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  • Although you will have heard countless times ‘practice, practice and practice’ is the key for success in the 11 plus exam, this is not entirely true, knowing how to revise and practice is actually the key. Below are some helpful tips and some simple ways to engage your child and get them revising effectively.

    Overloading is not helpful! Allow children 5 – 10 minute breaks every so often; this will help them retain information more easily. Also, remember a 9-10 year olds typical attention span is only around 30-50 minutes! Working towards increasing this for the test is very important.

    Try changing the place your child revises. Revising in different places around the house or even in a library will make it easier for your child to be in a new environment for the test day.

    Visual Aids! Mind maps and spider diagrams are a good way to summarise and link a large amount of information concisely. They can be displayed around the house, such as on the back of a toilet door, or the on the fridge; your child will be revising without knowing it every time they walk past.

    Use incentives and rewards! If your child meets a target during revision set mini-treats as motivation.

    Make preparation as realistic as possible. Doing mock exams is one of the most effective ways to revise. The 11PlusSwot website has many different practice questions and papers, give them a go! Also in the run up to the exam complete practice papers at the same time of day as the exam, this will help your child mentally adjust to perform at their peak at this time of day. Doing practice papers under exam conditions will help your child to improve their time management.

    Spend more time practicing the topics your child is weakest at. Children will try to avoid topics they are not so good at! Allocating more time to these subjects will make them less daunting.

    Using mnemonics is a good way to remember information. (E.g. Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, to remember the colours of the rainbow). Make them personal so they are easier for your child to remember.

    Make sure your child gets enough sleep in the run up to the exam so that they are fresh on the day of the exam.

    Arrive early on the day of the exam; this will help you both stay calm!

    Some last minute advice before the exam: If your child is starting to panic, let them know you will be proud of them no matter what the outcome. All they can do is try their best! 

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  • Give yourself the best chance at the 11 plus exam with these simple steps to prepare for any exam. If exam time always seems to creep up on you, remember it’s never too late achieve success!

    Study environment
    Try to put away all distractions, and make sure you are comfortable. Everyone’s ideal study environment will be different, for some people complete silence is needed to focus, but for others background music is preferable. You need to think about what works best for you.

    No last minute cramming
    Although a small minority of people thrive of last minute cramming, it is widely noted that this is not the best way to revise. Try to be organised and give yourself plenty of time to prepare for each exam. A good way to do this is with a revision timetable, plan out how long you have to prepare for each exam. Remember you may want to revise for longer on certain more difficult exams, such as the 11 plus verbal reasoning paper, so find a balance that works for you.

    Practice on past papers
    Past papers are one of the most effective revision tools. They will help you get used to the style and format of the questions, as well as helping you to plan your time effectively. All the past papers you need for the 11 plus exam can be found on the 11plusswot website.

    Explain your answers to others
    This is a really effective way to get answers clear in your head and will also highlight areas which you need to do more work on. Try budding up with a friend who is also taking the 11 plus exam.

    Take regular breaks
    It can be counterproductive to study for long periods without a break.  Many studies have shown taking regular breaks helps to retain knowledge in the long term. Also it can really help with motivation.

    Taking an exam can be stressful for everyone involved, parents included! Being organised is the key to success, especially on the exam day! Remember everyone revises differently, so you must find what works best for you. You can find further tips and revision tools on the 11PlusSwot website.

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