11+ Exam Preparation Tips for Parents: How to Teach Your Children

  • March 20, 2024
  • 6 min read
11+ Exam Preparation Tips for Parents: How to Teach Your Children

The eleven-plus, often shortened to 11+, is a standardized exam taken by various students in England and Northern Ireland during their final year of primary school. The results of this exam can determine their admission to grammar schools or any other secondary schools that rely on academic selection.

So, it is very important that parents and guardians of children approaching this exam know how to prepare their kids. Below, we have provided a list of recommendations for teaching your children, reinforcing good study behavior, and making learning fun. Good luck preparing for the 11+ exam, and remember to leave room for fun in your study schedule.

Do Practice Papers

One of the best ways to simulate the 11+ examination environment for kids and prepare them for the kinds of questions they will be faced with is to buy practice papers for them to work through. You can find the latest 11+ exam practice papers online and choose the appropriate ones for your kids to try.

There are papers for English, Mathematics, and more to browse. You can ask your kid’s teacher which papers might be most useful, based on your child’s areas for improvement in school.

Reinforce Good Study Behavior

When your child has studied well for half an hour, completed a practice paper, or in any other way shown dedication and determination to work hard, you should reward this good behavior with a treat.

This gives your child the incentive to keep on working hard and also lets them know that you are proud of them and recognize the effort they are putting into their studies. It is validating for kids to know that their efforts are being rewarded.

Remind Kids Regularly that Mistakes Are Okay

Another essential thing to teach kids at this stage in life if not before is that mistakes are okay. Not only are mistakes part of life and are very normal, but they are actually an essential part of learning.

It is from making mistakes that we can grow and improve our practices. The sooner kids learn this, the more well-equipped they will be to study, do practice papers, and learn from the process.

If your children punish themselves for every little mistake, they will find studying exhausting and disheartening. When a child makes a mistake and then is able to correct it, or see why their initial answer was not correct, this is a great time to reinforce their efforts with a treat.

Create a Study Schedule

As the 11+ exam approaches, a great way to stay motivated and on track is to create a study schedule. Assign up to a couple of hours a day to study and write down what you aim to cover with your child at this time.

A study schedule will ensure that all areas are covered so that by the time the examination comes around, your kid will have gone over every important area of study.

You can make the schedule colorful and stick it to the fridge to remind you and your child of the tasks ahead. Make it fun and encourage your child to strike off the days as they are completed. This is a very rewarding and fulfilling activity, as your child can see their progress every day.

Make Learning Fun

There are other ways to make learning fun. You can try to teach important information through songs or rhymes. Look online for musical resources for studying if you think your child would respond well to this method. Music is a particularly good study tool for auditory learners.

You can also go over study notes while walking in nature or cooking dinner together with your child. Kinesthetic and tactile learners take in information best when they are moving.

Another approach would be to make posters or mind maps of key study information. You can make these posters colorful, add images, make them interactive, and encourage as much creativity as you can while making them with your child. This is a great idea for visual learners.

Prepare Brain Food

It is a great idea for parents to promote healthy eating for their kids at all times, particularly around exam time. There are certain foods known for their ability to boost brain activity, such as fatty fish, blueberries, and turmeric, among others. Making meals and study snacks based on these brain foods can make all the difference.

This has been a brief guide to preparing for the 11+ exam. As a parent or guardian to a young child approaching this pivotal examination, you understand the significance and repercussions of this milestone.

However, you also know that your child is feeling that same pressure, so you need to find ways to support and teach your child, without overwhelming them.

We have suggested that you use practice papers, reinforce good study behavior, remind kids that mistakes are okay, create a study schedule, prioritize fun while learning, and make sure your kid is eating right and sleeping plenty. If you follow this advice, you and your kids will do just fine.

What’s more, research suggests that eating sweets and other high-calorie, low-nutrient foods can result in brain inflammation and memory loss. So, try to avoid very unhealthy foods.

If your child works well with positive reinforcement, try to find other treats after studying, such as watching their favorite movie or going to their favorite shop.

Ensure Sufficient Sleep

Lastly, you should make sure that on top of all of this studying and creating that you are still setting aside enough time for rest and relaxation, and ultimately a good night’s sleep every night.

Your child can only learn and perform to the best of their ability when they are refreshed and getting enough quality sleep.

You should create a bedtime routine that allows your child to wind down, without any phone, TV, or computer screens, and get ready for bed peacefully.

Ensure their room is dark, cool, comfortable, and has minimal distractions. Perhaps reading a book before bed would prepare your child for a good sleep. A well-rested brain is much more capable of passing an exam than a tired mind.

About Author

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an expert web content writer and freelancer who is an expert in writing engaging articles in Business, General, Social Media, Tech, and Marketing and many more other categories. He has been serving our website for a few years. Andrew is a family man. When he isn’t writing, he loves to cook for his kids and spend time with them.

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