There is no denying that the eleven plus exam can demand a great deal of preparation, research and cool, calm nerves. For many pupils this will be the first ‘major’ exam in their school career and with it creates anxiety. We find that one of the main hurdles with the 11 plus is the exam environment itself and the potentially daunting, silent exam-hall. Therefore, it is so important to reassure your child and provide a few mini tests within a set timeframe some months prior to the real exam. This will take associated panic out of the exam and also support your child to work independently outside the classroom or tutoring sessions.
To help build confidence, long term groundwork and exam style familiarity is crucial. We often tutor children for several months and even years prior to the exam to build extensive vocabulary skills, develop core maths topics and help tackle the NVR questions with a shrewd approach.
Due to a variety of materials available to purchase online and in most high street bookshops, it’s vital to begin at the school’s familiarisation booklet. These will be published on the main website and any updates will be provided on the admission webpage. For example, one grammar school announced additional places being offered in 2016 on the website and not within the booklet PDF. It’s important to keep up to date with these changes and attend any open days or presentation evenings where you will be able to align the school’s culture with your child’s unique personality. Any step from Primary to Secondary School is a huge change and will appear as a completely new notion of teaching, school size and the variety of subjects offered. Looking at league tables and comparing results is indeed important but remember your child is an individual so a school that might suit one child in no way guarantees a good fit for all.
On a final note, it is crucial to stay positive as your child will pick up on any anxiety you may have. So relax, be reassured with the knowledge that the months of preparation prior to the exam have given your child the best chance of success on the day.