Simple tips to help your child learn algebra for the 11 plus exams

Algebra is an obstacle for most children and in general, symbolic manipulation can be problematic for all students. Fortunately, due to the common difficulties many students face, there have been much discussion about how best to help students tackle this common difficulty.

Studies by Norvin and Irvin (2007)  suggest the earlier we introduce the link between algebra and arithmetic the less foreign students will find the topic as they age.  This simply means introducing algebra to children when they are younger – particularly whilst they are mastering arithmetic. Questions like: ____ + 4  = 10   share a similar structure to   y + 4 = 10. Without even knowing it, children are developing the skill to solve linear equations! Pointing this out to your child as early as possible will allow them to link their arithmetic skills to their understanding in algebra.

Another study asked secondary school teachers which topics they wished their students would be better at in order to assist their understanding in algebra. They pinpointed three particular skills: multiplication facts, negative numbers and fractions. Each of these skills are fundamental to complete accurate algebraic working, meaning the stronger you are in these topics the more likely you will find algebra to be an easy feat rather than a difficult challenge.

These fabulous books and toys are perfect for students seeking to achieve mastery in algebra for the 11 plus exams. Alternatively, join us in our 2 Day Algebra Course available for students preparing for the 10+ and 11+ exams during this Summer 2021.


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Key stage 2



Get some more tips for your child by reading the  7 maths topics children should master for the 11 plus exams.

You can join us in our dedicated 2 Day 11+ Algebra Course suitable for students in Year 5/6. These courses will run throughout the year on these dates: 22nd July – 23rd July 2021, 7th August – 8th August 2021 and 11th September – 12th September 2021.

Alternatively, if you would like some personalised advice or would like to trial one of our super tutors in algebra, feel free to contact us on or 0203 488 1278.