Skip to main content

A A A
C  C  Off 
Swot Up blog - hints, tips, news and events from the 11 plus swot world Show all posts
  • Children and parents alike were left shocked and confused when a recent change to the exam period was announced. Many parents start to prepare their child months in advance before sitting an eleven plus exam. To be told that they will potentially lose 3 months preparation time was not welcomed across the board.

    But is it all doom and gloom I hear you ask? Well no actually, there is method to their madness.

    Currently the 11 plus exam is held towards the end of November. By this time parents must choose which secondary schools to apply for. This may not seem like a problem but what if your child doesn’t pass the 11 plus exam? Frantic applications to the best state schools in the area will follow... Followed by a swift rejection letter saying they are already oversubscribed. Every parent’s worst nightmare!

    Let’s re-wind the clock and take the 11 plus exam in September. Your child passes and it’s all smiles and cheers. Your child fails and... No problem. You haven’t had to choose which schools to apply for yet! Now you can apply for the best state schools in the area safe in the knowledge that your child has a good a chance as any into getting into a good school.

    Here at 11plus swot we are behind the proposed changes and hope you, as parents, can see the benefits too.  For help with revising check out our easy to use online testing service. 

    Full story
  •  11+ exam results

    You may remember a blog that I wrote a month or so ago, Can a 26 Year Old Pass The 11+ Exam? I certainly do. Having passed with flying colours, I now saw myself as the "don" of the grammar school entry test. Filled with this euphoric feeling, I'm sure you can understand my confidence when I stumbled across an article on the BBC news website asking - "Could you pass the 11-plus?"

    The article was similar to the 11+ sample exam I took. With 10 minutes to answer 15 questions, I started the timer. A combination of verbal & non verbal reasoning questions with a little maths thrown in for good measure.

    On completing the test, I checked my score. 10/15. That's 67%! I immediately began to doubt my 11+ credentials & thought it might be time to invest in some revision resources from the 11+ Swot shop.

    Perhaps the BBC's version of the test picked some of the harder questions, or maybe I was simply having an off day? Have you tried the tests? I'd love to hear your feedback.
    Full story
  • baby-passes-11+-exam

    This morning, whilst sifting through my Google Reader, I stumbled across a story about a 6 year old girl from Chadwell Heath achieving a GCSE in Mathematics. Though she only received an E grade, I wondered whether this was the start of things to come? The  article went on to tell of a 9 year old boy passing, with an A grade in the same exam, better than the vast majority of  Year 10/11 pupils. [Read the article here]

    I was amazed that a minority of children are outperforming peers, almost 10 years their senior. A quick search of the internet threw up reports of a Macedonian boy passing his Microsoft Certified Examination for IT Professionals [Further reading here]& a 16 year old becoming the youngest ever to pass their accountancy exam [Further reading here]. This was madness, not only are children scoring higher than children old enough to be their brothers & sisters, but now they are closing in on their parents.

    The debates will rage about exams getting easier, with GCSE pass rates rising [Read more], likewise with A Level & University students. But are our children simply getting brighter? With the continued developments in technology, communication and accessibility to information, I prophesise that it won't be long until we read of the first newborn baby becoming the youngest ever to pass the 11+ exam.

    Are your children ready for the to take the eleven plus test? Try a sample paper here & share your results in the comments section below.

    Full story
  • library

    20 years ago, researching the finer details of the eleven plus exam would have been restricted to sifting through literature in your dads bookcase before waiting for the library to open on a Monday morning. Nowadays, thanks to the internet & Google in particular, a wealth of information is at our children's fingertips.

    We live in a world where everything is available at the click of a button, whether we are looking for that piece of information or not. Ok, so there are issues with internet safety. Parents are becoming increasingly concerned that their child is being corrupted, when they are probably happily researching away. If this is you, don't worry the internet is here to help.

    How can I change the security settings on my computer?

    Internet browsing can easily be made more secure by changing a few settings on your browser. Although browsers vary from Explorer, to Google Chrome & Safari, the settings in essence are the same for all providers. For the commonly used Internet Explorer, click settings > internet options > security & increase the sensitivity level to your taste. For other browsers, help about changing settings can be found, well, under the help option.

