When Is The Best Time To Prepare Your Child For The 11+ Exam?


The 11+ exams are just a few short months away and it's no surprise that parents from all walks of life are extremely nervous.

One of the most common questions we get from parents is:

Did we leave it too late to prepare my child for the 11+?

When should you prepare your child for the 11+ exam? Is there a perfect age?

When should you prepare your child for the 11+ exam? Is there a perfect age?

This question is not only a common one but also perfectly normal to ask.

Is there really an optimal time to prepare your child for eleven plus success?

In today's blog post I'll give you the advice that I give to my tutoring clients. 

The truth is that there is no generic time frame for 11+ preparation. As a rule of thumb however, you should give your child at least one full year to prepare. That's 12 months at a minimum.

Nonetheless, the students that tend to do best in the exams are the ones who have prepared for at least two and a half years. 

What should that preparation involve?

  • Reading a variety of great books and literature
  • Mastering writing and comprehension skills
  • Honing interview questions and exam technique
  • Practicing answering questions to time
  • Improving skills in all areas of mathematics
  • Learning all Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning question types
  • Going beyond 11+ questions and attempting higher level work

Obviously, not all students have the time to spend two or more years preparing for the exams but the more time your child has, the better.

If however, your child has 12 months or less, don't fret. There are a number of things you can do to help them catch up and make significant progress.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Encourage them to read for 20 minutes a day or longer
  • Ask them questions about the texts they've read, stories they've written, new words they've learnt and how they've arrived at certain mathematical calculations.
  • Use the school holidays wisely; this is the time to double up on revision and exam practice
  • Encourage your child to work for 1 hour each week day and at least 3 hours on the weekend
  • Be positive and don't make them nervous by bringing up how little time they have.

You should also consider the fact that every child is different; children respond differently under pressure. Some do better because of added pressure whilst others do far worse. It's therefore vital that you adapt your child's revision schedule to their own personal needs.

Finally, if your child has a very small amount of time before their 11+, consider enrolling them in an intensive 11+ course or hiring a private tutor.