5 tips to prepare your child for the 11 plus exams in Summer

Preparing for the 11+ exams in the summer holidays can be a very stressful time for parents and children alike. With nearly all of the grammar school exams and some independent schools tests usually held in mid September to October, the Summer holidays is an imperative period of time to get your child ready for the tests. Here are our top tips on how to best utilise the Summer holidays.


1. Plan and schedule

The 11+ exams are notoriously tough and without some hard grind, children are unlikely to succeed.  Creating a schedule for the Summer is an ideal way to get started. Planning how much work should be completed as well as which topics to focus on each day will help you gain control of the preparation. Make sure you schedule breaks and resting time too as children’s attention span are not as long as you think. According to age, your child’s attention spans would look relatively close to this:

  • By age 4,  8 to 12 minutes.
  • By age 5, 10 to 14 minutes.
  • By age 6, 12 to 18 minutes
  • by age 7, 14 to 21 minutes
  • by age 8, 16 to 24 minutes
  • by age 9, 18-27 minutes
  • by age 10, 20 to 30 minutes
  • by age 11, 22 to 33 minutes


2. Join a course

Courses are ideal for children who have had little preparation, and they are ideal for children who are particularly strong and in need of revision and improvement of exam technique. Most children have some gaps in their knowledge, and a structured, responsive course is ideal for students to overcome these gaps. It can also help to develop children’s confidence and self-esteem, and give children the opportunity to interact and learn from other children attempting the same tests as themselves.

Our five day Summer course is available online and face to face in Victoria (London). This course covers all of the essential subjects needed including maths, creative writing, comprehension, reasoning and interview skills. Alternatively, our one day Summer courses are focused on individual topics and are designed to give children a complete understanding of common topics.


3. Complete mock tests for improvement

Mock tests are vital for exam success. Practising mock exams give students confidence and allows children to become comfortable with the format of the paper. In addition, completing mock papers prepares children for the time constraints they will face in the real test.

We offer mock tests regularly in our Central London location (Victoria), so children can experience a test in an exam environment with other children. Our mock tests will also come with a full report with recommendations and advice on the weaknesses to focus on so your child will succeed in their upcoming entrance exams.


4. Fill in gaps with a tutor

There is nothing more valuable than some one to one time with a tutor – especially one who is experienced with the exams for your particular school. A good tutor will help a child demystify complicated topics and will guide a child through the format of different papers. They will also work with parents to identify weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement. Finally, a great tutor will help you pick the right school for your child so their new school is the best choice for their personality. At 11 Plus London, we recognise each and every child’s individual personalities and strengths, and believe every child should be happy. We have a small but experienced team of tutors, please contact us to organise a trial class.


5. Arrange for resting time

There aren’t many children who would be thrilled to spend every day of their Summer holidays revising and tackling exam papers. If you force your child to militantly work every day, be prepared for burnout or outright rebellion! This is why it is so important to schedule fun-time for them. The saying, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is incredibly fitting, so book some trampoline play dates to burn off steam or organise beach trips to inspire and motivate them!


Need some advice on how to make the most of your child’s Summer holiday? Give us a call on 0203 488 1278 or contact us to arrange a free personalised discussion and assessment, so we can offer the right recommendations!