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How to maximise the next 5 months for grammar school exam preparation


Nov 17, 2022, 3:18 PM

Parent webinar - grammar school exam prep: maximise the next 5 months


In this 45 minute webinar, Gemma will explain how to make the most of the coming months to prepare for the 11 plus exams. Watch the webinar recording here.

Free guides and resources for 11 plus preparation:

Grammar school admissions: an overview

Grammar school exams take place in September and October of Year 6. Most schools have one exam taking place on one day while others use multiple exams. Application deadlines vary, with applications tending to open in May and close during the summer term. It's worthwhile to familiarise yourself with your target school's admission process on their website.

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.

A marathon, not a sprint!

Every child is different, and will have strengths in different areas of the curriculum. Learning styles also vary, with some children preferring visual and kinaesthetic learning while others are comfortable with theoretical approaches. The most effective way to prepare is to tailor your practice to suit your child's learning style.

There's a large amount of content, question types and learning objectives to cover for the 11 plus. Getting started early will help to keep stress to a minimum and build confidence to ensure they have a robust understanding by the time the exam comes around. Regular, structured practice will lead to success!

Building subject mastery

With five months to go until the 11 plus, your child should be spending 1.5–2 hours practicing each week. Studies show that for the best focus and retention of knowledge, study time should be broken down into 20–30 minutes a day.

Although it can be tempting to hone in on either the topics your child enjoys the most or the ones they struggle with the most, it's important to maintain a balance. This will help keep motivation high and ensure they don't lose skills or confidence in the areas they excel in.

A good approach is to practise a different subject each day of the week. As you're working through the 11 plus curriculum, you can work out the best time of the day for exam prep. Revision doesn't have to take place right after school – breakfast time is a good option to set your child up for success throughout the school day.

Mastering the breadth and depth of the 11 plus content

Your child needs a firm grasp of the basics before mastering the most challenging content, so resist the temptation to go straight to the most challenging areas! We recommend focusing on the level of difficulty that's suitable for your child at this point in Year 5.

It's easy to do this with Atom Nucleus, as the algorithm will quickly adapt to your child's strengths and areas of challenge, to ensure they receive the right amount of support and demonstrate sufficient mastery before moving on to something more challenging.

By the end of the Easter holidays, it's recommended to have covered every question type in the 11 plus curriculum. Ensure your child uses the videos and helpsheets provided here. Once your child has covered all question types, you can then identify the topics that need further revision, and use the summer term to drill down into these. Watch the webinar above for detailed guidance on how to approach this.

You can begin your 5-day free trial of Nucleus to start your child's personalised learning journey today:

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