When to start the 11 Plus Exam preparation process.
Different options are right for different family situations. You will not go far wrong if you think about years three and four being focussed on skills building and year five being the time to evolve skills building into testing.
Year three preparation
At this stage many parents are not sure where they’ll be or even what sort of child they have on their hands and whether a selective education process is going to be the right thing to do.
We’d suggest two things-
1/ This is entirely the wrong time to start preparing specifically for the 11 Plus using timed tests.
2/ Doing some work on core Maths and English skills and reading every day can produce enormous benefits. Go to our page on Year 3 preparation to understand what you could usefully do in more detail.
Year four preparation
Again we’d strongly advise against doing specific 11 Plus past papers or timed tests of any nature.
Year four can most usefully be used to further build core skills. This is a time that children won’t have again and unfortunately all too many pass through without making sure their core skills are as sound as they possibly can be. This has severe impacts later on. Children who struggle with timing in test papers or make too many mistakes can most often trace their problems back to not making sure their core skills were sound enough.
See our page on 11 Plus preparation in year four to see what we suggest you cover during this critical period.
Year five preparation and into the test
Many people start their preparation before or shortly after Christmas during year five. It is a good time to start especially if children have developed very sound core skills at school.
Typically we’d see children continuing to develop their core skills but also starting some work in Verbal reasoning and Non-verbal reasoning (if they have tests in these subjects). As they complete the process of building up their skills most people then move on to try some timed tests.
See our page on 11 Plus Preparation in year five to understand what we suggest you might like to include.