Timetable for Preparation

11 Plus Exam: Timetable for Preparation

The 11 Plus exam is a significant milestone for students seeking admission to state-funded grammar schools in the UK and Northern Ireland. The competition is fierce, with many students vying for limited spots in a grammar school. Therefore, students must approach their studies with a clear strategy to maximise their chances of success.

One effective way to prepare for the 11 Plus is by following a schedule or structured timetable for preparation. A timetable helps students organise their study sessions, allocate time for each subject, and track their progress. It provides a sense of direction and ensures they cover all the necessary topics before the exam date.

Understanding the Competitive Nature of the 11+ Exam

The 11+ exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions covering maths, English, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning aspects. The format may vary depending on the school or local authority conducting the tests. Students are assessed on their core skills and ability to apply them in various contexts.

To succeed, a student must demonstrate a strong grasp of the subjects and perform well under pressure. The entrance exam sets high standards to ensure that only the most capable candidates are admitted.

When Should I Start Preparing for 11+ Exams?

Your child should prepare for the 11 Plus well in advance, ideally at least a year before the exam schedule. Starting early allows a child to develop a solid foundation of knowledge required for the tests. A student has ample time to thoroughly cover all the necessary subjects and topics by beginning early.

For many children, starting their preparation in Year 5 or 4 provides a good balance. This gives them sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the exam format and various types of questions and gradually improve their understanding of concepts such as verbal and non-verbal reasoning, mathematics, and English vocabulary.

Parents can gauge their child’s readiness and understanding of the material by observing their progress during practice sessions. In preparing, it’s essential that the child understands the purpose of the 11 Plus and feels encouraged and supported throughout the preparation process.

How to Create a Timetable for Preparation

This section will explore how to make a timetable that helps you manage your study time wisely and do your best in the exam.

Set Realistic Goals and Objectives

Setting realistic goals and objectives is the first step in creating an effective 11+ preparation timetable for your child. Consider the time available until the exam schedule and your child’s specific areas to prepare for.

Now, break down the larger goal of passing the test into smaller, manageable objectives. These could include mastering specific mathematics topics, improving verbal reasoning vocabulary, or practising non-verbal reasoning techniques.

It’s important that these goals are achievable within the timeframe you have set. Consider your child’s current level of knowledge, their learning style, and any other commitments they may have, such as school hours or extracurricular activities.

Assess Strengths and Weaknesses

Before creating a timetable, assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses in the subjects required for the 11+ exams.

Review past test papers to identify areas where your child excels and areas where they may need additional support. This could include topics in maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, or English.

Consider seeking input from teachers, tutors, or other parents with experience with the 11+ exams. They may offer valuable insights into areas where extra instruction could benefit your child.

A tutor can also provide comprehensive support throughout the course, facilitating learning, testing, and access to essential materials.

By understanding your child’s strengths and weaknesses and learning style, you can tailor their preparation timetable to focus on areas where they need the most improvement, maximising their chances of success in the entrance tests.

Allocate Time for Each Subject or Topic

Once you have identified your child’s goals and assessed their strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to allocate time for each topic in their preparation timetable.

Divide the available study time into manageable chunks, ensuring that each topic receives sufficient attention. Consider the importance of each topic in the 11+ exams and prioritise accordingly.

For example, if your child struggles with maths but excels in verbal reasoning, allocate more time for maths while still dedicating some time to maintain their proficiency in verbal reasoning. Also, in preparing for the exam, touch on various aspects of vocabulary, diligently studying each word.

Be flexible with your time allocation, adjusting as needed based on your child’s progress and any changes in their strengths or weaknesses.

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Sample 11 Plus Preparation Timetable

Here’s a sample 12-month breakdown leading up to the exam date (usually by September):

Month 1: October

  • Discuss the format and subjects covered in the tests with your child.
  • Begin gathering exam papers and test papers for practice. Ask a teacher or tutor for a learning guide when necessary. 

Month 2: November

  • Set achievable goals and objectives for improvement based on the initial assessment.
  • Plan a schedule and routine that fits your child’s study hours and extracurricular activities.

Month 3: December

  • Allocate time for regular revision sessions focusing on building maths and English skills.
  • Encourage your child to engage in vocabulary-building activities and practice word spelling regularly. 

Month 4: January

  • Introduce verbal and non-verbal reasoning practice questions to your child.
  • Incorporate discussions and conversations to enhance comprehension and critical thinking.

Month 5: February

  • Increase the intensity of practice sessions for all subjects, focusing on strengthening knowledge.
  • Incorporate timed practice exercises to simulate test conditions and improve time management.

Month 6: March

  • Conduct routine review sessions to identify areas of weakness and address them through targeted practice.
  • Schedule mock exams to assess student progress and readiness for the actual tests.

Month 7: April

  • Continue with regular practice sessions, focusing on fine-tuning techniques.
  • Introduce full-length practice tests to your child to familiarise them with the exam format.

Month 8: May

  • Focus on targeted revision sessions, reinforcing key concepts and addressing any lingering doubts.
  • Ensure all necessary paperwork and requirements for the test are completed on time.

Month 9: June

  • Finalise exam preparation with last-minute revision and review sessions.
  • Remind your child to get plenty of rest and eat healthily before the big day.

Month 10: July

  • Conduct a final review of topics and strategies with your child at this stage.
  • Discuss any last-minute concerns or questions your child may have about the test.

Month 11: August

  • Ensure your child is well-rested and prepared mentally for the test.
  • Review exam day procedures and logistics with your child to alleviate any anxiety.

Month 12: September (Exam Month)

  • Stay positive and supportive as your child prepares to take the exam.
  • Provide a calm and encouraging environment at home to help alleviate stress.

With your support and a consistent routine, a child can gain confidence through regular prep sessions and meaningful conversation.

How Long Does the 11+ Exam Take?

The duration of the 11+ exam can vary depending on the specific format set by the examining body or school. However, on average, the test typically takes around two to three hours to complete.

During this time, children will be required to complete multiple-choice questions across different subjects and each section of the test usually has a set time limit, ranging from 45 minutes to one hour.

Children must manage their time effectively during the tests to ensure enough time to answer all the questions in each section. Practising timed exam papers and familiarising themselves with the format can help them develop strategies for pacing themselves and maximising their performance on exam day.

When to Register for 11 Plus Exam 2024?

To register your child for the 11 Plus 2024 and increase their chances of gaining entry to their chosen learning institution, it’s important to understand the process and timeline.

Most schools typically open their 11+ registration in April or May. It’s crucial to complete the online application form before the specified cutoff schedule, usually from June to July.

The exam itself usually takes place during the first two weeks of September. It is administered by organisations such as GL Assessment and CEM in various regions.