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!