Sunday 17 May 2015

Preparation is key - Getting ready for your childs 11 Plus exam

Don't you just find that time flies by so quickly? We are already half-way through May and if your child is going up to year 6 in September they may be getting ready to sit their 11+ tests in the Autumn term. Of course every parent is keen to see their child do their best without causing them unnecessary stress and if you are in an area where there are grammar schools or schools that use selective testing that require your child to take an 11+ entrance exam you may be thinking about how you can help them prepare in the best (and least stressful) way.

Letts is a name I have known and trusted since I took my GCSEs a good 25 years ago, I remember buying their study aids and they definitely helped me through my revision and gave me confidence in my exams. They don't just cater for older children though they have a number of books available for your child to use in preparation for their 11+ examination later this year. There is a whole variety of 11+ Success books, covering all subjects that may be tested on - maths, English, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, practise papers and 10 minute tests. You can download some free pages and see what the books contain here.

Different areas seem to be using different tests now, there is the CEM and the GL, so you are best to find out which your local area chooses and then you can buy the books that specifically suit your needs as Letts produce books for both tests. The 11+ Success books are reasonably priced from £8.99 and you can purchase a bumper book of practise papers for just £14.99. A small price to pay to help ensure your child does well and feels in control of the process, I'm sure you will agree.

Of course it is beneficial to help your child work through the books and thankfully they come with easy to understand guidance for parents and marking scheme information. Don't despair if your child gets a few quetions wrong as you work through them together, the full explanation in the book will help their understanding (and yours) develop so that they can tackle the same question with ease when next presented with it.

Top Tips to help your child prepare for their 11 + test

  • Be realistic - if your child is attaining average grades at the moment then a selective school may not be for them as the school only has a set number of places and they will only take the highest achievers. It can be very demoralising to put a child through this rigorous testing if they have no chance of achieving a place at your desired school.
  • Speak to your child's teacher and find out where their areas of strength and development needs are and then you know which areas to target for maximum effect. 
  • Remember not to make it too much like hard work for your child and plan plenty of unstructured play time and relaxation as well as their extra studies. 
  • Remain positive and reassure your child they are doing a good job.
  • Ensure you know which test your local area is using and buy the Letts study guides to suit.
  • Visit the Letts 11+ Success site for lots of great game ideas that will help your child develop whilst also enjoying the process
  • It is a good idea to set a schedule for your extra studies and stick firmly to it as this means the exam and gaining a place at your chosen school does not need to continually come up in conversation, something that might worry your child
  • If your child is feeling concerned, make sure you really listen and acknowledge how they are feeling.
  • Don't expect your child to cram in the week running up to the tests. At this age it is unlikely to work for them and may just push them over the edge. Plenty of time relaxing and doing what they enjoy is what is called for.
  • Many parents offer their child a reward for taking the 11+ tests but make sure your child is being given a reward for all the extra effort they have put in and don't make it dependant on the result attained or a school place being offered.
  • Also check out for lots of great information and useful tips

If this is your journey with your child over the next six months or so I wish you and very best of luck and why don't you start your child`s journey to 11+ Success by taking a look at the new range of 11+ books from Letts?

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