Parents’ Feedback on 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Practice Tests

The journey to preparing a child for the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning test can be challenging and overwhelming. Parents often seek reliable resources and effective strategies to ensure their child is well-prepared. 

Here, we compile and analyse feedback, comments, and suggestions from various forums to provide a comprehensive guide for parents navigating the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning practice test.

Importance of Verbal Reasoning Practice Tests

11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Practice Tests

Verbal Reasoning (VR) tests are designed to measure a child’s problem-solving abilities and understanding of language. They include tasks such as finding synonyms, identifying patterns in word sequences, and understanding analogies. 

Regular practice with verbal reasoning tests can help students become familiar with the types of VR questions they will face and improve their performance through repetition and strategy refinement.

11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Practice Test Feedback

11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Practice Test Feedback

Online vs. Paper-Based Practice

Many parents debate whether online sources benefit 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning preparation. One common viewpoint is that online practice tests are most effective for traditional Verbal Reasoning exams focusing on the 21 standard question types. These types benefit from the repetitive, formulaic practice that online platforms can provide.

However, parents have noted that online preparation may be less effective for CEM-style exams, which include comprehension and cloze exercises. Children often read text on screens less effectively than on paper, so comprehensive reading and exercises are better tackled on paper to enhance retention and understanding.

Another concern is that online learning can be isolating and hard to monitor. When children’s concentration wanes, they might start clicking through answers without genuine engagement. This can make it challenging for parents to review and correct mistakes effectively. Therefore, while online resources can be a part of the preparation, they should not entirely replace traditional paper-based learning.

The Debate on Tutoring

There is a mixed sentiment about tutoring for the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning test. Some schools advise against it, suggesting that children should not be coached to pass these exams. However, parents argue that in reality, tutoring can significantly benefit children, especially in competitive areas.

Children who receive focused coaching tend to perform better. This includes enhancing vocabulary, practising individual question types, and engaging in timed tests.

Strategies for Improvement

Parents often express frustration when their child’s performance plateaus despite regular practice. To overcome this, simple yet effective strategies are recommended:

One is to set higher expectations to motivate children to strive for better overall scores. Parents should encourage their children to aim beyond just passing marks and strive for excellence, which can make a significant difference in highly competitive areas.

Broadening vocabulary is another way to excel in VR tests. Parents are advised to ensure their children read regularly and engage in vocabulary-building activities. 

Additionally, reviewing techniques and trying different methods to identify and correct mistakes can also help improve scores.

Early Preparation

Starting VR preparation early can provide a significant advantage. Parents should focus on extensive reading, word games, and family routines that encourage vocabulary development for children in years three and four. These activities lay a strong foundation for VR skills.

From year five onwards, more focused preparation can be introduced on the specific types of questions and timed tests. This phased approach ensures that children develop a wide vocabulary and familiarity with the question formats before facing timed tests.

Resource Recommendations

Many parents turn to online platforms for 11 Plus practice tests due to their convenience and wide range of resources.

Websites like Bond, CGP, and 11 Plus Lifeline offer comprehensive practice materials tailored to the 11 Plus exam. These platforms typically provide mock tests, detailed explanations, and performance tracking to help students monitor their progress.

On the other hand, printed practice books remain a popular choice among parents. Publishers like Bond, CGP, and Collins offer a variety of workbooks specifically designed for 11 Plus preparation. These books often include multiple practice tests, exercises, and tips for tackling different types of verbal reasoning questions.

For specific school exams, it’s essential to understand the format and content of the test. In such cases, contacting the school directly and using recommended practice books, like Bond VR Assessment Papers, can be helpful.

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Final Thoughts

Preparing for the 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning test can be daunting, but with the right resources and strategies, parents can effectively support their children. Combining online and paper-based resources, focusing on vocabulary building, and maintaining high expectations can lead to significant improvements. 

By sharing experiences and recommendations, parents can help each other navigate the challenges of 11 Plus preparation and ensure their children have the best chance of success.