What is the 11 plus exam?
The eleven plus exam is a selective entrance examination for secondary school taken by some children in England and Northern Ireland. Most of the entrance exams are sat at the beginning of Year 6 in September by primary school children. The results of the test determine whether a child is academically suitable to attend a selective or grammar school.
Why do only some children take the exam?
It is not mandatory for children to sit the 11 plus exam. It is down to each parent to decide if it is best for their child to sit the 11 plus test or not. All students, regardless of their academic ability or special educational needs, are entitled to be registered for a grammar school entrance test through their Local Education Authority (LEA).
The 11+ exam usually includes some or all of the four disciplines: verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, math and English for which children will most likely need some preparation and tuition. It is important for parents to soak up as much knowledge about the exams and schools prior to the test before making the decision of whether it is the best option for their child. The child’s health and mental well-being should be placed at the forefront of all decision making.
One place for support and advice 24/7 with like minded parents is reaching out to and joining 11 plus online forums.
Benefits of joining an 11 plus forum
As you already know, most people usually go online to research and find answers to questions they have been carrying around in their heads, either through curiosity or inexperience. In such situations, online forums can come in extremely handy. They can provide you with the information you may need at an instance. Now, let’s say that your child is almost in Year 4 and you are contemplating whether he or she is going to take the 11+ exam, or you are unsure how to apply for a grammar school place or perhaps you have already made your decision; however, you do not know what the requirements are or the steps to follow. This is where it is important to join an 11 plus forum for up to date guidance, advice and tips from other parents and contributors.
The online 11 plus forums offer several advantages that may be rewarding for you and your child. For that matter, in this post we will explain to you the benefits that can be obtained by joining an 11+ forum. Keep reading and you’ll find out!
First of all, if you have decided to read up on this matter, it’s probably because you are a fish out of water trying to find your way. You need some guidance, support and orientation. Nevertheless, going to your child’s school without even knowing what to ask can be overwhelming. Besides, you do not have all day to sit and have a chat with the headteacher or the teachers themselves. Unlike schools, 11 plus forums provide you with information 24 hours a day all year round. Thus, you can go through the topics and threads to see the most frequently asked questions about the whole 11 plus process, find answers to some of your own questions and also post unique questions with a single click before visiting the schools themselves to ask the real questions.
The larger and more active the forum the better. Even when certain questions are not necessarily related to yours, you may be able to help other people inside and outside the forum with that little bit of extra information.
So now that you have finally joined an 11+ forum, what’s next?
You must interact with people, of course. Forums are an excellent way to build relationships because you are not the only one seeking answers to 11 plus questions. The forum will afford you the opportunity to engage with other members and exchange tips, suggestions, advice and anything that could facilitate your child’s preparation in advance of the real 11 plus exam itself. Showing up and talking to people will help you to become more familiar with the entire 11 plus process. People whose posts you reply to will remember you and be more receptive when you approach them for something. Moreover, your posts will remain there permanently and anyone may leave you a response.
It is important to conduct yourself professionally and demonstrate good manners. Try to be respectful, kind, helpful, and active in the forum. Avoid spamming and harassing fellow members for immediate responses to questions. They already know you are in need; surely, they will do their best to get back to you as soon as possible. Just be a little bit patient and you’ll see the results!
The forums are completely FREE of charge and you have access to a wealth of information and links to suitable resources, whilst having several different mentors guiding you through the entire 11+ process and supporting your child to enable them to pass the 11 plus exam and get into grammar school.
Another incredible benefit of joining an 11+ forum is the broad range of members. It is not only parents who are members, but also private tutors and tuition companies around the UK. Some of the companies offer mock test services (familiarisation papers) and other useful 11+ banks of resources to refer to for free or at affordable rates. Rather than digging through piles of paper, you can simply scroll back to the conversations to remind yourself what was said. You can also set up your account to receive notifications when new posts or resources are added to the forum.
But that is not all: in case you wanted to use a tuition service, 11+ forums often include a list of online and private tutors (by region) who you can contact to help your child identify their strengths and areas for development. These tutors may also develop core skills in English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning in half the time it would take you otherwise. You may also use tutors to help your child become more familiar with the different question types and styles in each subject. This will enable your child to understand the format of the test they will be taking and eventually approach it successfully.
Furthermore, having access to the information in the forum will definitely give children the chance to practise at home, feel less intimidated by the real exam and release a lot of the stress that comes with it whilst minimising memory blackouts.
As has been noted above, joining an 11 plus forum is an excellent online tool for resolving any doubts you may have and providing all the information you need to know about the 11+ exam itself. Additionally, you receive resources and mentorship services for free or for nominal prices. Beyond that, forums help you engage with other people in the same situation as you or more experienced and help you find solutions to overcome the problems you may be facing. So the next time you are doing some research and find yourself wandering through websites, remember you can visit an online forum!