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Article 3: Preparing for the exam

The 11-plus exam is about testing your child's natural aptitude and the importance of a well-rounded education cannot be stressed enough. Reading widely, building vocabulary and developing mathematical skills are all key ways of helping to prepare your child for the 11-plus. With that in mind, here are some key pieces of advice that will help your child prepare for their specific 11-plus exam:

  1. Find out exactly what exams your child will be taking – this can change from school to school, not just region to region. Also bear in mind that schools may change the exam they use, so do keep checking. Look not just at the exam board, but subject, format, length of test and any additional tests set by that school (such as creative writing).
  2. If your child is sitting a GL Assessment-examined test, use plenty of past and practice papers to familiarise your child with the question types in each subject. Note: plenty of exam prep using practice papers is also important for CEM, but the types of questions that appear in the real CEM 11-plus exam are much more unpredictable.
  3. Past papers and mock tests are not available for the CEM tests but there are familiarisation papers available for schools and local authorities to help children understand the format of the test they will be taking.

A good way to start is by working hard to develop a deep and rich vocabulary:

  • Use a vocabulary book to record new words and their meanings to ensure that your child really understands the new words they are meeting and can use them in context.
  • Get your child to read widely, going beyond their reading age. If they can understand all the words in a book then they need something harder to read.
  • Practise synonyms and antonyms. For example, encourage your child to use more sophisticated words to describe something, or complete crosswords together.
  • For both tests time management skills are of great importance so practise on Einstein11Plus online tests
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