By Atom | Apr 5, 2023, 10:31 AM
If your child is taking the 11 plus in September, you're onto the final stretch! Jade's 10-week study plan shows how to make the most of these last weeks before the exam, to go in feeling prepared and confident.
The 11 plus covers a lot of content and your child will be assessed on some of the most challenging Year 6 learning objectives in English and maths. The summer holidays are an ideal time to build their confidence and fluency with Year 6 objectives which they won't have seen in the classroom during Year 5.
You can use these Key Stage 2 English and maths checklists as a guide for what to cover:
Being familiar with the full 11 plus curriculum – and knowing how to approach different question types and what methods to use – will have the biggest impact on your child’s results. As we approach the date of the exam, it’s important to make sure your child actually understands the concepts behind the questions and has consolidated their learning.
Revisit topics regularly, even ones that they are excelling in. To keep their knowledge strong, maintain a balance between introducing new topics and recapping. Recaps can be brief – only 10 minutes is needed to make sure a method stays at the forefront of their mind.
11 plus practice papers, although no substitute for building subject mastery, are a great way to build exam technique and confidence.
During the summer term and into the holidays, aim to do one or two mock tests per month
From the start of August (in the last six weeks before the exam) build up to one per week
Avoid the temptation to sit repeated practice papers. Your child should only take mock exams when they're feeling fresh, as this is when they will get the most out of it.
Take five or ten minutes to sit down with your child after a practice exam to review their answers together, celebrate their efforts and talk through any corrections. This is an important step to consolidate and embed their learning. (Learn more about using mock tests for the 11+ here).
Atom's online tests are continually updated and designed to mirror the format and style of the real exam in your area, so your child will know exactly what to expect.
And what's more, everything is automatically marked for you! You get a full transcript to review with your child.
Even as the exam date draws closer, it's important to allow flexibility. If your child is feeling tired or demotivated, take a 24-hour break from all exam preparation. Having a good night's sleep, taking part in some hobbies or simply having fun will help them feel refreshed.
Exams are a natural part of a child’s education journey but they can also be stressful. If low-key practice focused on long-term learning is part of your child's regular routine, then exam revision hopefully won't feel like a big deal.
However, children can still become overwhelmed in the lead up to the 11 plus. It might be the first formal exam they have taken where the stakes feel high. It's important to set realistic expectations. Keep the exam in perspective and remind your child that this is just part of the process of finding the right school for them. No matter what the outcome of the exam, you will find a school where they will be happy and thrive.
Checking in regularly can help your child to open up if things get too much. Remember that not all fears will be obvious and might be missed. Learn how to help your child manage test anxiety here.
Now is a good time to check back on your target school's website, make sure you have all key dates noted down and know when to expect the logistical information you need for test day.
Although you've likely already registered for the 11 plus, you may need to provide further information to the school at this time of year, such as if your child needs any adjustments to sit the exam.
Grammar school exams take place in September while your child is in Year 6. Although the timing and structure of the exam papers vary between schools and regions, the content of the test is very similar across the country. Your child will be assessed on:
Competition for grammar school entry across the UK is fierce, so we strongly recommend ensuring your child has ample time to practice so they feel confident on exam day.
Wondering how to make sure your child covers the depth and breadth of the entire 11 plus curriculum, stays on track with their progress, and gets help when they're stuck? Online learning is a particularly efficient, cost-effective (and fun) way to do this!
Atom Nucleus is the award-winning online 11 plus practice platform that gives your child everything they need to prepare for grammar school exams.
Children work independently through over 90,000 interactive practice questions in verbal reasoning, English and maths. Teacher-created helpsheets and videos help them discover new concepts and consolidate their learning.
Atom's algorithm keeps children on their ideal learning path, tailored to their unique learning style and pace to keep them challenged and motivated.
With ten weeks to go, we understand how important this time is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about your child's 11 plus preparation.