By Atom | Jun 29, 2023, 8:33 AM
If your child is preparing for secondary school entrance exams, you may have heard conflicting information about whether there will be a creative writing task. Read on to find out exactly:
What to expect from 11 plus creative writing exams
How to help your child prepare
Which schools will require your child to do a creative writing test
11 plus applicants may need to complete a creative writing task as part of the exam. The task could be to write an original short story or continue a story from a given text.
The main 11 plus exam boards (GL Assessment and the Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB)) do not include creative writing tasks in their tests. If a school includes a creative writing element, it has likely been set by the school itself.
Private secondary schools might ask candidates to write an essay or a creative writing piece as part of their entrance exams. Some grammar schools set a creative writing task, but this is usually only marked in 'borderline cases' (such as when deciding between two children who achieved the same score in the main papers).
The 11 plus creative writing task usually has a short time frame. Pupils need to draft, write and review their work in under an hour (depending on the school's exam format).
In most creative writing exams, your child will be given an imaginary scenario and 30–45 minutes to write about it. Here are some examples of creative writing topics your child might be asked to write about in the exam:
The natural world, e.g. Imagine you are on a desert island
Activities, e.g. Describe a hobby you like doing
Animals, e.g. What animal are you frightened of and why? or What animal would you most like to be?
Emotions, e.g. Imagine you are lost in a forest or Imagine you just got the best news ever
Children applying to grammar schools within the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE) will have a writing task as part of their 11 plus exam.
They will need to create a creative response to a prompt. The examiner will be looking for original ideas, accurate vocabulary, spelling, puncutation and grammar, and an appropriately varied structure.
In this article, we share the story-writing framework that will support your child to confidently complete the creative writing paper in an exam.
Your child will learn how to create great beginnings, endings, and characters, how to plan and structure effectively, and what examiners will be looking for.
Great readers make great writers! Getting familiar with the features of fiction across a range of genres, time periods and settings will help inspire your child.
Download our Key Stage 2 reading list for our top suggestions. Suitable for children aged 7–11.
These skills will be useful for writing exams or simply writing for fun!
Your child will learn how to withhold information to build tension, write effective descriptions, and create a momentous climax to a story.
Get a free taster selection of Atom Learning live lessons! Join Atom's mailing list to unlock six video lessons, including tips for writing masterful mysteries, fantastic fantasies, and an 11+ past paper walkthrough.
Join Atom's email list and get a free set of fun fiction and non-fiction writing prompts which you can use to help your child hone their creative writing skills. Download your 11 plus creative writing pdf now!