Common mistakes made with 11 Plus English Exam preparation

The core mistake, as with some other topics, is to move into testing too fast at the expense of learning. Some parents can’t seem to grasp that long term work on reading and on vocabulary development will deliver benefits at the end but progress is impossible to see on a week by week basis. This manifests itself when children struggle with a more difficult comprehension text or with the vocabulary questions which are asked. If these things have not been tackled before then they are almost impossible to fix properly at the last minute.

We know from experience that lots of parents almost ‘give up’ with English. Unlike Maths many children will simply crack if they are given 11 Plus tests too early. They may lack the vocabulary necessary, they may simply struggle with the text.

As most 11 Plus exams are heavily weighed towards literacy skills it is almost impossible to work harder at Maths/NVR to make up for weak literacy skills.

Children need to focus on literacy skills to a greater degree than anything else. If children read every day and work to develop their vocabulary then improvements will emerge, but they will not emerge by doing 11 Plus test papers alone.