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Swot Up blog - hints, tips, news and events from the 11 plus swot world
  • 11PlusSwot created practice online testing for the 11 plus exam over 10 years ago and in that time we have gone from strength to strength. Hundreds of people take one of our tests every day and we are proud to have helped thousands of people gain a place into their chosen grammar school. 

    There are many tools available at 11PlusSwot to help your child succeed at the 11 plus exam. We feel the biggest advantage is the ability to practice the 11 plus test online. This has many benefits such as; 

    Instant feedback

    As soon as the test is complete the results are displayed. No more time wasted with manual marking. This also increases pupils motivation.

    Automatically Updated Progress Graphs

    After each test your child’s result is saved to your progress chart. This enables you to see how your child is progressing after each test. This is an important tool as it highlights subject areas where more practice is needed.

    Many More Question Papers

    Our tests are online which enables us to randomise the questions, ensuring the no two 11 plus practice exams are the same. This gives your child more chance to practice and hone their skills.

    Digital Experience

    Pupils often find digital testing less daunting than paper tests. Some may even find them a fun experience which motivates them to continue practicing.

    Fair Marking

    All our tests are marked digitally, which therefore eliminates human error, and gives an accurate result every time.

    Environmentally Friendly

    Completing online tests reduces the amount of paper used therefore reducing the effects on the environment.

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  • The 11 plus examination consists of a mathematics test based on topics taught at key stage 2. Key Stage 2 is the term used in England and Wales’ education system for the four years of schooling before children enter secondary school. These years are known as Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, and Year 6 where students are between 7 to 11 years old. The 11 plus examination is then taken at the end of year 6 to determine a place in grammar school.

    The mathematics test involves all basic concepts in maths for key stage 2, and also touches upon some further advanced topics such as algebra. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your child is familiar with a wide range of concepts. Surprisingly a common weakness for children under the age of 11 is competency with the four basic math operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Although these concepts are introduced to children early, there is little focus on learning times tables ‘by rote’ within the national curriculum which leads to difficulty during questions involving multiplication and division. Practice is crucial for success in the 11 plus exam and regularly reciting times tables will help children to master these skills before undertaking the 11 plus exam.

    Although the maths exam is based around addition, subtraction, multiplication and division it is focused on applying these skills in practical applications. These can include monetary problems, rounding decimals, calculating the properties of shapes (perimeter and area etc), transforming words into numbers, time calculations.... the list goes on. A great way in which to gain experience in all these areas is to get exposure to many different problems. This is done by going through practice papers time and time again. A great starting point is to master the 4 basic skills at key stage 2 level and then apply them to the practical applications. All the practical example questions can be found on the 11plus swot website.

    Here at the 11PlusSwot HQ we have found that the BBC key stage 2 site offers a great starting point to master the 4 topics. From here children can then start to tackle the 11plusswot maths papers to apply their knowledge and develop their skills. 

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  • The 11 plus English exam is primarily structured to focus on reading and writing skills. This includes examining basic components of the English language such as grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure and punctuation. These skills are measured on the 11 plus English exam through reading comprehension tests and essay writing.

    Typically students find the essay writing component the most challenging part of the exam. This task may take as little as 20 minutes but may take as long as 50 minutes. The topics for the essays are pre set and include factual or fictional titles, students are then able to choose which topic to write about.

    Due to the limited time for the exam, students must be able to manage their time efficiently in order to complete the exam in the allotted time. The students are advised to create a plan before beginning the essay component of the exam. Good planning is essential in essay writing as it helps the children organise their thoughts to create a structured essay.

    Priorities vary for each examiner with some placing high regard on accurate grammar, spelling, and punctuation rather than on the content; however all examiners find it is important to have well structured essay with a clearly defined “beginning, middle, and end”.  One way to develop this structure with children is by dividing their writing page into three sections with a ruler, with a short beginning section, a longer middle section and a third short section. The child must then complete their essay with the beginning, middle and ending fitted into each respective section.

    Another helpful technique for essay writing is for students to prepare an emergency ending, for use if they find they are running out of time. The ending is the last thing the examiner will read and therefore it is important that it makes an impact; if time management is an issue, this technique can be extremely useful.

    The more your child is exposed to English writing and questions the easier they will find the English section of the 11 plus exam. Head over to the English section of the 11plus swot site to get access to hundreds of sample questions to guide your child in the right direction.  



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