It’s no secret that the 11+ exam is important. Quality secondary education can set your child up for success in life, and getting into a good grammar school is one way to ensure that. But preparing for tests is hard, even for adults. It’s stressful, time-consuming, and can be overwhelming. So how can you help your child prepare for the 11+ exam? Here are some tips.
1. Have The Right Resources For Your Disposal
Just like teachers need the right resources to teach effectively, students need the right resources to learn effectively. When it comes to preparing for the 11+ exam, make sure your kid has access to quality resources that will help them understand the material, and get a feel for what the test is going to be like. You can find packs of 11+ exam papers online which offer the perfect opportunity to familiarise your child with the exam format and question types. There are plenty of websites, books, and apps that can help with this exam preparation too. Do your research and choose the resources that you think will work best for your child.
2. Consider Your Approach
You’re a parent so you already know that every child is special. While adults have enough life experience to understand that not everyone learns in the same way, it can be easy to forget this when it comes to our own children. If your child is struggling with exam preparation, it might be because they’re not being taught in a way that suits their learning style. Of course, when it comes to taking exams, it’s always important to do some mock tests like that can help them deal with the time pressure they’ll face on test day. However, it’s important to keep in mind that besides practicing, some children are visual learners, while others are auditory learners. Consider your child’s learning style and approach exam preparation accordingly. If they’re a visual learner, get them plenty of resources that contain pictures and diagrams. If they’re an auditory learner, have them listen to audio recordings of the material. And if they learn best through doing, make sure they’re doing plenty of practice questions.
3. Make A Daily Schedule
One of the best ways to ensure that your child is making progress with their exam preparation is to make a daily schedule. This doesn’t have to be anything too rigid or structured, but setting aside some time each day for exam preparation will help to keep your child on track. If you can, try to incorporate some variety into the schedule so that your child doesn’t get bored. For example, one day they could do some mock tests, another day they could work on a particular topic they’re struggling with, and another day they could take a break and do something fun that’s related to the material they’re studying (like watching a movie set in ancient Rome if they’re preparing for a history exam). Since your child is only eleven, they’ll need you to help them organize their time and keep them motivated.
4. Encourage Them To Take Breaks
Stress is never easy to deal with, especially at a young age. It’s important that your schedule allows for plenty of breaks so that your child doesn’t get overwhelmed. Make sure they’re getting plenty of exercises and fresh air, and that they’re taking some time each day to relax and have fun. A healthy mind and body are essential for effective exam preparation. Around that age, your kid should have an attention span that lasts for around 45 minutes. After that, they should take a 10-minute break. They could use that time to have a snack, run around outside, or do anything else that will help them to relax and refuel. That said, you do want to discourage them from doing something that will take their mind off of their studies completely, like playing video games or watching TV. That should be reserved for when they’re done with their daily quota of studying.
5. Have Weekly Goals
In addition to making a daily schedule, it can also be helpful to set weekly goals. This will give your child something to strive for and help them to see their progress. Not only that, but it will also help you to track their progress and see what areas they need to work on. Each week, sit down with your child and help them to set a goal for the week. It could be something like finishing a certain section of their prep book or getting a certain score on their mock tests. Whatever it is, make sure it’s realistic and achievable. The goal needs to be somewhat challenging without being too difficult. It can be a bit scary for young children to think about taking exams, but if you help them to focus on taking small steps each week, they’ll be able to approach the exam with confidence.
6. Reward Them For Their Progress
Yes, learning should be done for the sake of learning, but that doesn’t mean that your child can’t be rewarded for their hard work. Each time they reach a goal, whether it’s big or small, make sure to give them some sort of recognition. This could be something as simple as verbal praise or a special treat. The important thing is that you show them that you’re proud of their progress and that you appreciate the effort they’re putting in. This will help to keep them motivated and focused on their goals. By showing that you’re aware of how hard they’re trying and that you’re proud of what they’ve already done, you’ll take a lot of the pressure off of them, which will help them stay focused and perform better on their exam.
7. Get Help From A Tutor
Sometimes, having a parent teach their child isn’t the best option – even when the parent is a professional teacher. If you feel like your kid isn’t responding well to this dynamic, or that they’re having trouble learning that is beyond your set of skills, it’s okay to get some help from a tutor. A tutor can provide one-on-one attention that your child might need. And they can teach in a way that is better suited to your child’s learning style. In addition, tutors can offer outside perspective and objectivity, which can be helpful when it comes to finding areas of improvement. If you do decide to go this route, make sure to find a tutor who is experienced in teaching the 11+ exam and with whom you feel confident.
The 11+ exam is an important stepping stone in a child’s life. And there are some things that you can do to help prepare them for it. By making a daily schedule, setting weekly goals, encouraging breaks, and rewarding progress. And getting help from a tutor, you can help your child approach the exam with confidence and ease.