How to Study for the 11 Plus (11+) Exam
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As a parent, you can help your child study for the test by ensuring that you have everything covered from the list of study tips below.
Create a Study Plan
As they saying goes, failure to prepare means preparing to fail. Having a study plan in place well before the day of the exam is crucial if your child is to cover all the topics they’ll need to know about. A study plan can be as simple as a spreadsheet, a diary or a wall planner. It should outline what should be studied, when and for how long.
For more information on what subjects to focus on, take a look at our post An 11 Plus Guide for Parents.
Be Realistic with the Workload
Even the best-intentioned student can’t maintain a study schedule that offers no time off. At primary level, pupils can only concentrate effectively for half an hour at a time. And when you consider that a lot of their studying will be done after school, it makes sense to approach studying in small doses.
Practice Standard Format and Multiple Choice Questions
It’s important that your child studies for multiple choice and standard format questions
One of our most effective 11 Plus study tips is to practice both styles of question. Although some eleven plus tests use multiple choice questions, others can use a standard format or a combination of both. We sometimes see parents making the mistake of encouraging their child to study for standard format questions only in the hope that their child will find the multiple choice questions easy. However, this isn’t always the case. Multiple choice questions present their own unique challenge.
Make Studying Fun
Sometimes, we learn best when we don’t realise we’re actually learning. Try to encourage your child to be aware of the topics they’re studying by placing reminders around the house. Post-it notes with buzz words and flash cards with formulas can be placed anywhere as a way to help your child remember important pieces of information.
Study in a Different Location
Studying in the same room night after night can become tiresome, especially if you’re 10 years old. Try to vary the places that your child studies to give them extra motivation when their efforts start to lag. You can try using different rooms in the house, or taking them to the library, or café for a change of scene.
Use Practice Papers
At Exam Papers Plus, we specialise in 11 Plus practice papers
Exam practice papers are one of the most effective ways to study for the 11 Plus and one of our top study tips. Not only do they put your child’s knowledge and understanding to the test, but they familiarise them with the layout of the exam. In the months approaching the test, arrange for your child to do timed papers, to see how they cope with the allocated time that they’re given.
Do Exam Papers Under Test Conditions
This is another one of our favourite 11 Plus study tips. Doing practice papers under exam conditions helps your child gauge how long they have to spend on each question. If they run out of time, then you know that they need to work on their time management. If they finish too early, then perhaps they haven’t answered the questions in full.
Allocate Time to Weaker Areas
After completing a few practice papers, you’ll have a good idea of where your child’s strengths and weaknesses lie. If there are any areas that your child needs to improve in, be sure to allocate more time in their study schedule to focus on these elements.
Reward Your Child When They Do Well
Another great study tip for the 11 Plus is to reward your child when they reach certain milestones. Because 11 Plus study normally begins months before the exam, it’s a good idea to break things down into small achievable goals. Once your child completes a goal, reward them with a treat of some kind. It could be a day trip, a present, or a special lunch to name a few examples.
Take Time Out From Studying
It may seem counter-productive to stop studying in the run up to an exam, but taking a few days off can help your child recharge their batteries. They key thing to remember is not to overload your child with too much information too soon. Sometimes a few days away from studying can do the world of good for your child’s memory.
For more 11 Plus study tips, take a look at this useful video from Edform:
By following our 11 Plus study tips, you’ll increase the likelihood of your child doing well in the exam. Remember that little and often is the key when it comes to preparing for the test and a good night’s sleep beforehand will ensure that they’re alert on the morning of the test.