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Hints & Tips

Exam Day Tips

Thinking ahead takes away a lot of stress on the day, so here are a few things to take into consideration: 

  • Don’t allow your child to cram the night before as this can be counter-productive.
  • Make sure you and your child get a decent night’s sleep the night before.
  • Your child should eat a good breakfast if they are taking the exam in the Morning or lunch if they are sitting in the afternoon.
  • Leave home early, make sure you know the route and where to park, and arrive early.
  • If you are nervous, try not to pass it on to your child.
  • Make sure you know who to inform if your child is ill on the day.
  • Check if they need to take a pen, pencil, eraser and ruler with them and whether school uniform is compulsory.
  • Remember reading-glasses, inhalers etc if required.
  • Encourage your child to use the toilet if they can before the exam.

Actual Exam Tips For Your Child

On the day during the exam, every second and every mark counts, so here are a few tips that could give your child the advantage. Ensure you talk to your child about these exam techniques and they should give your child added confidence:

  • Listen very carefully to instructions issued by the invigilator about both rules and the papers themselves.
  • Fill in front page details on the exam paper carefully.
  • Read the written instructions carefully.
  • Concentrate on neatness throughout the exam, as an unclear answer will result in a lost mark.
  • The multiple-choice papers have answer booklets that look similar to a lottery sheet. There tend to be about 5 possible answers for each question and they will be required to draw a single horizontal pencil line next to their chosen answer. The answer sheets are marked by an electronic optical reader, so it is important that your answers are clear. If a mistake is made, it needs to be rubbed out and NOT crossed out. It will be read as ‘wrong’ if there are two marks where there should only be one.
  • Answer the questions you find the easiest first, or which carry the most marks.
  • Circle unanswered questions clearly, so they are easily visible and go back at the end of the exam to attempt them.
  • Don’t stop working – don’t daydream or watch other candidates (even if someone next to you faints or falls off their chair, ignore it!) 
  • Don’t spend too much time fretting over a particularly difficult question as this will lose you valuable minutes, move on and go back later if you have time
  • Check all answers at the end of the exam in you have time and go back to unanswered questions.
  • Attempt all questions, even if you don’t know the answer have a go – it might be correct and give you extra marks.
  • On maths papers, you may be asked to show your working, make sure you do if required.
  • Again in maths, ensure your answer is in the correct format, eg a question may be in metres but they require the answer in centimetres.
  • Stay calm, don’t panic, just do your best!

Quick Tips for 11 Plus Swot Students

  • 11+ Exams are about finding the right school for you, not about testing how clever you are!
  • Don’t cheat when practicing – this won’t help you on the actual day!
  • Never use a calculator!
  • Keep an eye on the time – you need to be speedy!
  • Always have a go at a question, however difficult – it might be right!
  • Don’t do too little practice nor too much – remember to take breaks, especially after taking an on-line test!
  • Don’t ignore your worst subject – spend extra time on it so it gets easier!
  • Read the instructions carefully – careless mistakes cost points!
  • Write down words you don’t understand, look them up later in the dictionary and watch your vocabulary grow!
  • At the end of the test, go back and attempt any questions you have left – you could pick up extra valuable marks in the last seconds of the test!
  • Practice makes perfect!
  • Have fun, don’t get stressed and just do your best.

Good Luck!