Welcome to our 11 Plus exam preparation tips.
In this feature EasyA provide their methods of helping students not only succeed but learn helpful techniques in the process.
* * CONTENT UPDATED Q2 2021 * *
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11 Plus exam preparation from a St Paul’s School student’s perspective.
11+ exams are challenging. They cover lots of different topics and, unlike GCSEs and A-levels, don’t have a specific syllabus from which students can study. To make matters harder, each school has different admissions processes, meaning students have to prepare for a wide variety of exams as opposed to one particular board. Luckily, there are multiple techniques that students can use to get ahead when preparing for these important exams. And with the right help, students can set themselves up for success come exam time!
If you’ve been preparing your child for the 11 plus, you’ve almost certainly heard about a number of different techniques. However, which of these methods are most efficient? Is there a better way you and your child can allocate your time and resources?
In this post, we sit down with one of our former students, currently at St Paul’s School in London, to hear how he aced his 11 plus exams.
Below are his top techniques to kickstart revision this summer, so that your child can achieve their best marks possible and get into their dream school!
Preparing for the 11 plus exam
Create a Timetable
Effective revision always begins with a detailed plan of action. In their revision plan, a student should lay out exactly what subjects and topics they’ll be studying when. This is essential, as a plan allows students to know how long they’ll have to cover a certain topic. Subsequently, they don’t run out of time when they get closer to their exam. This also gives students an efficient structure to their revision. This means they can build in breaks or other fun activities. All while resting assured that they’re on track to cover all the necessary material. A plan also means students don’t waste time finding the right books or materials or going through the syllabus constantly, wondering what to study next. Following a well-thought-out plan will allow students to tackle exam season with confidence!
Scientific studies have shown that a great way to drill important notes into your head is to write them out and paraphrase them. Here, flashcards are essential to your revision. They act as small, portable revision notes that you can constantly read through. You learn key details from and use to memorise important terminology to impress examiners. They are also a great way for students to test themselves. Ask your child to write a question on one side of the card and the answer on the other. This will allow your child to associate questions with answers and is an excellent way for them to practice topics. Flashcards are a particularly effective way to remember pieces of vocabulary or mathematical formulae that students find particularly challenging or hard to recall. Because flashcards are much smaller and more portable than textbooks, they’re ideal for studying on car journeys or when travelling.
Act as a Teacher
Acting as a teacher by explaining certain concepts to others, be it a parent, sibling or friend, helps students establish a greater knowledge and understanding of that topic and its smaller, key details. Explaining concepts to others allows students to pinpoint areas with which they are struggling. Trying to explain a topic to someone else is a great way for students to realize where their strengths and weaknesses lie. For example, when skimming a textbook it might be easy for a student to feel as though they understand a topic. However, explaining it to someone else verbally will allow them to see how accurately they really grasp the material. By teaching others, you will also be repeating and consolidating your own knowledge base, which will help you become confident that you know the topic inside out.
To make this extra challenging, try asking your child questions when they are trying to explain a concept to you! Any concepts that your child is unable to explain will serve as a great indicator of what they should spend their next revision session reviewing.
Practice Past Papers for 11 Plus exams
Once students feel they have sufficient knowledge of a topic, they should put their knowledge to the test by doing past papers. Completing past papers helps students perfect their exam technique and practice working under time pressure. In order to get the most out of past papers, make sure that your child does these under test conditions: alone, under the allotted time and without their revision notes or books! This will help your child prepare for the real exam as best as possible. Once they have completed the practice exam, be sure to read through the mark scheme and examiner’s reports (if available) with your child to see what examiners have said about questions that students have found challenging in the past.
Find some great 11 plus exam past papers here.
Preparing for the 11 plus exam
More about the EasyA
EasyA is a free app that connects students with expert maths tutors on-demand, so they can get help right when they need it! Students simply snap a photo of their question and are matched with an Oxbridge tutor who can help within minutes! All sessions are on-demand, there’s no scheduling required, and the anonymous, message-based format encourages students to ask all their questions without feeling self-conscious. Here’s a short video on how it works.
All tutors have extensive teaching experience and training, and help with anything from 11+ right through to GCSE and even A-level maths questions.
11 plus exam preparation tips