touch by clicking the link below or Call 07769267973 and we will be delighted to help.
Achievers Tutoring- Request a Tutor
We also help children with their GCSEs or A Levels in maths, English and science. Please get in touch with any questions and we will do our best to help in any way possible. Thank you.