How to prepare for the 11+ English Exams?


How to prepare for the 11+ English exam - some thoughts and ideas for parents.

Preparing for the 11 Plus English exam requires early planning and a structured approach. Here's how you can help your child prepare effectively:

1. Start Early and Create a Study Timetable: Establish a study timetable well in advance of the exam. Create a schedule with specific days and times for revision. Knowing your child's strengths and weaknesses is crucial for effective planning.

2. Focus on Core Skills: Ensure your child has a strong grasp of Key Stage 2 English concepts. Encourage reading and pay attention to classwork and homework. Regularly reviewing your child's work helps identify weak areas for further focus.

3. Spelling Mastery: Practice commonly misspelled words through spelling games and puzzles. Explore concepts like antonyms, compound words, homonyms, word groups, and synonyms to enhance and improve vocabulary.

4. Punctuation Proficiency: Emphasise proper punctuation usage, especially for comprehension and any creative writing sections. Teach capitalisation, commas, apostrophes, colons, semi-colons, and ellipses, addressing recurring punctuation mistakes.

5. Sentence Structure: Ensure your child can structure sentences clearly and consistently. Teach different sentence types (simple, complex, compound) and appropriate tense usage.

6. Develop Vocabulary and Literacy: Encourage your child to reading challenging books to enhance vocabulary and literacy skills. It is also very important that your child enjoys what they read. Reading helps children understand language skills tested in the exam, such as parts of speech and figures of speech.

7. Avoid Rushing into Testing: Focus on learning before testing. Long-term efforts in reading and vocabulary development yield benefits, but progress may not be immediately visible. Rushing into testing without foundational skills can lead to difficulties with comprehension and vocabulary questions which will almost certainly discourage your child.

8. Understand the Importance of Literacy: Recognise that literacy skills are crucial for success in the 11 Plus exam. While some parents may prioritize maths, non-verbal reasoning or verbal reasoning literacy skills cannot be overlooked as they play a major part in all aspects of the 11+ exam. Consistent reading and vocabulary development are essential for improvement and success in the 11+.

9.Comprehension: In the Eleven Plus English exam, the comprehension test typically mirrors exercises children encounter in class. Students read a passage, often from a fictional novel or a factual piece such as a newspaper article, then answer questions based on the text. Answering English comprehension questions within time constraints can be very challenging so practice is essential. To excel in these comprehension exercises, many say that it's crucial for your child to read the entire passage first, gaining an understanding of its context. This initial reading helps them grasp the nuances of the text, and aids your child in answering subsequent questions. During question-solving, they should refer back to the passage, using textual clues to locate the correct answers.

Each question usually carries a specific mark, enabling students to gauge the importance of each response to achieve the maximum score. When your child understands this grading system, they can prioritise their efforts accordingly, ensuring they address all questions necessary to maximise their score.