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Always play to your child’s strengths to overcome the weaknesses.

Do not avoid the weaknesses, make the child aware of them, but never personalise them.

Make sure to praise every crumb of improvement on the weak areas to encourage the desire to do better.

Structure the 11 Plus revision cycles in a way that would add brick upon brick while keeping the enthusiasm alive.



Prerequisites for Success

Most private primary schools make selective secondary or grammar school exam preparation (11 Plus) part of their curriculum, while state schools do not go out of their way to help children to this end as a matter of policy. It is true, therefore, that early state school education attendees are somewhat disadvantaged in the competition for very sparse State Selective School places. Nevertheless, many children are able to break through the barrier, either because they are lucky enough to be highly talented or thanks to their parents concerted efforts.

Your child can also do it.

Prerequisites for Eleven Plus success are determined not only by initiating and maintaining your child’s desire to be part of that exiting and in all event, rewarding experience, but also by being prepared to afford your child the time and guidance that this undertaking merits.

Unfortunately, only in exceptional cases would a child achieve high enough scores in the 11 Plus Exams after trying his/her hand in just a few practice papers. So, the path to winning the battle does not come easy even for the private school children, as the competition is very tough.

On the other hand, all the good intentions, effort, hard work and sleepless nights may not open that allusive door, unless the revision process is structured and progressive. Unless, you as parents, recognise the philosophy behind the 11 Plus selection phenomenon, which shapes the question techniques and logic of the actual exam papers. You can only do that by doing a bit of homework of your own to get an insight into the many question categories in all subject areas by obtaining past 11 Plus Exam Papers from your Selective School Consortiums or LEAs that set the exams. Alternatively, you may seek to employ the skills and experience of good 11 Plus tutor to aid your child’s targeted learning process. In any case though, your participation and parental direction in the whole affair is paramount.

So, it is no good throwing your child unceremoniously into the task of answering endless number of practice and past exam papers. No one is better equipped then you to make use of your child’s learning psychology to determine which subject matter and what question categories would help enhance her/his self-confidence and which ones need special attention. For further reading see our blog.

Always play to your child’s strengths to overcome the weaknesses. Structure the 11 Plus revision cycles in a way that would add brick upon brick while keeping the enthusiasm alive and kicking.

There is a grey area here, which stimulates conflicting opinions. What are the incentives that should be used to keep the desire fresh? Over emphasising the wonders of attending one of these selective schools may come back to haunt you, should your child be unlucky enough not to succeed. However, as you will find out for yourself, many sittings of revision, repetitive practice paper sessions will have their toll and the interest and concentration will waiver, at times to a breaking point. Hence, parents must closely monitor children’s progress, while paying special attention to their involvement levels.

You may notice a tendency of marked drops in the levels of achievement in the individual practice paper or mock test scores or you might observe erratic oscillations in the scores for no obvious reason. These are the tell tale signs of the child burning-out, loosing interest or getting inpatient that could prove to be detrimental to his/her chances of success and under no circumstances should be taken lightly. Here however, one must distinguish between noticeable trends of diminishing results and occasional inconsistencies in the concentration and achievement levels that can creep into the equation for quite obvious reasons. If you notice anything untoward in the academic behaviour of the child that gives you concern, stop the revision work immediately or bring it down to absolute minimum for a week or two. Let her/him have a break playing, going to movies or something. Do not hide your concerns from the child. Share it with him/her, but emphasise the temporary nature of the dip.

Go back to the usual format of revision, only when you are satisfied that your son or daughter has come out of the temporary decline. Every child is different, of course, and it is quite likely that for your child such a scenario will never occur. Therefore, there is no need to become obsessed with this and loose your sleep over it, not only because it may inadvertently disrupt the whole revision work, but also it may trigger such a scenario by becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. Nevertheless, be prepared for the eventuality, so that you are ready to act when called upon. Our forum may be an ideal port of call to discuss such matters. I am sure other parents, who went through it all, would not mind sharing their experiences on the topic if asked discreetly.

I must apologise here for sounding somewhat patronising or getting carried away, but I have seen enough examples of this in my tutoring endeavours to know what it can do to a child and parents alike.  As we all know, becoming over zealous about our children’s education can sometimes be counter productive by putting too much burden on the shoulders of an 10 year old.

Online Assessment

2 sets of Online Assessment Tests, English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning. 45 minutes in total and on completion, instant results with useful tips and customised parents feedback