    What does a high sensitivity level mean?

    A high sensitivity level will block sites;

    • That "may contain" harmful content (that's pretty much everything you need worry about blocked)
    • Maximum safeguards (that's the obvious stuff blocked, plus a little more)
    • Less secure features (If your browser suspects anything at all, whether it's a pop up or a site with invalid credentials, these will not appear, just to be safe)

    On top of this, it is easy to block specific sites (for example, games sites if the computer is only to be used for homework). We also recommend blocking pop up's as these are the source of most offence.

    What happens if these settings still fail?

    Click CEOP, a site designed to report the abuse of children, are spot on when it comes to reporting suspect activity on the internet. Their safety button can be downloaded here. Now, if your child stumbles across a lucrative site during their 11+ revision, or if they are the subject of cyber bullying, this can easily be reported and stopped.

    What has this got to do with libraries?

    The internet is a big place, as is the world. Children can get lost along the way and need a little guidance, whether it's telling them not to walk down a certain alley way en route to the library or ensuring that they don't visit certain sites on the internet. Your child will likely make the decision which route to take by themselves, the main advantage of the internet being that you can guide them whichever way you like with a clever use of settings.

    Full story
  •  too-many-graduates

    With record numbers of graduates failing to secure employment upon leaving university, the education system surely needs to be reviewed. Recent reports according to the BBC suggest that as many as 83 graduates are applying for each vacancy. Although the 11+ test is seen as elitist by the minority, it's selectiveness could save students thousands of pounds.

    Let's compare the two systems;

    To pass the 11+ exam & secure grammar school placement, there is no percentage pass mark per se. Pass marks are weighted in accordance with overall results, allowing only the allocated number of grammar school places to be filled. To obtain a 1st degree at university, you simply need an average of >70% for all of your modules.

    Ok, so it's not easy to average over 70%, but in theory everyone could get a first, thus devaluing the quality the grade. Likewise, with the 11+ exam it is possible to achieve a score of 99% and still not obtain grammar school entry.

    What would happen if universities employed this system?

    The percentage pass rate system would see some changes in the way degree accreditations were valued. With say only 5% of students receiving first class accreditation many would see a benefit;

    • The best candidates would be more visible to employers.
    • Competition for grades would be heightened & in turn increase learning.
    • Potential achievers of lower graded degrees may opt for a more vocational path to employment, saving thousands in tuition fees and time. This route could also see a fast track to success.

    Who would lose out?

    As with most winning formulas, there are always a couple of losers;

    • The government have the potential to lose millions in tuition fees.
    • Underperforming universities are likely to see a decline in registration & potential closure.

    The conclusion

    In the tough economic climate, the vast majority university-goers would be better suited to finding employment & getting qualified whilst working. Aside from saving thousands of pounds on tuition fees and loans, students would be earning money and gaining a head start on their peers. For the top students, a university degree would regain its value as less people would be classed as graduates.

    Full story
  •  worm-mascot

    Since 2004, our aim has been to provide children with a revision aid that would help ensure exam success and ultimately, grammar school placement. Since then, thousands of children have passed the test and their kind words of recommendation have warmed our hearts. It's now 2011 & we've just launched our brand new website, with five key additions to help your child achieve 11+ success...

    What's new?

    • Easier Navigation: In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, our new site requires less clicks and improved usability.
    • Simplified Tools: Tracking your child's progress has never been easier, thanks to our new charts tool. Further introductions include a live pause button, allowing your child to complete the test at a later date.
    • Weekly News Updates: You & your child will benefit from timely blogs regarding the 11+ exam, including revision tips and tricks.
    • Be Part of the 11+ Community: Share news with friends & follow our latest updates through a variety of social media channels. -
    • Extended Catalogue of Resources: Our online shop has added to the thousands of test questions & revision aids. 

    What's the same?

    • Login details: To keep things simple, your personal information has been successfully transferred to the new look site.  No need to re-register.

    We hope you enjoy the revisions.

    Kind Regards

    Noah at 11 Plus Swot

    Full story