The 11-plus examination has been around since 1944. It is an entrance exam used by some schools, usually Grammer schools, to assess if a child’s understanding and learning ability are of a high standard. The test is taken, often on the weekend, by year six students wishing to attend a school with these necessary exams as a requirement.
The actual exam will vary from school to school but will cover several topics that the school deem desirable.
Verbal reasoning. This element of the test will require a child to have a vast vocabulary and a good understanding of the English language.
Non-verbal reasoning. Non-verbal reasoning will encourage the child to think about images and diagrams. It will urge children to solve problems when faced with images and visual information but will focus less on the written language.
Maths and English. Interestingly this element is less common in the 11-plus exam compared to the verbal and non-verbal reasoning parts. However, they are of a very high standard if included, so we are proud of our 11 Plus Grammar tuition results, in which we have achieved 100% pass rates. Working with your child, we can help to ensure their work and preparation offer the best outcome.
The Format of the 11-Plus Exam
Again, this will vary depending on the school, but there are two ways the test is offered to students. The first option is multiple choice, where students are given a select number of answers and asked to pick one. Alternatively, schools may offer the traditional option where children are expected to fill in their own responses.
When Should Preparations Take Place?
Although the exam does not take place until their final year of primary school, preparation for the test should ideally start much earlier. The 11-plus exam aims to identify the most academically able children for the limited spots available at the school, so preparation should begin as soon as possible. The sooner you prepare your child, the more natural the exam will feel to them without inducing worry. We will guide you on what you should be expecting from your child each year to ensure the best outcome for the 11-plus exam.
Preparation for Year 3
Year three is where preparation for the 11-plus exam really begins. Although the learning is not focused on any exam, how they manage and develop in year three will significantly offer them an advantage in the test. At 7 or 8, they should already have the basic ability to construct simple sentences and average knowledge of their multiple times tables. This year children are encouraged to learn without fear. Year 3 is the first-year children may begin to feel more challenged in their tasks, so tackling these without fear is essential and will offer them the core qualities needed for the exam.
Preparation for Year 4
Children can start to be introduced to the exam content at this age. Although this should be done progressively, introducing them early to what is expected will have them much more prepared for when the exam is placed in front of them. Although they should be encouraged, they may not achieve the desired results. This also could be a fantastic opportunity to get them to understand the importance of perseverance, which is an excellent lesson for most children. They will also be taught exam etiquette and what to expect when working under exam conditions.
Year 5 – The Most Critical Year for Preparation
Year 5 is the year most children are encouraged to study for their 11-plus exams. Getting help early on to prepare them will provide better outcomes for the 11-plus examination. Although there is nothing wrong with this, earlier intervention, as mentioned, can offer a more natural understanding and approach than trying to cram everything in during a year, especially if you believe your child may need assistance.
Within year 5, children will have a thorough understanding of the content that will be expected from them during the test and can grasp the expectations when sitting an exam. By this age, they will have advanced their maths and English skills to exceed the national average and continue improving this with advanced studying.
Is It Ever Too Late to Prepare for the 11-Plus Exam?
In short, essentially, no. Many gifted children working to an elevated level throughout their school years may already have the fundamentals required for the test. If this is the case, then starting their preparations in year six may not be an issue, but no preparation at all can set your child up to fail. In addition, for most children, leaving the practice to the last minute will increase their pressure to succeed, and you may see them struggling to study effectively.
For this reason, we always recommend getting a head start when choosing a secondary school for your child. This way, you can understand the requirements for each school and whether your child is expected to pass the 11-plus exam, offering your child the best chance of succeeding with the help of Year 3 to 5 tutoring assistance.
Our online tuition offers incredible results and is the best option for achieving success. The examination is free to all students and is usually taken on a weekend, so they don’t interrupt students’ day-to-day education. However, the only way you can guarantee the results your child needs is with early preparation from experts who know what they are doing. If you are interested in our services, feel free to call us on 0121 769 2795.