We consider the above premium verbal reasoning practice tests to be the market’s best.
PLEASE NOTE that CEM and GL assessment papers use a different format so focus on the past papers from the right examination board.
Our 11 plus revision tips
Different families will have differing amounts of time available for revision. What we have done is structure a revision process around a four week period. If the time you have for eleven plus revision is longer or shorter then you can adjust accordingly.
This section aims to provide you with a plan together with suggested resources for delivering an ideal revision process over the last four weeks.
The Eleven Plus revision plan is split into three core areas
1/ Continuing to keep core skills fresh during the eleven plus revision process.
Many families make the mistake of just using papers for revision, in fact it is absolutely essential that children have mix of longer and shorter tasks and can continue to develop their core skills through the process.
Developing core skills through the Eleven Plus revision process.
2/ Using practice papers as part of the eleven plus revision process.
Practice papers are the core of a good revision programme but it is essential that they are not overdone. Where a child has been through a proper preparation and has already done lots of papers then gains will only be had from using papers in revision the right way. Doing paper after paper will deliver no noticeable benefit and in fact can be counter-productive. Find out what revision papers to use and how to use them as part of an effective revision process.
3/ Structuring 11 Plus Mock exams at home
One aspect of the 11 Plus exam which many parents don’t focus on is the stamina required to deliver a good result. Often children will face two (sometimes more) 50 minute exam papers (with a small break) in a new environment on a day full of pressure and stress. Doing some mock exam preparation at home can help children adjust to the level of stamina that will be required to deliver their best result. Find out how to use mock exams as part of an effective eleven plus revision plan, what papers to use and how to structure this at home.
DEVISE A REVISION PLAN ACCORDING TO THE TIME YOU HAVE LEFT
Once you know which tests your child is taking and when those tests will take place, it’s time to equally divide the revision required for each of these subjects according to how much time you have left until the exams. As recommended in my first article, don’t allocate more than two hours a day to work intensively on 11+ because your child will have school during the day and other extracurricular activities. Any more than two hours will be overkill unless you’re absolutely sure your child can take it and you’re weeks away from the exams and still have a lot to do.
You can spread the two hours throughout the day or you can group them together with a small break in between, depending on how and when your child works at their best. My son works better after school so he takes a small break and then he studies until dinnertime.
In the beginning, you shouldn’t focus on timed tests but familiarising your child with the level of work required and what’s expected of them. We divide the two hours equally between Maths, Verbal Reasoning and English with slightly more time allocated to Maths and Verbal Reasoning. So, for example, Maths revision is 45 minutes long, Verbal Reasoning is 45 minutes and then English is 40 minutes, plus or minus and with a small snack/movement break in between.
Once you’ve worked out a plan of revision action, you can start to incorporate tools and resources to enhance your child’s learning. We use all three methods below but you can use any one or all of the tools/resources to help your child revise for the 11+. These are:
1. Hiring a specialist 11 plus tutor
These can help your child to stay on top of their Year’s schoolwork, whilst also preparing once a week for their 11 plus exam. See School Entrance Tests ‘ 11 plus revision tips post.
once a week and perhaps go beyond what was expected but now we focus purely on 11+ work in the form of activity books and 11 past papers. Gillian then sets us homework based on the free 11 plus papers with answers which we follow throughout the week and we also book extra sessions during holidays if required.
2. 11 plus prep books (from WH Smiths)
Google ‘11+ practice papers‘ and you’ll be bombarded with a wide variety of paper-based resources catering for all kinds of pupils and exam boards. We use Letts Ten Minutes Tests* and Familiarisation Papers from the school’s website as well as some other great workbooks from The Works and Amazon. Again, make sure you get the right paper from the right examination board as CEM verbal reasoning exam looks very different to the GL 11 plus verbal reasoning exam for example.
Also, check on your local online 11 plus forum for more information on what parents are using in your area. It’s always great to connect with other parents during this time as you may be able to find tips and tricks on revision techniques that may work for your child too.
3. 11 plus Familiarisation papers
A few months before the grammar school exams you can progress onto familiarisation papers which are past papers taken from the school’s website. You don’t need to worry about timed 11 plus test papers at this point because the aim is to find out which topics your child is struggling with and which they’re doing really well in so you can focus on bringing everything up to par.
Once you’re happy that your child can work through the papers with ease, you can start timing them a few months before the test. This is a vital part of the revision plan because your child needs to know what it feels like to sit a 50-minute test without any breaks.
4. 11 plus mock exam providers in your area
Dealing with 11 plus stress
Don’t forget to submit special circumstances if you feel your child needs extra time and support during these tests. You will need a letter from your child’s school to submit as evidence. Follow the school’s special circumstances protocol to a ‘T’ so you don’t miss out on extra support for your child.