Using 11+ Practice Papers

It is important to know how to properly use our free 11+ practice papers in order to help your child develop and not constantly do paper after paper and to keep making the same mistakes.

How to use sample, past or practice 11+ papers

We believe parents often make the mistake of using these papers far too early before enough learning has happened. We strongly suggest only using full timed papers towards the end of the preparation process once children are familiar with all the test formats and concepts and have built sufficient speed and accuracy into their work. Below you’ll find the key areas where we believe using 11+ papers will help you.

Use sample or practice 11+ papers to enhance speed

You’ll find some children need lots of help developing the speed and accuracy required for the test. Some children work too slowly to start with and then speed up with mistakes flowing as they speed up. In these cases consider dividing the papers up into eight-minute sections which force children to work at the right pace throughout. CEM tests already do this for you, but GL tests and Independent School tests let children decide themselves how long to spend on each question.

Use past 11+ papers or practice papers to improve stamina

In some cases, children will be asked to do two or more 45/50 minute 11 + papers with only a short break between each paper. For some children, they haven’t developed the stamina to concentrate for this amount of time and so they underperform. It’s a good idea to understand what the exam day will be like for your child and then mimic this at home two or three times or buy into some 11 + mock exams. One of the key reasons bright children don’t get through is that they haven’t had experience of the stamina they’ll need on the exam day itself.

Use 11+ practice papers for revision and gap filling

11 + papers ( either past papers or sample papers produced by publishers) are useful for revision because the mistakes that are made will reveal to you which areas need work. We never recommend doing paper after paper as no improvement will be delivered. However, if you do a 45-minute paper and then spend a long while drawing out the mistakes, going through them, revising technique and knowledge then you will see a dramatic improvement. Some parents find the amount of time and effort required to draw out these mistakes onerous but it is very well worth doing and in our view is the only way you’ll see an improved performance on these 11+ practice papers.