5 Tips to prepare your child for the 11+ Exams
- Make sure the school you are preparing for is the right one for your child.Think carefully about travel distances which might be extremely tiring for a secondary school child when long commutes are in place.
- Choose your preparation plan carefully.When choosing your preparation route, think about the fact whether you can teach at home or you need private tutoring. Even private tutoring might be at your home, at tutor’s home, online or at a tuition centre at 1:1 or group teaching. Don’t forget that higher cost doesn’t necessarily mean better tuition.
- Early intervention benefits for your child.Remember to provide enough reading books for your child to improve reading comprehension and vocabulary from early ages. Also practising times tables as a game will be quite helpful in the following years. You can start as early as Year 3 to invest in core English and Maths in-line with the National Curriculum as it will be guaranteed a solid rock baseline competence.
- Check your child’s progress via sample test papers.Monthly progress checks will give you an idea about your child’s improvement. Please note that following an initial assessment it is important that children are only tested on the lessons they have covered in the class and especially in Year 5, timekeeping is also crucial to feel the exam atmosphere and overcome anxiety. On the other hand, do not forget that your child is only 10-11 years old and the 11+ exam is an ambitious aim so your duty as a parent is to support your child emotionally as much as academically.
- Avoid pressure and stress.Don’t ruin every meal time discussing where you are in terms of exam preparation as sometimes parents pressurise children without even realising it. Most 11+ preparation programmes fail because of lack of desire than for any other reason. If we rush things or expect early or unrealistic results this might make children daunted, which eventually causes them to underperform on the actual exam day. Always remember that every child moves at their own pace so avoid comparisons, yet try to ensure they reach their full potential.