11+ Tips and Advice For Parents

Have you decided that you want your child to attend a grammar school? If the answer is yes, then you need to enter them for the 11 plus exam. The 11 plus examination is an entrance examination that every child seeking admission into a grammar school needs to ‘pass’. The exam is usually made up of all or some of the 4 distinct subjects which include Mathematics, English language, Verbal reasoning, and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

When applying for the 11 plus exam, there is some necessary information parents are supposed to be aware of. Moreover, parents should be well-equipped with the requisite knowledge on how to help their child pass the exam. It is vital that parents know where to access the necessary resources and exam materials for their children to give them the best chance of success in the real 11+ exam.

As parents of a child that requires preparation for the 11 plus exam, you will most likely find the process very stressful, especially if this is the first time your first child will be sitting the 11 plus exam. So, it is important to seek information about how to apply for the 11 plus exam or get 11 plus exam tips.

Some Essential Tips and Advice for the 11 Plus

Some Essential Tips and Advice for the 11 Plus

Here are a few essential tips and advice parents may require for 11 plus test applications as well as how to pass the 11 plus exam. These points will help you and your child in your 11 plus learning journey to ensure that there is as little stress as possible. There are a few useful websites that can also help you with the journey like 11practicepapers.co.uk which comes highly recommended.


  • Registration

Parents can apply to enter their child for the 11 plus examination once they are in year 5. The registration process for the 11 plus examinations vary per school and area. Therefore, it is advisable to check the admissions pages on the respective school websites that you are considering applying for.

  • When to start preparation

The time to start preparing for the 11 plus exam  is dependent on the current attainment level of your child. Although, typically, it is advisable to start preparation from about 12 to 18 months before the exam date. Your child may need a couple of hours of regular practice for the exam or even a huge confidence boost.

The stage of preparation is to tackle issues of learning gaps, learning obstacles as well as lack of confidence in specific subjects. It is imperative to get regular and repeated practice of 11+ exam questions well in advance of the real 11 plus exam itself.

  • How to prepare your child for the English paper

The 11 plus English paper is challenging for most adults not to speak of 10-year old children. It consists of comprehension and creative writing that requires confident and passionate writing. This is the paper that causes most students, especially boys, to lose marks.

To help your child prepare for this particular paper, you could read stories to them and ask them to explain how it made them feel. You should also focus on core skills like verbal and non-verbal skills and essay compositions. Encouraging your child to unleash their creativity and compelling storytelling will help improve their marks.

It is also important to help your child understand the meaning of different question terms, for example, the difference between explain and describe.

  • How to prepare your child for the mathematics paper

For your child to have success in this paper, they must understand the core concepts of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. They must also be able to apply their knowledge to problem-solving questions under timed pressure conditions. As parents, you are encouraged to go over times tables with your child using cards, poster games and apps such as Times Tables Rockstars.

Parents also need to spend time revising the core concepts regularly with their child before moving on to more challenging areas. This is because children can handle reasoning and problem-solving concepts better if they are well-grounded in the basic core concepts of fluency.

  • How to prepare your child for the verbal reasoning paper

This paper tests the innate abilities of children. If your child has not seen these types of questions before they are most likely going to be thrown by them. Therefore, it is vital to provide your children with plenty of opportunities to practice the different types and styles of questions so they can become familiar with them. Verbal reasoning materials are readily available in shops and online to practice.

  • How to prepare your child for the non-verbal reasoning paper

Similar to the verbal reasoning, practice really does make perfect. The questions in non-verbal reasoning papers can be confidence-wrecking if children do not understand them. Therefore, constant practice for this paper is required to help your child see and recognize different patterns, shapes and spaces. The time allocated for this paper is also rather tight, so parents must also teach their children time management. 11practicepapers.co.uk online tests are perfect for this.

  • Reduce anxiety

Due to all that is riding on the 11 plus examination, parents can become nervous and anxious. It is fundamental that this anxiety is not filtered down to the children. It is important to remain relaxed and detached. Do not push your children too hard, it is better to encourage them and inform them that it is just an exam and not the end of the world. As long as they try their best, that is all that you ask of them.

All this is psychologically necessary as research suggests that anxious and nervous children have a higher tendency to fumble and make silly mistakes in real 11 plus exams.

  • Gauge the ability of your child

When preparing for the 11 plus examination, you must gauge the ability of your child. This is so you can obtain their strengths and weaknesses and where they might need further support and assistance. It may also help you decide whether you should even consider entering your child for the exam itself. There are many tutors and tuition centres that will offer your child a free assessment and provide you with useful feedback afterwards.

  • Practice with mock exams

Panicking under pressure is one of the main reasons why children fail the 11 plus exam. This is quite understandable and that is why you need to train children beforehand. There are an array of online mock exams that your children can sit to practice and familiarise themselves with 11 plus exam questions beforehand.

There are websites which offer free and online testing to help prepare children. If you are unsure of which ones to opt for, you are welcome to check out our outstanding timed 11+ online testing platform at 11practicepapers.co.uk

To Wrap It Up

It is vital to know all of the processes involved in 11 plus preparation; from hiring the right tutor to best helping prepare your child for the 11 plus exam. When taking the 11 plus examination, success is the goal and the tips in this article can help your child achieve that success. Fortunately, sites like 11practicepaper.co.uk have a range of outstanding 11 plus resources, including tests, free 1-2-1 advice, audio tips and other materials you can check out.



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