All set for the 11 Plus? Here's some good advice for parents and students alike when it comes to 11 Plus exams:
- Listen carefully to all the instructions. There might be some you weren't expecting – know exactly what is expected of you.
- Fill in your personal details carefully.
- Read ALL the instructions, and check how many questions you have to answer.
- Allocate your time, including enough to read through the 11 Plus paper at the start, and time to plan your answers and check them through at the end. You might want to allocate more time to those questions that carry greater marks.
- Choosing questions that seem easiest for you to do first will end up saving time for the ones which are more difficult.
- Read the question carefully, answer the question that is on the 11 Plus exam paper even if it is not quite the one you had prepared for.
- Be strict with your time. You can always go back to a question at the end, but remember, if you don’t answer enough questions you can’t score many marks.
- Keep working…if you get stuck on a problem, think about it for a minute or two but if you still can't think of how to work it out move on to the next question.
- Try and put something down for every question or problem, as you never know where you might be able to get marks.
- Try to keep your work neat so that the 11+ examiner can give you marks instead of zero they can’t read what you have written.
- If you feel yourself beginning to panic, whether you’re sweating or beginning to hyperventilate, put down your pen, close your eyes for a moment or two and relax your muscles. Once you feel calmer, you can continue.
- Check your answers if you have time at the end of your paper.
- Make sure you’ve at least attempted to answer every question, and all the parts to the question if it was a long one. This also helps to sort out any silly mistakes.
- In a maths paper for example, always check the question for UNITS (meters, seconds etc), AREAS, VOLUMES and give the answer using those same units, making conversions if necessary before/after the calculation.
- Just in case, go to the toilet beforehand as you will not be given extra time at the end!
Eleven Plus Exam Day Advice
Eleven Plus Exams "Exam Day" Dos and Don'ts:
- Remember to pack your glasses if you wear any and your inhaler if you use one.
- Wear proper clothes to your exam, for example; school uniform.
- Check if pencils and erasers are already provided.
- Pay attention to the rules i.e. no talking during an exam. If a teacher suspects anybody of cheating, everybody's exam paper will be disqualified!
- Remember that these tests are only for finding the right school for you not about being a failure, aged 11!
- Let the school know if anything is preventing you from getting to the test on time.
- Take a calculator for your Maths test.
- Take the exam if you are ill or if something urgent has come up. Let the school know and they will usually make allowances for the test to be taken later.
- Arrive late – you probably won’t be allowed to sit the test.
- Feel pressured as that will stop you making the most of your potential.
- Worry if you have special needs as teachers there will be able to make sure you’re not uncomfortable.
- Encourage your parent to come in through the school gates with you! You’ll settle down much more quickly if you leave them in the car.