10 Proven ways to be ready for the 11 plus THIS September - The 11 Plus Journey

The 11 Plus Journey


10 Proven ways to be ready for the 11 plus THIS September


This year’s 11 Plus exams are coming around fast. The Easter holidays are just around the corner and the final term of the year is nearly upon us!

11 Plus tests usually happen in September/October, which is only a few months away. So, is this enough time to prepare for the exams if you haven’t already started? 

It can be. With a properly structured plan, you’d be surprised what you and your child can achieve, even in as little as a few months.

Here are our top ten tips to get organised and start revising effectively for September’s exams today:


  1. Find out what you need to revise

Take time to familiarise yourself with what’s required for the test. Depending on which area you live in and which schools you are aiming for, each school’s entry process can be slightly different. Research which tests you’ll need to prepare for, with your target schools in mind. And be realistic about which schools you are likely to get into. Having at least one backup can help stop any nasty surprises when the results come in.

Each school will have information about the tests (and often practice tests for you to try) on their website. It is really important to check each school carefully so you know which format the test will take and what information your child needs to know. 

Once you know the format of the paper your child will be taking, then you can get some practice tests and resources and get started. Check out the guides section in our Facebook group for some great free resources to get your revision plan in place now:


2. Concentrate on gaps

Have a look at what your child is enjoying at school and the areas where they aren’t quite so enthusiastic. This can be a good indication of which parts of their learning it might be best to start with. You could also ask them to talk to their teacher to work out their weaker areas so that you can concentrate on those, focusing on any gaps in their learning that you think they might have. 


3. Develop Exam techniques

Look at teaching your child HOW to take the 11-plus test, not just concentrating on WHAT to learn. There are lots of exam techniques out there, but the top ones to teach are:

  • Read the questions – make sure to read the instructions and questions thoroughly so as not to miss out on points. If it says to underline the answer, make sure you don’t circle it. If it says to pick three words, make sure you haven’t only chosen two.
  • Keep an eye on the time – this is likely to be the first timed test your child has taken so get them to practice working at a pace and keeping half an eye on the clock to work out how much time they have left to finish.
  • If in doubt, make a guess – A wrong answer is better than no answer, if time is running out, practice making an educated guess.
  • Keeping focus – your child will be in a large room full of other children. There may be noises they aren’t used to. Distractions can happen, so get them to practice blocking out all other sounds and keeping their focus fully on the test in front of them.

Atom Learning has a great blog on this with more techniques.


Get 20% off your first month and a 5-day free trial with Atom Learning


4. Exam mindset

Get your child in the right mindset now.

Talk with them about anxiety and their feelings. Show them that it’s ok and perfectly natural to feel nervous sometimes, but that it shouldn’t control you.

Put small goals and targets in place together – and make sure there are rewards for reaching them. It’s really rewarding to have validation that you are doing well in something you are working towards.

Teach them to replace a negative thought with a positive one. Try to change ‘ I can’t do this I’m rubbish at it’ to ‘I’m going to work at this until I’m better at it’ or ‘I just haven’t worked it out YET, but I will try my hardest’!

Check out our useful 11plus Journal which can really help manage emotions and help your child not feel overwhelmed.


5. Tips and Tricks

There are lots of helpful tips and tricks to help your child get through the 11-plus exams.

Mock tests are a great way to mimic the test. Check out our guide for parents to help carry out mock tests:

Is there a child you might know who has done the test, and can you get them to talk to yours with some words of advice or encouragement? Frustrating though it is, children often listen to their peers far more than the adults in their lives!

Join our Facebook group for lots of tips from Tutors, knowledgeable parents and more.


6. Routine

Routine is really important. Make revising a habit and it’s far easier to stick to. 

Start a timetable now and write down everything you want to cover, working out how much time you’ll need to set aside for practice each week. Try and keep to the same time for practice tests each time you do one. When revising becomes a natural habit during the week, it becomes less stressful for everyone.


7. Vary Revision

Doing the same type of revision can become boring for your child (and you!). Make sure you vary what you do. Practice tests can be mixed with fun maths challenges, reading something new one week and doing crossword puzzles another. Online revision mixed with written papers. There are loads of resources out there so that you can keep revision interesting, and therefore your child interested.

We love these maths puzzles https://transum.org/Software/Puzzles/


8. Consider a Tutor

Not an option for everyone we totally understand, but if you don’t feel confident as a parent revising with your child then they can often pick up on that. There’s nothing worse at this point than inflicting stress on both the parent and the child involved in taking the test. Finding a tutor who shares your vision and can relieve some of the pressure can relax everyone – and it’s only for 6 months.

Have a look in your area and see if you have someone local who knows the schools you are aiming for and can tailor some lessons for your child. Or get recommendations from someone who has been through the process before.


9. Read, Read Read

Get as much reading into your child’s life as you possibly can. It improves vocabulary, comprehension skills and spelling as they are introduced to words and phrases they might not come across on a daily basis. Local libraries often have summer reading challenges which are great fun and offer incentives and achievement for all children over the summer holidays.



10. Make it Fun and Take a Break

Don’t forget to book incentives, treats and most importantly, some time out for your child and for you. You aren’t looking after your health if you are working all the time and your child will need to have time to rest, run outside, have fun and unwind, especially in the Summer Holidays before the test.

You could try some mindfulness or yoga with them which will help with concentration and calm in the run-up to the tests too.

Stick to these top tips and getting your child ready for the 11 plus should be a breeze. Remember that 6 months is enough time to get a plan in place and prepare if you follow our tips, and there’s always more support to be had in our Facebook group if you need it.


And do let us know what your top tips are for helping your child revise for the 11plus – we love to share!


Some links in this post may be affiliate links. This means we get a commission on any sales through them at no extra cost to you.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop