Common preparation mistakes – Non- Verbal Reasoning 11 Plus Exams

There are three common areas of mistake:

Too much focus on Non-Verbal Reasoning vs. Literacy core skills

In families where English is not the first language often too much emphasis is placed on Maths and Non-Verbal Reasoning preparation. There is no area in the UK where a 100% performance in Non-VR will counteract a weak performance in VR or English. Some families fruitlessly spend far too long on NVR hoping it will counteract a weak performance in other areas.

Starting Non-Verbal Reasoning preparation too early

Starting too early. NVR is one of the easiest topics to start and see early progress in. In week one a child may know nothing about it, two months later they may be scoring 85% in an 11 Plus standard test.

The problem is that too many parents start far too early, this results in several problems…. Many parents run out of materials because there are only limited sources for Non-VR. Many children get bored by the subject after a few months and so results drop off and it is difficult to get things going again. Where families/tutors use online materials often children develop click and guess habits which do more harm than good. 

NVR is the easiest 11 Plus subject to get to maximum performance levels on (not all children will perform at the same level), it should be left at least until year five before commencing.

Doing too many Non-Verbal Reasoning papers

A ‘good’ preparation process involves familiarisation, practice and then test/exam technique work. Most children will reach a plateau in timed tests and normally this isn’t caused by gaps in knowledge but because of the pressure and silly mistakes. Doing paper after paper actually ‘hurts’ the preparation process at this stage because it helps to embed bad habits. See our 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning preparation guides for help