When should your child start preparing for 11+ exams?

Preparation for eleven-plus is quite challenging and demanding for parents and children which requires a lot of commitment from both sides.

In order to succeed, the coaching must commence when the child is in Years 3 and 4.  This is the ideal time to ensure that your child develops a strong foundation in the following elements:


Improving vocabulary is vital and there are lots of ways to do this.  The simple step is to encourage your child to read.  Sit with your child and help them to read.  When they come across a new or unfamiliar word, explore and ask many questions and teach them the meaning. Borrowing books from the local library is the cheapest option.


This will help in Verbal Reasoning as often Verbal Reasoning is presented with tricky questions and words that sound the same. For an example, meet and meat.

There are many free resources available online.  However, it is significant to use the UK based website as international sites contains Americanised spellings, such as “color” instead of “colour”, or the use of “-ize” instead of “-ise” at the ends of word.

Good narrative writing

Encourage your child to write stories and narrate scenes with their imagination.  You could ask your child to describe the real life situations.  For an example, shopping experience, travelling to school or when they attend a church service.

Grammar and punctuation

The importance on grammar and punctuation in writing have returned to primary education in recent years.  Ensuring your child has good command on basic grammar and punctuation is a great asset in future regardless of eleven-plus.


The two key foundations are number bonds and time tables.  Revision books and pass papers will develop the child’s mental ability.

Preparation does not mean formal tutoring or hiring a professional. It does mean building and sustaining a good working relationship with your child. Show your child that you have a genuine interest in their education and encouraging them in their lowest moments.

The vantage point is that, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”.

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