More About 11 Plus Exam Preparation

It is common to hear that a child should not spend much time preparing for the 11 plus exams. Either the child has it, or he doesn’t; either the child is ready for grammar school, or he isn’t. I can’t entirely agree with this viewpoint; I do not believe that a child’s aptitude is innate; instead, I feel in progress via a practice that makes perfect. As Benjamin Franklin put it, failing to prepare is preparing to prepare to fail. A professor discovered that students coached for nine months before the 11 plus exams increased their grades by 40%. Hard work, solid instruction, and practice are all effective.

Which of the verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, math, and English tests will be reviewed depends on where you are in the country. Verbal and nonverbal thinking are not topics covered in elementary school and are not covered in grammar school. The fact that a child does not perform well on these tests does not mean that they are unsuitable for grammar school and will struggle with studying French, German, history, geography, or arithmetic. They are just tests used to get admission to grammar schools, and they must be practiced because the youngster will not have had much experience with them. Similarly, just though a child is currently deficient in arithmetic does not guarantee that they will struggle in history, English, and chemistry at grammar school. Math knowledge, like everything else in life, is not static and can be enhanced by good quality tutoring and hard work.

The competition for admission to grammar school is intense. Some schools have a ten-to-one applicant-to-seat ratio. Other pupils will have done their homework. You must do the same to offer your child a decent chance. The easiest method to prepare is to practice questions comparable to those that will be on the 11 plus exams. Sample practice papers are a handy resource. Try to obtain as many practice papers as possible, as long as they are of a similar level to the real thing. Rather than just presenting the numerical solution, look for practice papers that provide extensive explanations for the answers. This adds a different aspect to tuition and allows you and your child to go through a problem and understand how to solve it. Because many children prefer to work with computers rather than paper and pencil, interactive computerized tests are beneficial.

Bradley Weiman
the authorBradley Weiman

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