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11 plus final countdown: 3 months to go!

By Atom | Apr 5, 2023, 10:29 AM

11+ 3 months to go webinar

Preparing for grammar school exams in September? Gemma shares her three-month 11 plus study plan, designed to help you use this time wisely and empower your child to excel.

Free parent webinar: watch now

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Sitting the 11+: 3 months to go timeline

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3 months to go: what every parent should know

Quick tips for the next 3 months

  • Keep learning to 4 or 5 30–minute sessions per week

  • Focus on covering the full breadth of 11 plus content as a priority

  • Complement their learning by building exam technique with mock tests

  • Sign up for free online summer lessons


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Building subject mastery

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. It's a good idea to use the rest of the summer term and the summer holidays to build their confidence and fluency with the 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:

Download English checklist

Download maths checklist

Verbal and non-verbal reasoning will be new to most students as they are not taught as part of the national curriculum. It's best to familiarise your child with these subjects well in advance of the exam so there are no surprises.

Remember that all subject areas are important, so make sure you're balancing time between areas of strength and areas of difficulty. Around this time, start to tackle your child's most challenging topics by setting 3–4 custom practice activities per week.

Building exam technique

11 plus practice papers, although no substitute for building subject mastery, are a great way to build exam technique and confidence. The summer term and summer holidays are an ideal time to introduce semi-regular mock tests.

At this time, set one or two practice tests per month. Then, build up the frequency to one per week during the six weeks leading up to the exam (at the start of August). To make sure your child comes to them fresh, we don't recommend taking mock tests on a school day, or on a day when they've been revising.

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).

11 plus practice papers online

Atom's online tests are continually updated and designed to mirror the format and style of the real exam in your region, 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.

Learn more

Supporting your child's wellbeing

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.

Grammar school admissions: a recap

Now is a good time to check back on your target school's website and make sure you have all key dates noted down. 11 plus registration is likely to be closing soon with three months to go until 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.

Personalised 11 plus prep for your child

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.

Try Atom Nucleus free for 5 days

Begin your child's journey to their dream grammar school today. Use the full features of Atom Nucleus free for 5 days – cancel anytime.

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Ask us anything

With three months 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.

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