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Swot Up blog - hints, tips, news and events from the 11 plus swot world
  • 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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  • The term grammar school originates from medieval times, describing a school that taught Latin and classical languages. Today however, they are some of the most outstanding and high achieving, academic schools in the country, which are accessible regardless of income.

    In the 1940s grammar schools became the selective part of the tripartite system, for state funded secondary education in England and Wales. This is the system whereby pupils were allocated to a grammar school, secondary technical school, or secondary modern school, depending upon their performance in the 11 plus exam. In the 1960s and 1970s the system moved towards comprehensive, non-selective, schools, and during this time most grammar schools became independent and began charging fees, whilst others closed or became comprehensive. However grammar schools are still found in many areas of the country, retaining their well established reputation as top performing schools.

    The merits and demerits of grammar schools have long been debated, with opinions dividing both the public and politicians alike. Traditionally the conservative party has backed the selective system, arguing that grammar schools produce some of the top results demonstrated in the league tables. In addition, grammar schools provide an alternative for students from low income families unable to go to a fee paying school, to gain a high standard of education. This opens doors for students, aiding them to go to universities such as Oxford and Cambridge where the main intake is predominantly from independent schools. Other advantages include improvements in a pupil’s social mobility, and a safer environment for children to excel academically without fear of being bullied, as in certain comprehensive schools.

    By preparing for the 11 plus exam, you give your child the best possible chance at gaining a place at one of these top schools. You can find further information, resources and past papers on the 11PlusSwot website, to aid your child’s revision and achieve success.


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