What to do if your 11 plus preparation is last minute
This happens year after year, despite best intentions some families just don’t get round to starting before it is very late in the day. If you are thinking of starting at any point from May onwards (especially in very competitive areas) then time will be extremely tight.
Of course children can improve in a very short period so all is not lost, however it is critical that the work that children will do is very focussed.
The major drawbacks of starting 11 Plus preparation late
Potentially there will be drawbacks when you start late so it as well to be upfront about these.
1/ If your child has not been reading for at least half an hour every day for a pro-longed period then it is quite likely that they will not have as wide a vocabulary as others. This will be a drawback and cannot be entirely resolved in a short space of time. Having a weaker vocabulary is the single biggest reason for some children getting through the 11 Plus and others not being successful.
2/ If your child has not been working consistently at Maths then it may well be that their tables and/or four operations skills are not as fluent as they could be. These gaps lead to children working more slowly and making more mistakes. The biggest cause of dropped marks in the numeracy sections of the 11 Plus are a weakness in core skills rather than a lack of knowledge on how to tackle more complicated problems. You can do practice paper after practice paper but if little mistakes continue then the weakness is most likely to be with core skills. Children will not advance unless the core skills weakness is addressed.
3/ In some specialist areas that are not covered in Primary Schools- Like Verbal Reasoning there will be a limit to what can be achieved in a short space of time, however considerable progress can still made so don’t give up simply because of the time limitations.
4/ In many areas of numeracy and literacy children will be facing questions based on the whole of KS2 study ( all the way to the end of year six) and yet in many cases their schools will not have tackled these yet. In effect they need start to work ahead which can be a big issue for some with a short period of 11 Plus preparation time.
5/ The challenge for those who start late is that for many there is simply not enough time to cover the ground fully, so you have to work smarter and try to tailor activity to the time you have. We hope this part of the website will help you to do that.
Click through to each of the sections below to get a good feel for what you should be doing and how you should approach last minute 11 Plus preparation