Preparing your child for the 11+ entrance exams can be a somewhat difficult task if you don’t have access to the right resources. However, these assessments are a significant milestone for students aiming to secure a spot in prestigious secondary schools, so you will have to help your child in the best way you can.
This will include things from understanding the types of assessments for different schools to using the right study material according to the type of assessment. And that’s exactly what we are going to explain in this blog.
Read on to find useful insights on how you can help your child go through this crucial phase.
1. Understand the Types of Assessments
Before diving into study materials and practice tests, it’s essential to first understand the types of assessments your child will encounter. This understanding will guide your preparation efforts and ensure a targeted approach.
The 11+ entrance assessments typically consist of various types of tests, including English, mathematics, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. Each test assesses different skills and abilities, and being aware of these variations is crucial.
Also, most private schools have their own assessment exams that can include CEM Select, CAT4, and ISEB Pretest. So, make sure you first understand the type of assessment your child will be going through and then devise the study plan accordingly.
2. Practice Past Papers
Past papers are a significant tool that can provide insights into the format, structure, and content of the assessments. This allows your child to familiarize themselves with the types of questions they may encounter.
Depending on the type of assessment, you can solve practice papers for CEM Select, CAT4, and ISEB. Make sure to find these papers from a reliable resource and encourage your children to regularly practice with them.
This way, your child becomes accustomed to the time constraints and develops strategies for managing their time effectively during the actual assessments.
3. Develop a Structured Study Plan
After you have identified the type of assessment your child will be going through, you can go ahead to develop a structured and relevant study plan. With so many subjects and topics to cover, having a well-organized plan ensures that your child’s preparation is efficient and effective.
When you are developing the study plan, it is advised to start by understanding the exam syllabus and requirements. This will help you identify the key areas your child needs to focus on. Also, when you are developing the study plan, make sure to break down the difficult parts of the syllabus into smaller sections.
You will also have to consider your child’s commitments on a daily basis and create a plan and study timetable that works best for them. All you have to do is be realistic with the time you allocate to study.
4. Improve Language Skills
The assessments for 11+ admissions require strong language skills. These language skills are needed for various aspects of the exam, including English comprehension, verbal reasoning, and written communication.
To improve your child’s language skills, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to read extensively. Make sure to provide them with a diverse range of books, including fiction, non-fiction, and age-appropriate classics.
This habit will not only enhance their vocabulary but will also improve comprehension and expose your child to different writing styles. Moreover, tell your child to also work on expressing their thoughts clearly and articulating their ideas. They can practice active listening to help refine their communication skills.
5. Foster Strong Math Skills
Mathematical proficiency is a key component of all the assessments that are part of the 11+ admission process. Therefore, it plays a significant role in determining success. To develop strong math skills in your child, it is advised to provide them with ample opportunities for practice.
For example, you can encourage them to solve a variety of math problems covering different concepts such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation. However, just make sure to practice regularly to build their confidence and speed in problem-solving.
If your child doesn’t like mathematics or can’t develop their focus, you can introduce real-life math applications to make the subject more relatable and engaging. Incorporate math into everyday activities, such as calculating expenses or estimating distance from one place to another.
This will help your child understand the practicality and relevance of math in their daily lives.
6. Encourage Independent Reading
Reading not only enhances the language skills of your child but also nurtures their critical thinking abilities and expands their knowledge base. To help your child with this aspect, make sure to set aside time each day to dedicate to their study routine and leave them alone.
Independent reading allows them to discover new ideas, develop a love for literature, and engage with different writing styles. You can create a cozy reading corner or a comfortable space where they can immerse themselves in books.
To motivate your child to develop reading habits, make sure to limit their screen time and offer alternatives that promote reading. After they have finished a book or a particular chapter, you can engage in discussion with them to encourage critical thinking and analysis.
7. Provide a Balanced Routine
If you remember the famous proverb, “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. The proverb still stands true and when your child is preparing for the 11+ admission exams. So, make sure to provide them with a well-rounded approach that encompasses academics, leisure activities, and personal well-being.
To do this, you will have to create a structured study schedule that allows for dedicated time to cover the necessary subjects and topics. Don’t try to cover all the syllabus in one go. As mentioned above, you can break whole syllabus into smaller parts and allocate specific study periods to each part.
Ensure that your child has access to appropriate study materials and resources, and also provide opportunities for leisure and relaxation. Engage your child in extracurricular activities they enjoy, such as sports, arts, or hobbies to promote their overall development.