11 Plus Exam Preparation Tips

How to increase your chances of passing

With the oh-so important 11 Plus examinations ever approaching, we want to make sure that you are well-prepared for everything. After all, preparation is the key to success. We have compiled a few useful tips to keep in mind, to lead you up to the best results and the path of success!


• Research what type of questions and exam types will be presented for the particular grammar or independent school you are applying for (as each school may have a different format and independent schools may even have their own unique 11 plus test) so you can anticipate both the style of questions, (e.g. is it multiple choice or traditional or both), and also make sure all your knowledge is up-to-date. Most exams will be a combination of verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English and maths.
• Manage your time effectively. Set goals to ensure all topics are covered and identify and allocate more time to weaker areas.
• Remember to take breaks every half hour or so, to keep memory and concentration fresh.
• Take practice tests to get familiar with the style of different tests. Try to time it. Enrol in one of our mock tests, which replicates the exact 11 plus test environment. Practising this in a controlled environment will increase confidence from familiarity, and therefore more likely to produce better results. Contact us to secure a place before spaces run out!
• Don’t cram in the study a few nights before. Space it out from well in advance, and relax the nights before, just reviewing everything so it is fresh in your mind.

The night before:

• Make sure you get a good night sleep; at least 8 hours so you can wake up refreshed and alert. Studies have shown that memory is maximized after a full night’s sleep .
• Try to relax and not be nervous. Clear your mind or your sleep may be disturbed. Worrying will not help anything!
• Review generally but don’t cram anything. Keep a positive mind-set and focus on the goal.. to pass!
• Make a check-list for everything that you need to take with you the next day, and pre-prepare it all so you have it ready to go in the morning (pencils, erasers, scratch paper etc).
-Remember any essentials such as inhalers, reading glasses, medications.
• Double check your alarm is set and at a time that gives you plenty of time to eat breakfast and get there with time to spare.
• Eat a wholesome dinner (not too late). Stay hydrated.

The day of exam:

• Eat a hearty but not too heavy breakfast.
• Remember to use the bathroom before the test begins.
• Arrive early for the exam. The last thing you want, is to feel frazzled and rushed before the exam. You need a bit of time before, to focus and calm any nerves.
• Always read each question thoroughly before attempting any question and make sure you understand exactly what it is asking.
• Don’t waste time getting stuck on one question. If you are unsure, don’t panic; break down the question logically. If you are really not sure, mark it clearly, and come back to it later with a fresh mind-set. If you are still not sure of the answer, don’t leave anything blank. At the very least attempt it, not from a random blind guess, but from an educated guess.
• Make sure any markings you note to yourself to review or come back to later because you are slightly unsure of, how to approach the question, is marked very clearly so you do not miss it later and you can review it again before the end.
• Always show all workings out in maths questions if necessary.
• Always remember to put the correct metric or word at the end of every answer e.g. cm, £, etc.
• Focus! If you feel yourself drifting off, observe yourself doing this and bring your focus back to the paper and question at hand.
• Keep an eye on the time. Pace yourself accordingly.
• Give yourself time to proof read everything if you have time at the end. Grammar, metrics, any questions unsure of.
• Be confident. You know the answers; you just have to believe in yourself!

Overall, relax, do your best and remember: stressing will only hinder your performance. Take a few deep breaths if you feel your nerves rising. Best of luck for the big day!

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Our Mock Tests aim to help students build up their confidence and help eliminate the fear of formal tests. All Mock Tests are done under real exam conditions to help students experience similar environments to that of the real entrance exams.

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